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4 Hacks to Succeed in Office Politics

by Culture Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

Office politics is an ugly business. It happens when two colleagues clash into each other because of their differences. You have your personal interests, and the person next to you has his as well. Everyone is self-serving to some extent, which is why conflicts transpire.

All you want is to move up the corporate ladder, but each of you has a strategy in mind to get there. Many play this game actively to gain advantage at the expense of others, while some prefer to stay passive and convince the entire office, including themselves, that they're not playing.


Needless to say, career growth matters the most; you have to accept the truth that your performance alone wouldn't suffice to achieve your professional ambitions. Whether you like it or not, you have no choice but to join the fray. The ball would end up in your hands at some point, and, before that day even comes, you need to know what to do with it.

Here are the best practices to end up the victor in office politics:

Fight or Take Flight
The most common and natural responses, when faced with conflicts in the office, is to fire back or flee from the battle. In most cases, you just have to pick your poison; both reactions imply something negative about yourself.
Exchanging blows with the other party only strengthen the resistance to what you're trying to achieve, while always holding your peace to give way to others would render you insignificant and labeled as someone who can easily be taken for granted.

No matter how bad the situation may be, remember that how you feel and react to it is your decision. To ensure nothing goes out of hand without compromising your own interests, it's best to push for what's best for the company.

Focus on What You Can Do
Regardless of the position you hold, you can only operate within the constraints of your organization. You have no control over everything, so it's wise to concentrate your time and energy on the bounds of your influence instead.

This is the antidote to your sense of helplessness. Even if you're not able to contribute as much as you want to due to your limited power, at least you've done everything you could give the situation.

Keep Your Cool
A good rule of thumb to rise above corporate conflicts is to throw your emotions out of the window. Of course, that's easier said than done, but the only way to win an argument without hurting someone else's ego is to discuss things objectively.

Apart from sounding more reasonable, taking the high road decreases your enemies in the workplace. Your network of allies is vital if you're gunning for a promotion. Make it easier for your boss to help you obtain the position you desire.

Come Up with Win-Win Solutions
In conflicts, someone wins, someone loses-it's the concept you've learned since you were young. That's the very reason you don't want the opposing party to triumph in the discussion, as, by definition, you suffer defeat.

Erase that school of thought to develop a strategy to get your way at nobody's expense. Understand the point of your opposition and think what's in it for you. Through this, you can suggest a resolution both parties can benefit from.

It's never a question of if you like to partake in office politics; it's a fact of life in any organization you can't escape. You can do nothing to change reality, but you can deal with it.

Master the tips above, keep an open line of communication, and maintain positive relationships with everybody.