By Ana Margarita Olar |

Office politics may have a negative connotation because many people use this for their own personal advantage at the expense of others. It is unavoidable due to a number of reasons such as hierarchy, competition, conflicting goals, personal goals, desire for personal achievement among others. And since it is inevitable, here are some tips to handle office politics and use it for the benefit of all:

1. Start by Handling Your Own Behavior

Before you complain about other’s behavior look at yourself in the mirror. Reflect your actions, reactions, communication style, and facial expressions. Be confident, and assertive but avoid being grumpy and aggressive. Face office politics by voicing your concern or criticism in an organizational view and not as a personal opinion.

2. Build relationships first and then encourage healthy competition.

Get to know the people on the hierarchy from the politically powerful down to the last employee. Establish a harmonious working relationship with them. Greet them and give them a genuine smile. Have trust and respect and avoid fake flattery. When your work mate has been promoted, give a sincere recognition.


3. Work at peace with others.

Turn office politics into positive by being nice and professional, but taking an initiative if needed. Your action and reaction need to conform to the given situation. Know when to talk or to keep silent. If there is a conflict in between groups do not take sides as much as you can. Instead, focus on the tasks and what each group can contribute in finishing the task.

4. Stay away from gossip.

Office politics is dirty in its essence, but it gets dirtier when added with gossip. Nothing is more destructive than talking about a person’s life behind his back. Whether the story is true or not is not your concern and will not yield any good result. Another thing is that never attempt to criticize your co-workers about gossiping because even if you have a good intention, they may think that you are uplifting yourself from them.

5. Do not be afraid to exchange efforts with one another.

Every employee has own assigned tasks, and deadlines to beat. But it won’t hurt to lend a helping hand to others. It doesn’t mean to do all their work for them. Ways to help include: showing concern and offering assistance which can reap benefits for you and your co-workers. They may or may not help you in return, but somehow you’ll have self-satisfaction by helping others.

6. Address politics issues openly and appropriately.

Be straightforward when dealing with your co-workers regarding politics. Tell them face to face that you’re not interested in pointing fingers or who’s going to be promoted or not. Show them that your main concern is to accomplish the given tasks.

7. Document things.

Keep a record of all the things that you have accomplished. If your work is to encode documents, then have a receiving copy. If you have an argument with another group within the organization record your communication, text or emails. If you received an award or recognition, or if you have attended a training or workshop, keep a picture and the certificates to highlight your accomplishment.

Avoiding office politics will do no good in your career, you have to deal with it wisely and use it efficiently to climb up the ladder of your success.