Are you the victim of office politics?
If you are on the losing end of a political game. Stop playing their game.
Are you the victim of office politics? Are you at the end of a political game? Do you feel that someone is setting you up to fail? You can’t prove anything, but whenever this person gets involved, things go wrong for you. He may be charming to your face, and others seem to like him, but you know that behind your back, this person is sabotaging you. You don’t trust him, and you don’t feel good around him.
You are losing the game!
The bottom line is you are feeling thwarted and your confidence is waning. Others are losing respect for you, as the game player spreads innuendos about your ability.
Don't allow workplace politics to go on too long. If you continue playing this game, before long you will have lost your confidence, your chances of career advancement, and your reputation. It is time to stop the game before you destroy your career, your health, and your relationships people who are important to you - your family and your real friends.
Stop playing their game and start playing your own game.
To do this you need to understand that politics is not personal. It is a game. People choose different strategies for playing the game based on their strengths. To fight back effectively, you need to understand the strategy that your opponent is using, and how your response might be helping your opponent to play to his strengths, and highlight your weaknesses. By changing how you respond to his attacks, you can change the nature of the game. You can choose to fight back more effectively. You can start playing your own game, your own way.
Use the following 5 steps to get your power back.
Office politics is a game. Play it your way.
In sports, players choose different strategies for winning. For example tennis players often choose to use one of the following strategies:
Strategy 1 - Skill and ability.
These players focus on winning matches and tournaments by playing more skillfully than their opponents.
Strategy 2 - Popularity and limelight.
These players focus on earning money from endorsements. They increase their earning power by being more attractive than the other players, and by doing things that get them into the limelight. Some earn up to 15 times more from endorsements than they do from on-court earnings.
Strategy 3 - Dirty tricks.
These players use a combination of psychological and dirty tricks to shake their competitors and force them off their game. They say and do things to get their opponents to lose confidence in themselves. They distract their opponents. They try to get them to lose their focus. To take their minds off the game. They even try to sabotage their opponent’s equipment.
In office politics, political game players use similar strategies to achieve good reviews, salary increases, bonuses and promotions.
The first step to dealing with office politics, is to analyse the current situation:
Which strategy are you playing?
If you are feeling hurt by a political game, the chances are you are playing strategy 1. You value competence, achievement and follow a ‘win/win’ approach. You like to act in the best interests of the organization, and your teams. – And this approach is not working for you in this particular game! As long as he controls the rules of the game, you will be in jeopardy.
Which strategy, is the person that is upsetting you playing?
Your opponent is probably playing by strategy 2 or 3. He or she likes to be in power. He/she gains power by networking and sharing favours with powerful people, or those with connections. His strategy is to win, by ensuring his competitors lose.
What political strategy do you play?
When playing a sport that involves winners and losers, coaches suggest that when you are losing, you rethink your strategy. To do this, you begin by analysing the current situation, and understanding why it is not working for you.
2.1 Understand your opponent’s strategy
Which of these political strategies is your opponent using?
He prevents you from using your strengths.
He or she might:
He plays with your mind, so you and others lose confidence in your abilities.
He or she might:
2.2 Understand how your response encourages your opponent to continue playing his game.
How do you respond? Are you encouraging your opponent to continue to play his game?
You are as responsible as your opponent for the way the game is being played.
Do you try to do it all?
Are you trying to be so good that he/she can’t find fault with you? Are you working longer hours, cancelling leave, working weekends and neglecting your family and friends? If this is your response then you are playing into your opponent's hands. Eventually the stress will get to you and you will slip up. Failing that, your health and relationships with your family and friends will suffer. Eventually you will burn out. Either way, he wins.
Do you try to do or to be more of what he wants?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then his strategy is working. You have lost your head. He wins. Unless of course, you choose to change the game.
It is time to rethink your political strategy
Sports coaches will tell you that the key to winning or losing any game, is the ability to control pressure. This means you put your opponent under pressure by not allowing him to play his game or play to his strengths. Then you find ways to take pressure off yourself so you can play to your strengths.
Don't let your opponent continue to play his game.
Stop defending yourself. Stop trying to please the political player. Ignore his recommendations. His criticisms. His suggestions. See them for what they are. Distractions that are designed to put you under pressure and off your game.
Take the pressure off yourself.
Don't take his comments personally. Recognise that this is just a game and you can choose how to play it too. Accept that you are a threat to him, and no actions you take will ever please him. So stop trying to please him or win his approval. Stop trying to make him not get angry. Stop trying to influence of change him. Stop explaining, excusing or defending yourself.
Ignore his outbursts, and only respond to him when he behaves in a way that you appreciate. And take back your power.
Office politics. Don't let your opponent play his game.
Office politics. Play to your strengths
If all of this seems too much effort, then remember, you have only one life. You can always choose to leave. Put yourself on the market and find a new job, at a company where your boss and colleagues have the same values as you.
Office politics. Create pressure for your opponent.