Office politics. What comes to your mind? How does the phrase make you feel? Is it an unavoidable evil or something that can be eradicated completely? Do you think that there is just too much of it where you work?
I dare say that the majority would think that there is too much going on by way of office politics at the workplace. Unless you happen to be someone who actually sees being manipulative as advantageous, you probably loathe office politics as much as the next person. This is because, in a nutshell, office politics is all about self-interest, very often to the detriment of co-workers or even bosses. How then, do you deal with it? Do you ignore it, pretending that it doesn’t exist, do you fight back, hammer and tongs, or do you perhaps go up a notch and engage in some intriguing legerdermain yourself?
I was in an office once where the majority of my colleagues spent a lot of time in extra-office activities, leaving me to run the nuts-and-bolts affairs that they felt didn’t really contribute to the success of their own careers. An outgoing boss was so brazen as to mention this fact to my face in a “Just between you and me” manner. So what did I do? What I’ve always stood for, of course. I ignored the gallivanting antics of those colleagues and focused on what I was supposed to be doing in that appointment. Unfortunately, what I didn’t do, and I should have done, was to try to be more understanding and develop the relationships between us. I was too task-focused and mission-oriented. It would have done all of us much good had I been much more relationship-oriented. I think I do a little bit better in that area these days.
What about you? Any stories to tell?