No matter how big or small the office, politics is a part of it. Some rules to help you play along the game while keeping your reputation intact.
Be nice to everyone
Don’t make enemies at the workplace, you never know whom you might need at some point of time. If you have a positive attitude and are nice to your co-workers, others will take notice. While it might be tempting to tell that irritating co-worker across the hall to shut up but you never know who that person is close to. One of the keys of being a smart worker is to be patient. With a little bit of rage that you can’t control at the spur of the moment you might end up with something more grave. Don’t run the risk of angering someone who is best buddies with the higher-ups!
Don’t forget the ‘Golden Rule’
Office politics is really all about building relationships, so lend a hand if you need to. Do a favour for someone when they need it. Doing these things will build your reputation as a team player, and will ensure that you will have the support you need down the road. After all once in a while all of us might counter some problems and by being helpful you already have some back up support for you.
Look for a mentor
It pays to have friends in high places, so find a mentor in your company who has influence within the organisation and spend time with your mentor every now and then. Stroke their egos and you will end up learning a lot from your mentor, and it never hurts to make sure someone in the company “penthouse” knows your name. However, pick your mentor carefully. Don’t align yourself with someone who has a negative reputation. This does not suggest that you need to be very aggressive while pleasing someone, just play the part judiciously and you have won the game.
Don’t be too visible
Do what you can to make sure managers know who you are, what you are doing, and when you have succeeded. This might mean speaking up and asking good questions at a meeting or proactively sending out a follow-up email after a brainstorming session. However, there is a fine line between making yourself visible and becoming an overt attention seeker. Pick your occasions for recognition wisely. Visibility is helpful but only when required.
Avoid the rumours
The more you indulge in office gossip, the more likely you are to end up being the subject of the gossip someday. It may sound that you are missing out on some juicy bits but it’s wiser not to run around the gossip mill. So bite your tongue when it comes to water cooler chatter, no matter how intriguing the topic. It will pay in the long run.
Many offices are a microcosm of society and include a wide variety of personality types. One of the biggest challenges people have in the workplace is communicating with those who are unlike themselves. But you need to learn how to be able to speak to all kinds of personalities at workplace. Adapting oneself is an art that will help you.
Talk to people
While email, voicemail and phones have made your life easy you still need to make an effort to go for a face-to-face interaction. It is still valuable. This personal interaction will help you build valuable professional relationships. Make your boss look good. One of the best ways to get ahead is by doing whatever you can to make your boss shine. When you help your manager succeed, chances are, his or her success will trickle down to you.