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Office Politics


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Office politicians may have scheming, political plans but don't join them

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Office Politics

  1. 1. Office Politics
  2. 2. Think that because you’re ina medical role you won’tencounter office politics?Think again, says Elaine Ford. I n every company, whether you are politics will sooner or later raise its pursuit of power and techniques include back-stabbing, taking credit for your work, discrediting you, excluding you, character assassination and triggering conflict between yourself and others. So how to survive in such a climate? Well, the more interested you are in power, the more political you’re likely to be. But others don’t enjoy office politics and find it difficult to deal with. If you fall into this category, read on.
  3. 3. It’s easier said than done, of course, what the important people think and, environment is to manage your bossbut far from impossible. It normally takes additionally, that they are aware of your better than he or she manages you.two to tango as they say: if someone is beliefs in return. Get into the habit of regular informalbeing underhand, the right response is As for gossip, there are two types: the communication, particularly if you onlyto behave with fairness and openness. periodically meet face-to-face. It keepsTreat everyone the same way, so that you him or her abreast of what’s goingactively demonstrate there is no ‘side’ the second is a good old ‘natter’ withto you. And, once the politicians realise your friends about what’s happening hand information to pass onwards andthis, they will get the message and stop generally in the company. When you’re upwards. It also helps identify potentialtrying to manipulate you onto their side problems before they escalate. Yourof the fence. boss has a job to do too and you’re a key We would be saints if we didn’t admit to component.Use your radar a little idle gossip and, indeed, I would Despite what you might believe, go so far as to suggest that it is a healthy most managers do feel a real sense ofoffice past-time and could protect you against responsibility for the people who workThe more everyone shares the same malicious tactics. A good grapevine can for them. Treating your boss as a fellow help warn you of political moves in the human being makes their life and yoursplay politics with it. In other words, it a good deal easier, especially when the When you work for someone else, sharks are circling for the kill. Asking for‘spin’ against you. Make sure you know one of the secrets to controlling your advice makes your manager feel good
  4. 4. ‘Think what be someone you already talk to: don’t feel like a sneak, the chances are this you like about politicians are, so it’s unlikely to come as your boss but a surprise. Politicians are schemers. They have never, ever, a vision and plan to enable them to achieve the results they want. Everyone express it knows who the politicians are and their ambitions are often no secret. By orally or in thinking ahead and planning your own course of action you can put politicians writing; you’ll on the back foot and they, of all people, will not be at their best when forced only hand over to react. Political attack is risky for the schemers if they know they’re likely to the bullets get short shrift from your supporters. Be good at your job to be fired People play politics because they think it’s a way of getting ahead. People who back at you. clearly have talent and work hard don’t need to be political to get ahead. So Criticise ideas, keep your sales presentations short and to the point, know your product(s) and not people, clinical context inside out, respect your customers’ time and treat everyone the and extend way you’d like to be treated. Mistakes are not necessarily this principle ammunition for schemers. People are accountable at work and inherently to everyone.’ make mistakes on the road to success: at one time or another it happens toand encourages them to think of you as you just haven’t had time to think about embarrassment and score points whentheir protégé which, in turn, makes them it, then use a delaying tactic such as: “Let the moment presents itself. So, whenmore likely to come to your defense. me get back to you on that.” someone makes a mistake, don’t ignoreDo remember, though, that familiarity If you feel someone is playing politics it, help them out. This way, the guerillasbreeds contempt: you can’t expect to with you, keep a record of what’s will need to look elsewhere for bulletsbe bosom buddies, because if anyone is happening. One thing politicians can’t and you’ll be the one that scores theever going to sack you, it’ll be your boss. stand is being held accountable for their points. Think what you like about your boss actions. Having a paper trail or emailbut never, ever, express it orally or in track of what they have been doing can lose’ ethos. Approach your work with awriting; you’ll only hand over the bullets help you do exactly that. You might think win-win mentality: you might not always this is taking things too far but, if you get what you want, but you’ll be trustednot people, and extend this principle to by others. Some things just aren’t wortheveryone. step to positively handling the situation and ensuring it doesn’t get out of hand. and, if you lose a round along the way,Taking action Forget it and move on. That makes their superior a natural allypressed into making a decision when and political plans, but don’t join haven’t been adequately consulted, making contact only when things get Walk tall, walk straight and look theyou don’t have enough information or tense won’t work. The big boss should world right in the eye.