A Timely Message about Office Politics

Ever come across an article, completely out of the blue, that matched the exact thing you are working through?  This level of serendipity (favourite word alert) happens to me all the time, which is why I was super amused to happen upon this little HBR article titled “Stop Avoiding Office Politics”

Most people I am sure go through this at one time or another, particularly around times of change – new faces, new agendas, new ways of doing things – all presenting fabulous opportunities, better ways of doing things and exciting chances to grow and improve.  However also acknowledging that with this can be a period of adjustment, experimentation and a degree of uncertainty as we all strive to find a new groove to dance to together.

This lovely blog points out just how critical it is to wise up around investing in establishing and building positive working relationships and removing the pitfalls of ego based game playing and power struggles: “The right approach is not to avoid the politics but to take part in positive ways for good ends”

Top tips listed for achieving this are:

  • Keep your efforts clearly and obviously focused on the ultimate good of the enterprise.
  • Work with others for mutual advantage, not just your own.
  • Don’t make disagreements personal or let them become personal. Well-intentioned people can disagree and still respect each other.
  • Conduct yourself according to a set of standards important to you — honesty, forthrightness, openness, dependability, integrity — no matter what others do.
  • Build ongoing, productive relationships with everyone you need to do your work, as well as those who need you, not just those you like.
  • Always remember, these are professional relationships, not personal friendships. You don’t have to like them or they you; you just have to work productively with each other
The other thing I’d add is to be clear with yourself around how you are feeling, making a conscious choice to commit to the above and keep true to what matters to you ie brings you fulfilment, helps you in your endeavours, etc – this way it’s easier to communicate what your needs are if/when it’s required.
Wise advice coming at an extremely good time is a blessing indeed.

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