Dealing with office politics

It’s election season, which means for many of us, a time where the political talk is at an all-time high. While it may all be over the second week of November, office politics rarely end. Whether you are in a healthy office environment or not, office politics are involved in some way. So, how do we avoid the negative side of office politics? Our HR experts weighed in, and suggest the following tips:

 

  1. Avoid negative talk

We all have our bad days, and it can be so easy to jump into a conversation where people are complaining. It could be something as innocent as complaining about the timing of a meeting scheduled, or how a client handled your project. However, once you start down that road of negativity, it is sometimes difficult to turn back around. It’s okay to be an effective listener, but it can be helpful to redirect the conversation to something that might be encouraging or at least more productive.

  1. Disclose wisely

While it’s nice to be friendly with your co-workers, some experts suggest that it’s best to keep it professional, and only disclose certain things about your personal life with certain people that you know you can trust. Some people suggest that one easy way to do this is to not share much about your personal life in the workplace. Others set boundaries on what he or she is willing to share, and what will remain private.

  1. Be aware of drama creators

There are some people that just love the drama from high school and continue to encourage it in the work environment. These are the people who you see going from desk to desk saying, “Have you heard yet about…?”. It’s wise to identify these people early on. You don’t need to avoid them, but just be aware of what you say to them and even how you say it.

  1. Ask questions and stay informed

Rumors are often based on lies or assumptions. To avoid believing rumors, it’s best to ask questions directly if it’s appropriate. Do you have concerns about a certain rumor? Will it affect your job responsibilities directly? If so, ask your supervisor. Effective communication can go a long way in any industry.

  1. Avoid office gossip

It’s easy to share the juicy bit of gossip without a thought, but think about the consequences. One good rule of thumb is to avoid sharing anything negative or that might cause any type of harm to another person, and only share good reports. Instead of talking about how your coworker dropped the ball again, share how he or she has been working hard on this part of the project for you, and how he or she may be putting in extra time and effort.