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How to Avoid Office Politics

How to Avoid Office Politics

Office politics is something that goes on at every workplace. Even though we all know it is not a healthy practice, we still, tend to get involved in it. In this article, I will tell you ways to avoid politics at work that will help you remain stress-free.
Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2018
Every workplace has some individuals who like to spread their version of every story to other employees. This practice is often undertaken to gain some kind of advantage. People involved in office politics may consider it harmless without realizing that it could cause severe harm to others, either by increasing their stress levels or triggering them to resign from their jobs. Politics is also used by some, as a means to avoid changes in job location, the burden of which is transferred to someone else. To avoid falling into prey to such things going on in the office, here are a few pointers.
#1 Be Yourself
Many people tend to wear a false mask of goody behavior at office, to make an impression on others. Avoid doing such things and be who you are. Show people your real self so that they do not get an opportunity to talk behind your back. Do not pretend to be master of some and slave of others at the same time. Learn about your duties and responsibilities at office and behave accordingly.
#2 Identify "The" Coworkers
It is easy to identify coworkers who are involved in politics. Note their behavior and try not to befriend them. Avoid going to lunches, dinners or parties along with them so that, they know little about you to gossip with others. Ignore them when they seem to be interested in you because it might just be a trick to bring out information from you.
#3 Do Not Contribute
When you find yourself stuck in a situation where a work-related discussion has taken-up the shape of a nasty gossip session, take immediate action. The easiest way to deal with it, is to simply walk away. Remember, that even though you do not contribute to the gossip, staying there will be considered as a participation. That's why, it is better to move out. Another way to deal with such a situation is to reverse the discussion back to work-related topic. By doing so, you will also prevent others from indulging in this non-productive activity.
#4 Be Observant
Even though, you keep yourself out of such activities, it is important to know what kind of politics is going around in your office. By being observant you can learn what's going on and prepare yourself to face a difficult situation.
#5 Do What is Right
People involved in politics might attract you towards something that is not ethical or against your wish. Make sure you are not influenced by any of these, and stand for what you feel is right. This will let such people know that you are no puppet and can take correct decisions for yourself and the organization.
#6 Disclose Minimum Personal Information
Revealing too much personal information can have a negative impact on your work. Gossipers love to know what's happening in the lives of their coworkers. They can use your personal information as a political tool to cause harm to you or benefit themselves.
#7 Focus on Your Job
Organizations hire employees to fulfill their job responsibilities and duties and not to sit back and gossip. Remember this key point to help you focus on your work and stop from being involved in petty discussions. Focusing on work will not only help you in achieving your targets, but also help you in climbing the ladder of success.
#8 Do not Criticize
Even if you are filled with anger and want to drain out your frustration, try not to criticize anybody in front of someone else. Doing so, will land you on the same page as gossipers, which is definitely not what you want. Stay calm and do not let your ego control you.
#9 Hear Some Music
The best way to keep away from office distractions is to hear music. Always carry your iPod and earphones along with you. The moment you listen nasty discussions flaring up, put on your earphones and listen to your favorite music. This will not only act as a stress buster for you, but will help you escape unwanted office politics.
#10 Be Positive
A positive attitude in the workplace is important for being productive. Be positive and create a positive environment around you. Remain happy and energetic. Smile a lot! You never know, your positive attitude might help your colleague to come out of office politics blues.
Being a part of politics can only lead to trouble. Try being a neutral party at the office which will save you from being dragged to one side. This facet of the work culture cannot be eradicated completely. However, one can always learn measures to prevent it so as to lead a peaceful and stress-free office life!