You might not follow the banter in Washington, D.C., but if you work in any kind of organization with more than a handful of employees, you deal with your fair share of politics.
What are politics at work?
- Jockeying for position
- Not showing all your cards until the other person reveals theirs
- Twisting the truth
- Seeking the spotlight
- Exposing others’ weaknesses for your benefit
- Striving to get ahead at all costs
What are the results of politics?
- Silos and alliances
- Us vs. Them mentality
- Guarded communication
- Paranoia and suspicion
- Low trust and low morale
When do political people see you as a threat?
- When you are making them work harder
- When you are exposing things they don’t want to show
- When they are bothered because you don’t want to “play the game”
- When they view your talent/expertise as a threat to their own professional aspirations
You can’t completely avoid politics when it’s part of the corporate culture. However, you don’t have to be a political person. Over time, you can initiate change when people begin to see that there is a better, healthier way to achieve success – both personally and as an organization.
Tips for “dealing” with politics:
- Be yourself.
- Don’t twist anything. The truth is always best.
- Know your boundaries and values. Don’t cross those lines.
- Pace yourself. Do what’s right at a cadence that others won’t find intimidating.
- Influence, don’t force. Influence takes time.
- Don’t rush to make a difference. Be ready as God makes things safe for you to act.
- Be relational. Let people see your authentic desire to serve the company, not self-prosper.