How to overcome office politics?
Power play, that’s how sportscasters describe a “successful” move of an athlete against the odds facing him. In the corporate world, office politics thrive. Politics is a neutral word, however, because of power play, office politics developed a negative connotation. Power play in the corporate world “may” mean the non value adding use of power– using any of these
- control of information
- control of resources
to (1) send an underlying message that he is a person to contend with, (2) get what he wants, (3) intimidate, (4) protect his turf, and … (you can add your own observation/experience below).
Because of these, when one is in traversing the corporate jungle, a professional may not be aware that he’s slowly becoming what he hates– “corporate predators”.
And because “corporate predators” have succeded in destroying careers or have succeeded in making life difficult for another corporate specie, the notion that there may not be better alternative than becoming one was reinforced.
Is there a better way to handle office politics?
3 Let love and truth never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and humankind.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 T his will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
The principle above provides a practical approach on handling office politics. According to the passage;
- Our guide while in the corporate world a.k.a. jungle: the Force, the Creator
People thought that the concept of God is limited to worship centers. The title Creator does not fit God if He can not guide outside our religious belief or if He is not relevant in the workplace.
- What we should guard ourselves from: thinking we know all and we are right
Our inability to use our senses to foresee what lies ahead of us or past successes may cause us to think we are always right.
- What we can do: trust, submission and respect to the Force and Creator. And the principles that He set in this world.
Our value system is immaterial as far as the in placed principles in this world (i.e. gravity, seedtime and harvest) These principles are always at work, so we might as well respect the principle and the Author.
- Our weapon against the predators: love and truth
The perceived dog eat dog world or perhaps because of unpleasant past experience may prevent us from displaying genuine concern for people. On the other hand, because it appears that good guys are always left behind, we thought integrity and truth is secondary in importance. In the contrary, these two are our weapon to combat office politics at work. Don’t be deceived by the initial successes of the predators– these are shortlived.
- End result: (1) win favor in the sight of the Divine and human kind, (2) protection (make our paths straight) (3) good health
Our primary purpose in life should be to please the Creator. Favor from God = eventual favor from people, but this is not true if the equation is the other way around.
Having God as a friend will also help us in making right decisions and ensuring that we traverse a less dangerous and self destructive path.
Care to share how you’ve handled office politics?
Founder of LODI Inc. (Learning and Organization Development Institute, Inc.) and Co-Founder of Blogwatch. Mentor and Dad of 2 Gen Z Professionals.
Advocate of #HRinHR (Human Rights in Human Resources) and #DigitalCitizenship
Strategist for Talent, Culture & Content Development, and Cyber Wellness Initiatives
Keynoter and Facilitator of Workplace and Life Learning
Blogging since 2004.