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Is Workplace Peace a Myth? Strategies to Stay Out of the Office Fray

Is Workplace Peace a Myth? Strategies to Stay Out of the Office Fray

Is Workplace Peace a Myth? Strategies to Stay Out of the Office Fray

You do not go to work hoping to deal with a whole bunch of coworker drama no one does which is exactly why you don’t do office politics, but is that the problem most people try to avoid office politics. By avoiding office politics seems logical right but that’s kind of like leaving your front door wide open when you go out for the day . I did this by accident one day with my work bag full of my laptop and my iPad right in front of that open door now I have security cameras and I can see that tons of people people walked by that day but nobody came through the door and no one robbed the place most people are good and kind and ethical so when they walked by that open front door they didn’t see it as an invitation they just kept on walking and probably assumed someone was home because who leaves their front door wide open. I luckily have good neighbors maybe if I had a nosy neighbor who happened to upon the opportunity they would have come in taken a gander around and gossiped about everything that they saw with the rest of the block.

I also live in an area that has a lot of break-ins just as easy easily someone could have robbed the place because I made it so easy for them though the real fear I have. The rats could have let themselves in and terrorized the place now I do have a couple of neighbors I know if they had walked by they would have seen that Open Door noticed I wasn’t home and closed it for me but that’s rare and it’s just like office politics if you are not engaging in the power dynamics.

At work you are leaving your front door wide open for anyone to walk through and you might not be as lucky as I was that day you might have that kind coworker who sticks up for you but just as easily a nefarious coworker could see that opportunity and seize upon it.

Someone has found themselves overwhelmed overpowered and even out of a job as a result of office politics they have always started the story by saying I tried to ignore office politics but ignoring them does not make them go away when you make it a point to fly under the radar you are making yourself invisible at work by being inconspicuous people don’t know what you’re doing they don’t know what you’re good at in fact they don’t even know who you are when you keep your head down on work chances are no one knows what you’re doing a weaker non-existent reputation is going to leave you vulnerable not just to attack in your character by the office gossip but also vulnerable to a toxic coworker taking credit for your work or trying to blame you for mistakes that you did not make the other thing that happens when you keep your head down working .

I know I was guilty of this for a really long time I thought that chatting with other people was a big waste of time I mean it literally wastes time that you could be doing something if you are not chatting making connection in developing relationships not only are you minimizing your visibility at work you’re missing out on opportunities to create connections with people that would advocate for and protect you if you ever needed it just like how I would hope that one of my nice neighbors would walk by and close that door for me you want to find ideally influential co-workers who will speak up for you in instances where someone tries to take credit for your work or who attacks your reputation that you were trying to build there is no path to stability and success at work with without Advocates and allies.

When you lack reputation and relationships at work you become the target of the dirty tactics of your awful coworker who is going to try to increase their power position by pushing you down these are the exact people and the exact dynamics that you are trying to avoid they build what I call negative influence that is power through fear people will side with the toxic office gossip because they’re afraid of becoming the target of the toxic office gossip so they do their best to appease her when you are a defense Target you are stuck in a disempowered and defenseless State.

You’re going to be dealing with a dirty politics in a scenario that you cannot win avoiding office politics brings the worst politics to you so instead of ignoring office politics here’s what you’re going to do instead the first thing you need to do is stop lying to yourself people say they want to avoid office politics because they’re bad dirty or complicated but none of these things are true.

I also see a common Narrative of if you would like to engage in workplace politics you must sell your soul . I started my career as someone who thought office politics were awful I wanted nothing to do with them just like you I did not want to play the game and I did not play the game I suffered the invisibility that caused the frustration of non-existent annual pay increases that came with it and became the target of toxic office gossip.

It was after I immigrated to other City and I realized I wanted my career to advance but it was not going anywhere luckily I worked with an incredible leader another woman who had a meteoric rise in her career who was genuine kind and helpful one day I asked her how did you do it and she told me you need to learn how to navigate office politics that is when I started paying attention I observed the Power Players I started to read books and research once I started to learn about the power dynamics at work I realized that I got to choose how I played the game office politics are power dynamics and power is not inherently good or bad there is no need to step on anyone to get ahead.

let’s talk about how complicated office politics really are they involve humans and humans are wonderfully and frustratingly complex there are a ton of complexities to power dynamics but getting started simply is not complicated or difficult Heck if I can do it anyone can what prevents most people from engaging in workplace politics comes down to this you’re afraid you’re going to fail historically you might not have a good relationship with office politics because you were targeted by the dirty corporate politics that you want to avoid in that situation you tried and you tried hard to navigate office politics but you lost.

You did didn’t lose because you’re incapable of engaging with office politics you lost because it was unwinnable by the time you picked up the ball there’s also an element when you try to increase your influence and your visibility what if it doesn’t work what are people going to think of you this is an important belief to debunk the truth is when you build your reputation you establish relationships and you increase your influence at work you cannot fail will the payoff be immediate absolutely not we’re going to set realistic expectations though you might get some instant wins but when you do these things you begin to build momentum and that momentum begins to build upon itself to help you get the pay the promotion or just the recognition that you’re going for at work it will also put you into the position where you are impervious to attacks from your toxic co-workers and down the road eventually opportunities are going to start to be created just for you boundaries are another thing that are going to help you avoid office politics for real.

there is a tactical level to this such as not oversharing at work but the thing that no one talks about that is instrument mental in avoiding office politics is being clear on what you will engage with who you will engage with and when you will and will not respond I have seen so many people make their situations so much worse by emotionally reacting to those political situations at work.

Toxic tactics are rarely going to be diffused through an emotional reaction in fact it’s almost guaranteed to make it worse even worse if they didn’t respond in the first place the whole situation would have just faded away when you’re clear on these boundaries not only is it going to change your responses it is also going to shift your energy and that can play a big role in truly avoiding the dirty office politics that you want to avoid at all costs which brings me to another strategy to avoid office politics and that is to insulate yourself from toxic office politics your toxic cooworker can spew whatever lies they want can do his best to try to take credit for your work and for your ideas your boss can try to make you their best kept secret but all those efforts will have no impact when no one will believe them and when you increase your visibility anyways the ultimate goal is to become unable to establish a reputation that is so strong that not only would Bad actors have no impact they wouldn’t even want to try you in the first place to establish a powerful Network that they don’t want to mess with either and the thing that will make your toxic coworker keep their drama to themselves.

the tactics you need to powerfully and organically engage with office politics are easier than you think especially when you have someone that can walk you through exactly what you are and give you guidance on how to implement them into your unique situation that is exactly. Life like work hard to get ahead some rules like that one are intentionally incorrect to keep you from Gaining power and influence at work but some roles are secret known only to the most powerful people at work these rules will also help you avoid drama at work you need to know what they are.

Shaista Ansari

Shaista Ansari

Hi everyone,

YouTuber & mental health enthusiast here, Shaista Ansari! At Zindagi Hatke, I dive deep into the wonders of meditation, affirmations, and real talk to help you ditch the stigma and THRIVE - physically AND mentally!

Think healthy mind, healthy planet? ✨ Join me on this journey to inner peace and unleash your inner zen warrior! ‍♀️ Ready to hit reset? See you at!

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