This post was originally published by :
Jagdish Prajapati (CEO)- People First recruiting Solutions
“The person who says “I’m not political” is in great danger, as only the fittest will survive, and the fittest will be the ones who understand their office’s politics”.
Politics in the workplace is a fact of life in most companies and, even if you do not want to take part, it is important for your own survival and success that you are aware that it exists, that you can recognise the players, and that you understand how to navigate around it.
22 Best Lessons How to cope with Office Politics.
1. A PERSON SHOULD NOT BE TOO HONEST. STRAIGHT TREES ARE CUT FIRST AND HONEST PEOPLE ARE SCREWED FIRST.
This is the reason people who follow the ‘yes boss’ route are smart. Instead of being honest and axing on your own foot, try being diplomatic. Only because true opinions are painful and people don’t want to hear them. Being too honest and direct makes you come across as a rude person who doesn’t value feelings. On the contrary, being diplomatic doesn’t hurt anybody and you can easily get things done.
2. AVOID STEPPING INTO A GREAT MAN’S SHOES
Every organizations have their legends. Mr X who was incredible in their work and even after they left, people cannot stop talking about him. Avoid taking over a project started by this legend. Chances are you will never be able to live up to the standards and fantasy of the image created by this missing person.
Instead, take on a project which people have tried and failed in. If you are successful, not only do you break the preconceived notion of the “impossible project” but also become the new legend.
3. NEVER OUTSHINE YOUR BOSS
Turns out, this whole office dynamics exist on the single principle that you have to make your immediate superior look good. Leaving aside pride, somehow what your manager have to say about you has way more credibility that what you have to say about yourself. The worst mistake you can make is to try to do the opposite and outshine your immediate boss.
With your future in their hands, he or she can completely destroy you. You should try to stay out of the limelight and build your own network in the company. However, until that is complete, you have to keep making your manager look good.
4 BEFORE YOU START SOME WORK, ALWAYS ASK YOURSELF THREE QUESTIONS – WHY AM I DOING IT, WHAT THE RESULTS MIGHT BE AND WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. ONLY WHEN YOU THINK DEEPLY AND FIND SATISFACTORY ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS, GO AHEAD
Sounds like a foolproof plan to save your time from getting wasted, right? A smart worker will only do things that will yield results. They won’t do donkey’s work and, instead, will save their time by being productive at what they do.
5 ONCE YOU START WORKING ON SOMETHING, DON’T BE AFRAID OF FAILURE AND DON’T ABANDON IT. PEOPLE WHO WORK SINCERELY ARE THE HAPPIEST.
The sleep that you get after a hard day’s work is the most peaceful sleep. Hard work might or might not pay, but the satisfaction of working hard is the best feeling to experience. Proving your worth by sincere hard work makes you a valued employee who is important to the organisation.
6 THE BIGGEST GURU-MANTRA IS : NEVER SHARE YOUR SECRETS WITH ANYBODY. IT WILL DESTROY YOU.
Remember, it’s a workplace and not your college where you have selfless friendship with your colleagues. Watch out for how much you reveal about your personal life at work. Imagine what would happen if your secrets get passed on and you get stabbed in the back by your work BFF? Exactly. So avoid it and do what you need to to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life by keeping your secrets to yourself.
7 THERE IS SOME SELF-INTEREST BEHIND EVERY FRIENDSHIP. THERE IS NO FRIENDSHIP WITHOUT SELF-INTERESTS. THIS IS A BITTER TRUTH.
This lesson not only applies to work life, but to life in general. We try to be friends with someone because we ‘want’ to share our interests with them, we ‘want’ to be in their group, we ‘want’ to make them like us. There is always a motive behind friendship because we are needy. Choose your company wisely.
8 YOUR BEST FRIEND AT WORK WILL TURN INTO YOUR WORST ENEMY
Too many times we make the mistake of making friends at work.
Although we spend close to 50 hours a week in the office, we should always remember that it is work and should not confuse it with the rest of our lives. That guy or girl you hang out with at the pantry area, go for lunch with and meet after work for gym may soon become your worst enemy, given the right circumstances.
At some point, only one of you will get the attention of your manager and get promoted and that is where the problem starts. The closer the friends you are, the more of a betrayal it will feel like. You do not want to cultivate enemies in your workplace. The solution? Be professional at your workplace and treat people as your acquaintances, not friends.
9 CREATE AN AURA OF MYSTERY AND EFFORTLESSNESS
There are those types in the company, who constantly look distressed and in a mess. Keep your troubles and insecurities to yourself and guard it well. Create an aura of mystery where you look like a super genius who have to put minimum effort to get the work done.
Nobody needs to know that you spent the entire weekend on your laptop on Google trying to find the solution for the problem or called your friends in the US for the solution. Never brag about how much effort you put, because in the last 100 years, we have moved from the sweat shop mentality where hours were respected to a more result based reward system.
10 THERE ARE THREE GEMS UPON THIS EARTH ; FOOD, WATER, AND PLEASING WORDS – FOOLS CONSIDER PIECES OF ROCKS AS GEMS.
Apart from bread, butter and house, ‘pleasing words’ are also a basic necessity. At first, if you can’t solve a problem by a stern instruction, try being soft. Chances are your work might get done easily. If not, you will have to twist someone around that little finger.
IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF POWER: BE CLOSE TO IT
In any organization, there are two types of people: some who get promoted quickly and some who have to forever wait their turn.
