Unless you work by yourself, your ability to get along with others will determine whether you enjoy your job, whether you are able to work as part of a team and whether you are seen as someone to be promoted. Navigating the workplace politics can be draining and difficult to manage, especially if you are not a political person yourself. I still maintain however, that it is easy to navigate politics if you follow these simple rules.
1. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. That includes all co-workers, not just your boss.
2. Check your ego at the door. Learn how to be part of a team to solve a problem, not to have your voice heard just for the sake of listening to it. If you work hard and contribute to the tasks at hand, you will be seen as an integral part of the team.
3. Don’t gossip. Do I have to say more? You don’t know where your information may go and let’s face it, picking sides can be a death trap for your career. If backed into a corner with someone who gossips, explain that you feel uncomfortable talking about anyone and would best be left to finish your work. And always remind yourself that gossip hurts, not just you but the other person.
4. Put a smile on your face. We all have down days, but it is important to leave our moods at the door. No one likes a moody co-worker and it will affect your opportunities for advancement. Yelling at co-workers has a nasty way of coming back and biting you……well you get it!
5. Stay away from sex, politics and topics that are inappropriate at the office. If you want to socialize outside of business hours, make plans away from work but keep the conversation focused on the tasks at hand.
When you are intentional about who you are at work and your level of professionalism, others begin to see you as a leader, someone whom they can trust and someone who is in line for a promotion.