Politics in the workplace can be a touchy subject. No one wants to be bogged down by office gossip or feel like they are being pitted against their colleagues. But at the same time, politics are an unavoidable part of work life. The key to avoiding office politics is to be aware of them.
By understanding how and why they happen, you can avoid getting caught up in them. Here are a few tips on how to avoid workplace politics.
Identify backstabbers - Backstabbers are often hard to spot. They may be the office gossip or the person who is always stirring up drama. If you feel like someone is always trying to make you look bad or undermine your authority, they may be a backstabber. If you suspect someone of being a backstabber, there are a few things you can do to confirm your suspicions. First, pay attention to how the person talks about others behind their back. If they are constantly putting others down or spreading rumours, they may be trying to do the same to you. Another red flag is if the person is always trying to get ahead by stepping on others. Backstabbers will often try to make themselves look good by making others look bad. They may also try to take credit for your work or ideas. If you think someone may be a backstabber, it's important to stay calm and collected. Don't let them see that they've gotten under your skin. Instead, confront them directly and ask why they're saying or doing certain things. This will usually catch them off guard and hopefully stop their behaviour.
Do not indulge in gossiping - Gossiping is one of the quickest ways to stir up trouble in the workplace. It can create an environment of distrust and resentment, and can damage relationships between employees. If you gossip, you may be putting your job at risk. Be mindful of what you say. Think about how your words might be interpreted before you speak. Avoid talking about other people behind their backs. If you have something negative to say, say it to the person directly.
Think long term - In any organization, there will always be some level of politics. It's human nature. But that doesn't mean you have to get involved in every little thing. You can avoid workplace politics by thinking long term. What does that mean? It means you need to think about your career and what you want to achieve. Don't get caught up in the day-to-day drama and gossip. Instead, focus on your goals and how you can best position yourself to achieve them.