IntroductionPolitics is a given in any factory or office or even Corporate Office where the Senior Management take crucial decisions. Specifically, you need to a) never ever talk about your boss b) keep away from "yes men" c) cultivate relationships with big bosses d) never gossip and e)jump ship if necessary
Never talk about your BossNo matter who your boss is or whatever be his strengths and weaknesses. A boss is always a boss. There are chances that he or she has the weakness of hearing all juicy stories about anyone or everyone from his own group of "yes men" or "yes women". He may or may not even appreciate your work.
However never ever talk about him or her to anyone else, unless asked by superiors about some office matter. Your reply should always be in general terms. If ever asked about his personal life or personal problems it is fine if you simply say you do not know anything at all. This is the safest way to escape from any trouble arising out of wrong interpretation and the like.
With peers there will be hundreds of instances where you will be frustrated or they will be frustrated. Just remember your mother's face or your father's face. They have helped you reach here. Remember only your work will save you. After marriage you have a huge responsibility of caring and sharing for your wife and children too. Their safety and security is far more important than office politics. Even if entering such politics may get you financial rewards, do not get into it at all.
Never ever deviate from the path. Once the boss himself or herself understands that you never ever talk about him or her and become widely known as a no-nonsense person who is only concerned about work and nothing else, you can escape all the politics and ramifications thereof.
There might be situations where you will notice that your inputs are appreciated very much and may closely mirror inputs of the boss himself or herself. Even in these situations do not go overboard in celebrating such praise. Play it cool and keep it simple. Keep a low profile.
Keep away from yes men or womenMen or women, every single individual has a plus and a minus or several of them. You have yours too. One big weakness of many is to get into what is called in Hindi as the "chamchagiri" mode of dirty office politics. As long as there are bosses who like to hear juicy stories about others, made up of some additional masala judiciously added, there will be "yes men" or "yes women" too. It becomes a very dangerous game to even mix with them. Keep away from them.
Find out through all sources all personal details of each of these human beings. Play a very nice game by talking only about their families or about the weather or about State or even national politics. Once this happens, these people will soon realize that you are not in their game. There are even some chances that they will stop carrying stories about you at all. This becomes a very nice way of keeping away from them.
If you also get into the game and try to destroy their reputation, remember you may not go very far. Chamchas are very intelligent. They even get variety of mangoes from their native places and give it to the bosses in their homes. They take care of children or even grandchildren of bosses who are sick by staying put in hospitals, arranging for blood and doing all such other help. They will always score above you in each of the aforesaid areas.
The simplest method is to just have working relationships with them by talking to them everything about their families and general things, but never work related topics., Chances are that they are not good at the work itself.
Cultivate relationships with big bossesThe bosses of the boss are the people whom you actually need to build relationships with, on a regular basis. If the boss is on leave, do all the work sincerely and report the same to the big boss or even the CEO of the unit, regularly. Take suggestions from them and implement them. Be and always become good team players and ensure that the big bosses ask some questions about such work.
When you do extraordinary work, you need to document everything and then keep the big bosses involved. Never be selfish. Do not try to play around. Give credit to your subordinates and openly praise them. When you do so, the good word will automatically spread around. You will be known as a good team player.
Normally, the big bosses are hard nosed production bosses. As long as things are fine, they would not question any single individual or any employee. Utilize all opportunities to constantly communicate with the big bosses. This will serve as a big insurance. This will help you navigate any dirty politics as the big bosses will also chip in with their own opinion.
There are several advantages. Normally big bosses are consulted before any promotion. Their opinions are also taken into consideration. Hence you can safely assume that you are in a safety zone as far as politics is concerned. The more you understand the depth and nature of the challenging politics in all its detail, the better.
However, such knowledge should only be there as academic knowledge to understand people and their games. Once you are out of danger zones, there is nothing to fear. Never ever indulge in politics of any nature. There will be enough people who will tempt you often. If you are firm with your conviction that you will not get involved in any politics, you will have made a mark for yourself.
Never gossipNever ever indulge in gossip of any kind. Normally such gossip is all about love affairs or other personal affairs of bosses. More so, if the bosses themselves have weaknesses for members of the opposite sex. It is wise to stay away from such irrelevant gossip.
Remember even walls have ears. There will always be somebody to sneak unwanted information, even when you have not even spoken a single word about the personal life of the boss. In such cases your time tested reputation will help. If you are always a no-nonsense person, you will also notice that such dirty gossip does not even reach his ears.
Be all to yourself once you are outside your working environment. Never maintain too much of personal relationships with anyone. Be he or she a peer, subordinate or a superior. Never ever visit their houses since these days, none of them will even like you to visit their houses. More so, if you happen to work in metro cities. If you happen to work in township companies manufacturing cement and so on, enroll in a further course and take off every day. This will help you to stay away from all gossip.
Jump ship if necessaryJump ship if need be. This is essential to keep going and not stay on. In other words, you need greener pastures whenever you want a good change in job description or higher designations and responsibilities. This can also happen when the office politics is a big drain on your nerves, your intelligence and your capabilities.
If the situation so demands, you can safely put your family in the very same city and even pack off to a city like Mumbai where shared bachelor accommodation is there for the asking. You can still manage to cook with the living partners there. In all probability there will other married bachelors too. Life in Mumbai is like that. Do not worry. You can safely work for around four years and come back in a much better designation and better job.
In fact jumping jobs is now quite common. The single career jobs are very difficult to find. You also need to bear in mind the age factor. Be secure even in a township job like in cement or sugar or even paper. You cannot be complacent and regret later. Office politics may still be there, but job security is a must. If you seriously keep away from dirty politics, you can still survive.
ConclusionBy following some of the basic ideas mentioned in each of the aforesaid paragraphs, you can rest assured that you will have effectively managed office politics, howsoever challenging it might have been. Your work effectiveness is as important as not indulging in politics at all. Once you have established a name for yourself, everything will fall in place. And work will become all the more interesting than all politics.
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Office politics is the biggest contributor to workplace stress in today's times. Even working long hours is not that stressful as much as office politics is. It is a top grade nuisance spoiling the work atmosphere and causing stress-related diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The author has intelligently listed certain points to keep in mind from the beginning itself such as maintaining a professional, no-nonsense attitude such that others would think twice before believing any rumours about you.
About the point on keeping good working relationships with super boss, it is not as easy as explained I feel. Many bosses are sycophants themselves so they will not tolerate any interaction with the super boss on our own. Also, since most of those bosses also do not want to work themselves, they are constantly insecure that their subordinate will take all the credit and they will be left wanting in front of their own boss. Crossing the hierarchical boundaries are a strict no-no. So this point of keeping good working relations with the super boss is a little difficult to implement it seems. We can always try, though.
Jumping from job to job is an extreme step especially if you like your job profile and other things to be well set.
Office politics is really disheartening for simple people and their struggle is so real and depressing. After all, people should understand that we are all struggling in our lives in someways or the other. Why should we cause additional pain to others?