No one really wants to deal with office politics. He said “this” and she said “that”. Everything about the dynamic feels like high school all over again. Weren’t we supposed to leave that behind when we moved into the workforce? Apparently, that drama follows us everywhere! It feels like there’s just no escape! It can be tempting to try and out-run the issue altogether.
Unfortunately, we can’t always run from our problems. Especially when it comes to office politics. You can try and ignore it as much as you want, stay out of the drama and keep your head up. You want to maintain a proud name for yourself in the workplace. No matter what position you may hold. The last thing anyone wants to deal with at work is the drama. Keeping to yourself prevents rocking the boat, but it may also deny you the chance to move ahead at work. Instead of letting fight or flight kick in, try and alternative solution: Win.
That’s right! You’ll never have to crawl under your desk again! Unless you want to, of course. No one is telling you how to live your life!
But if you don’t want to hide like a turtle in a shell, here are the tried and true methods to winning in the office:
Practice Conflict Resolution
The most important thing in office conflict is finding a resolution to the problem. When you approach any situation, go in with an open mind. This will help you to view the situation from a different perspective, which can help you find a solution quicker. It helps to understand what is being expressed and where the real problem is. Many times, people express issues in a poor manner or don’t express themselves correctly. This can lead to escalating issues if you aren’t understanding. As long as you’re being sympathetic, yet assertive, you will be able to resolve any conflict. Make sure that you never dismiss someone else’s feelings or point of view.
Always Remain Neutral
Whenever we are faced with a conflict, it is natural that we look toward which side is “right”. When it comes to beating office politics, the ideal is to stay off either side. Look at every situation as an open space. Walk through the middle of that open space. Choosing sides will only escalate things further and take you away from resolving the issue.
There are times you are going to feel personally attacked, but you have to rise above those feelings. When it comes to office politics, never take anything personally.
Remember Your Goals
It can be hard to lose focus of why you’re putting up with the drama. Now is a good time to reflect on your personal goals. What are you hoping to accomplish in this company? Is the pay-off worth the struggle? Would you be happier in another position?
If you’re unsure that your goals fit with your current arrangement, it may be time to type up your resignation. If you’re unhappy at work, you’re not going to be able to remain neutral or resolve conflicts. You’re likely one of the individuals complaining about the workplace and causing someone else to be frustrated with you! You don’t want that. Your boss doesn’t want that. No one wants a miserable employee.
If you’re happy with your job and just frustrated with the people, meditation is a good way to tune out the drama. During your break or after work, simply close your eyes and go to your happy place. Leave the stress of the workplace behind as you’re heading home. If it’s really that bad, try talking to your boss about your coworkers. If your boss is the problem, try an anonymous letter. You can have a friend write it if you’re afraid your boss may recognize the penmanship.
For The Win!
The goal is to find a solution that works for everyone. This way, everyone wins and everyone is happy. It’s not always possible, but it’s always worth trying. There is always a solution to every single problem. You just have to get creative and look from a different angle to find it. This may require adapting your view a bit to see those other angles. That may sound hard, but it’s not as hard as you’re thinking it is!
A famous quote from Gandhi is “be the change you want to see in the world”. Display these characteristics in the workplace and maybe you’ll notice a natural change. When we display patience, understanding, and a willingness to cooperate, the people around us tend to adapt to those traits as well. A simple shift in the way you look at the workplace could completely change the workplace.
You may want to try and influence other people around you. Do this in a subtle way so you don’t seem pushy. Adapt the changes slowly. Radiate conflict resolution and problem-solving skills. You will notice an immediate difference in yourself.
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