If you have never been affected by office politics, you could be at some point in your career. For many, their manager is the most stressful part of their job, while other employees don’t look forward to going to work because of certain colleagues. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, here’s how you can manage it.
Become friends with co-workers
Studies have shown that when people feel isolated it affects their physical health and wellbeing. So if you feel left out or excluded by negative office politics, the best thing you can do is to try and make friends. Having a circle of friends at work gives you the support you need to deal with a difficult colleague. People with bullying tendencies usually try to isolate victims, therefore the more people you have standing with you, the less likely you are to find yourself in an uncomfortable situation with a colleague.
Record your time
When you have to deal with a colleague’s tactics such as taking credit for your work, the smart thing to do is to document your time. You should ensure that you record all your working hours so that your manager and co-workers can clearly see the time you’ve dedicated to the work you’ve produced. Should your work ethic be called into question by colleagues, documenting your time will protect your reputation. You are able to prove your productivity.
Don’t lower yourself to their level
If your co-workers try to paint a bad picture of you, it can be tempting to do the same of them. However, this can work against you by making you seem petty, and will probably not change your co-worker or manager’s attitude. The best way to handle difficult colleagues is to ask them for a private chat. This is where you can find out the reasons for their actions, rather than accuse them of something they might have done unintentionally. What makes this one of the best ways to approach the situation, is that it requires them to reflect on their behaviour.
Don’t hold any grudges
If you’ve been wronged by colleagues or your managers, address the issue in a professional manner then forgive and forget. It’s a good thing to shake hands and move on, as bearing grudges will only do harm to your work life. Always try to keep your cool as nothing that takes place at the office is worth a lifelong resentment.
Avoid office gossip
While there are colleagues who might find office gossip stimulating, it can also be harmful to your work-related relationships. You should think of gossip as junk mail that needs to be deleted. When co-workers come to you with juicy details about another colleague, you can politely end the conversation and walk away. When gossipers become aware that no one is paying attention, they’ll shift their focus back to work.
Accept the fact that you can’t run away from office politics – it happens in every workplace. If you are in a situation where you have tried the tips above but still find your office is becoming a negative space, then the best option would be to speak to HR. If nothing changes, it could be time to leave your company and work entirely by yourself – all you need is reliable connectivity to the internet these days. Don’t limit yourself to the four walls of your workplace.