Dealing with difficult people and politics at work

An office can be a great space where you let your productivity flow and where you interact with people that you enjoy working with. You can have a blast in an office that you enjoy coming to (particularly if you enjoy being social and work with like-minded people).

However, put a number of people together in one place and after some time, some difficult situations are probably going to arise. You may have encountered that one colleague (or clique of colleagues) that you just can’t be around. If you work in an organisation with office politics, it can seem like there’s someone out to get you wherever you turn.

Office politics is such a common occurrence, that it should just be expected that certain groups or teams may not gel. If you’re looking at being happier and more productive at work, set aside the drama. Changing yourself might be easier than changing your workplace. Instead of running, how about learning to deal with office politics and those individuals who seem to just want to get on your case?

Here are a few tips that might help.



Deliver quality

It may seem a little indirect but doing your work well and making sure that you’re as effective at your job as possible can be a great safeguard against office politics.

Think about it. When your managers and superiors trust you and the quality of work that you bring to the table, this can act as a sort of shield against bad vibes in the office. You can earn a reputation for being a go-getter and stay in the good books of those who you report to. They can then, in turn, back you up if anyone tries to bring you down and you might also be given more autonomy and independence at work.


Set yourself apart

Create a personal brand that informs how you conduct yourself at work. Your character, work ethic and personality can all be honed and workers with strong personal brands can set themselves apart from the crowd in a good way. Why is this important? Well, consider how you may be able to safeguard yourself from the effects of nasty office politics, due to the significance of your role in your company.

Employ a good strategy that involves specialising in certain areas of your organisation’s operations to a point that you begin somewhat irreplaceable. Achieve this and colleagues will probably have a harder time trying to knock you down or point fingers in your direction.


Stay calm and carry on

Work life can come with its fair share of frustrations. Stress from deadlines and teammates can get you down but sometimes, there’s just no avoiding drama. In this case, you should probably try and cultivate inner peace.

Stay calm and control your temper as this can lead to many problems. Words and actions in the heat of the moment can’t be taken back and losing your cool with people who get on your nerves probably isn’t going to persuade them that collaborating with you is a good idea anyway. Be the bigger person and stay calm, cool and collected.

By staying composed and in control, your reactions can be clearly thought out. You can plan and prioritise. You can negotiate, think of solutions (instead of getting bogged down by problems), come up with decisions or just leave and return when everyone is less edgy.



If necessary, consider a change of environment

Sometimes, working environments can play a large part in the stressful situations that workers and their teams deal with. Although this may not apply to everyone, consider a change in the workplace.

This doesn’t mean that you should quit your job tomorrow. Instead, maybe you can suggest simple changes such as wall decoration or sleeping pods. A more relaxed workplace might be more conducive for productivity and positive vibes. Granted, this can be easier to do if you are a remote-worker or running your own business. However, office-based employees can also suggest ways to get the ‘vibe’ right.



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