The people who get promoted are not necessarily the more talented ones or the one bringing in the most profits. Deep inside the framework of the organization, there is a constant power struggle in place and your job is to understand the power dynamics. You have to identify the people who yield the real power and create a personal network with them. You need these “Godfathers” for the future, your visibility to them will determine all the progress in the company.
Even if your manager absolutely loves you, if he yields no power, you and him will be stuck there forever.
12 AS SOON AS THE FEAR APPROACHES NEAR, ATTACK AND DESTROY IT.
Do you get scared and nervous while giving a presentation in front of a tough audience? Or do you fumble while pitching your ideas to your boss and your team? Well, if that’s the case then this point is for you. Fear is your fierce enemy. It’s standing in between of you and the goal you’ve been dreaming of. If you muster up some courage, give it your best and go the ‘que sera sera’ route, then you will overcome fear and show it the exit door.
13 THERE IS BUT ONE RULE: HUNT OR BE HUNTED
Call it “Survival of the Fittest” or anything else, it is a war out there. Once you leave the protective umbrella of home, you must know that nobody really cares for you. Every time you get a pay raise or a bonus, it is not because someone likes you, but rather it seems profitable according to someone’s cost-benefit analysis. Remember while negotiating, it is pointless to appeal to someone’s sentiments but useful to illustrate to them what benefit you can bring.
14 BE INDISPENSABLE
We are in a world where you and me are dispensable and easily replaceable. To survive, we have to crawl out of the crowd of dispensable and easily replaceable office drones.
“Be So Good That They Cannot Ignore You”. Keeping this mantra in mind, be amazing, always do work that probably justifies twice or at least one and a half times the salary you earn. People should be so dependant on you that the whole system should almost collapse once you are on vacation or you resign. For your survival, do not volunteer all the information you know but withhold some. Armed with the complete information, your manager might think you are replaceable.
15 TILL THE TIME YOU DON’T DECIDE TO RUN, YOU ARE NOT IN THE COMPETITION.
A no-brainer here. If the competition is tough, then you’ve got to be tougher. You’ve got to be one step ahead of your competition. That’s how it is when it comes to winning the corporate race and climbing the corporate ladder.
16 EVEN IF A SNAKE IS NOT POISONOUS, IT SHOULD PRETEND TO BE VENOMOUS.
Otherwise society will take undue advantage of you. Being intimidating helps because people won’t run over you. If you come across as an over-friendly, people pleaser, then you’re sending out a wrong message.
17 DISCOVER EVERY MAN’S WEAKNESS
In the quest for self survival, be an astute observer of human nature.
Identify those tell-tale signs which demonstrate personality flaws in your coworkers and superiors. If your manager cannot complete a sentence without throwing in a jargon like some MBA textbook, he or she might be trying to hide perhaps their lack of solid domain knowledge.
To the manager who is using jargon to cover up, be a crutch to them with your knowledge and become indispensable. Once you know everybody’s weaknesses, they are like play dough in your hands, ready to be molded into anything you want.
18 YOU WANT TO CAST A SPELL ON AN INTELLIGENT PERSON THEN TELL HIM THE TRUTH.
They are going to find out the truth anyway, so you better not fool around in front of a bright person. For instance, if you’re at an interview and a highly qualified person is asking you questions, avoid bluffing. Chances are that you might get caught and make a fool of yourself.
19 LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS…. YOU CAN’T LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO MAKE THEM ALL YOURSELVES !!
The most important of them all – learn from the mistakes of others. It’s a great opportunity to learn from someone else’s failure. You have to see to it that it’s someone else is making a mistake and not you. Learning from someone else's mistakes will help you climb up a step of the progress ladder to reach the top.
20 WORDS MAKE A POOR STATEMENT, CHOOSE ACTION INSTEAD
If you occasionally have to defend your position in the company, do not choose words but actions instead.
Instead of arguing that you are doing the job to your best abilities, results you have already achieved will speak volumes. Too many times we get over emotional and make the mistake of arguing our point of view. However, if we temporarily retreat and use our work to demonstrate, this will hold way more credibility.
21 WHEN IT COMES TIME TO DEFEAT YOUR OPPONENT, CRUSH HIM COMPLETELY
This is perhaps the last option left to you. Your superior and coworker had probably made your life a living hell, you cannot leave the company due to some reasons and you really need a job. For survival, you have to take them out. You have slowly gathered evidence against them, an email trail which probably shows off their incapability and lack of professionalism.
When you need to eliminate them, perhaps in front of the higher management, you need to defeat them completely. You should perhaps attack them from more than one direction and perhaps during a time when they are busy or on vacation, when they cannot defend themselves easily. A completely defeat is necessary because if your opponent is allowed to recover, you will end up leaving the company.
22 DISILLUSIONED WITH LIFE ?
After reading this, if you feel that the whole human existence has no meaning like I felt then, working in an office laced with politics may not be the best for you. As I always say, if you cannot change things, setup your company and run it with the child-like idealism you had.
The harsh reality is that organizations are hierarchies, and the social science bears out uncomfortable truths about politics and interpersonal relationships: We make initial snap judgments of people, often based on appearance, that can carry on over time;we favor those who are similar to us; we get promoted or gain valuable information by making our boss feel good and building relationships with influential people; we form perceptions based on a speaker’s appearance, body language, and voice more than the content of the argument; and we are more likely to be perceived as competent if we are judiciously critical or show anger (at least,men are). There is strong evidence that our work ratings, bonuses, and promotions areweakly correlated to actual performance — in fact, performance may even matter less to our success than our political skills and how we are perceived by those who make the decisions.
So why wasn’t Jill spending more time managing up, especially if it was in her own self-interest?