Sunday, 14 September 2014 12:01

How to Elegantly Side-Step the Office Politics—Every Time

Written by  Laura Leigh Clarke
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Office PoliticsUgh, workplace politics. If there was ever a reason to pull the duvet back over your head and go back to sleep on a weekday, this would be it.

“He said blah blah blah and so she said….”

“He won’t do anything about it, because he actually doesn’t care. He only cares about impressing so-and-so and his next promotion.”

“I would help you out, but I don’t think it’s my job. Besides you know who wouldn’t like it”.

“Omg, wait til she finds out. You’re going to be in the dog-house!”

Any of this sound familiar?

Get that sinking feeling when you start to relate it to situations you’ve been in?

You’re not the only one.

The thing is, as soon as you get more than one person working on something, personality differences are BOUND to crop up.

People, by their very nature, are diverse and wonderful. That’s what makes teams great, and companies so powerful the people.

But what about when it all goes wrong?

It’s not because a team failed.

It’s not that people are bad.

The problems arise when people come to a project (or a workplace) with their own agendas… that aren’t necessarily aligned with the real reason for being there.

And when their reasons become more important to them than the cause—the purpose for the company operating— that’s when melt down happens. The truth is, no matter how good a “people-pleaser”, mediator or manager you are, you’re never going to get away from this.

The only other option is to take your laptop, phone and disappear off to Bali and set up as an online entrepreneur. 

Chances are though—at some point, you’re still going to need to interact with people…. with their own agendas.

So what do we do? Just learn to “manage” expectations, and juggle agendas?

How to Avoid the Inevitable Melt-Down
The truth is, having to “manage” all this stuff can get complicated. And you’re never going to please everyone.

What’s more, every time you try to, you’re taking the focus off the real reason everyone is there. You’re not there on a project to fulfil everyone else’s personal agendas and egos.

You’re there to change the world…

Whatever it is your company does.

If you sell software, your software makes it possible for your customers to push the boundaries of what they thought possible before. If you flip burgers, you’re providing food, fun times, and tasty convenience for your customers. And if you’re nursing, you’re taking care of people in a way that few people will ever take care of another human being in their lives.

Whatever your “job,” you have a special purpose to what you do ... day in and day out.

So why waste your life-force energy on gossip, self-preservation and complex conflict-avoidance?

You Have Waaaay Better Things To Do!
And here’s the thing. The ONLY reason we get sucked into the office dramas is because there is something about it that hooks us in.

Like a bad soap opera. Or a great movie.

The emotion, the “story” pulls us so we want to watch the gritty carnage…. and add our two cents worth! It becomes so potent because we’re aware of the different motivations running the people around us. And these motivations resonate within us.

We identify.

And when we recognize these patterns and motivations, our reason for becoming embroiled in them is simply because we have an emotional reaction to them.

We become indignant that someone would behave in such a way. We become fearful our own interests won’t be served. We worry we might be pushed out of a job… or given more work to do. We get concerned that we’re going to be made to look bad. Or become ostracised.

And everything we do in reaction, to avoid feeling these uncomfortable feelings, only fuels the fire, and even gives us more of what we don’t want.

How to Extract Yourself from Other Peoples’ Agendas
The way to overcome this is simply to get very, VERY AWARE of the reasons why you’re being triggered by what you’re hearing, or what you’re observing.

What is it that you can identify with?

What is it that upsets you? When have you felt that feeling before? (perhaps from your childhood)

It’s not about other people’s stuff. Not their agendas, but your own internal “hooks”.

Taking responsibility for your own triggers is the first step to regaining complete control.

Once you recognize this is only a problem in your own vibration, THEN you’re in a position of power. Then you can do something about. Because by dropping your emotional triggers one by one, you’ll notice that you get less and less concerned by it.

Two And A Half Men Have It Nailed

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Two and A Half Men? The two main characters: Charlie and Alan.

Alan is a worry-wart. For him, if something can go  wrong, it does.

He just pulls it into his experience. And it’s exactly like this in real life. By contrast, Charlie is so laid back he’s practically horizontal. He is the embodiment of “happy-go-lucky” (amongst other things!)… and lucky he always is. No matter what happens, he lands on his feet, because he pulls in the best situation out of all the possible choices.

So now you have a choice.

Do you want to be sucked into other peoples’ dramas? Or do you want to remove your own emotional triggers so you can choose to put your focus on the bigger stuff in life instead of being constantly worried about covering your ass?

I think I know your answer, you Mover and Shaker, you! ;)

About the Author:
Laura Leigh Clarke is a business coach and mentor to the heroes of the entrepreneurial revolution. She is known as the Whole Heart, Whole Brained Business Mentor. She helps individuals get unstuck and get on track so they can make money doing what they love.

Read 2199 times Last modified on Friday, 12 February 2016 13:07