Work politics are part of work life and, sadly, are quite unavoidable when a large group of people are thrown together, whether it’s an office environment or an outdoors-related business. There’s simply no escape. Wherever you find people in a work situation, you will find agendas.
Leadership and people management expert Karen Gately told The Huffington Post Australia there is always a layer of politics at work. But the trick is to stop yourself from getting involved.
“But you should make a decision to keep out of it. Don’t join in. I think it’s always the best policy to be honest and authentic. Be strong and speak with conviction and deliver any opinions you have with sensitivity. It’s never appropriate to lower ourselves to the standards around us.”
If you find yourself working in a very political or nasty environment where people are being critical in a destructive way, be strong and keep yourself out of the firing line.
“Whatever you do, don’t join in. It won’t add any value to your career. Also, you need to decide whether or not you can actually survive that environment. If you can’t, then it might be time to leave,” Gately said.
Collective Hub CEO Lisa Messenger told HuffPost Australia if politics do appear in the workplace, it spreads very quickly and leaders need to be able to get to the core of what is really going on before it infiltrates the entire team.
“It’s about humanising everything and having a good sense of communication, as well as an ‘open door’ policy. I’d rather people be completely open, rather than be covert. We also encourage at all times, nobody is allowed to talk to a third person about someone else. If you have an issue with somebody, then come to me and my COO, so we can discuss and mediate,” Lisa said.
“We really don’t tolerate negativity or bitchiness, or anybody who undermines another employee. We all have big jobs to do so we need positivity and open lines of communication.”
Lisa advises people to stop over-complicating life at work, simplify things and stop playing games.
“I’ve recently returned from a trip to India, where life is free flowing with love, it’s beautifully cross-cultural – one big love fest! So I now have no time whatsoever for game playing or politics. My tip is, if you are authentic and you’re the best version of you, people will fall in love with you and want to back you. If you start playing games, you’re not being yourself and that’s when things start to fall apart,” Lisa said.
“You must be unafraid. If people don’t love you for who you are and don’t want to accept you, then you must be courageous enough to leave. Don’t change yourself and don’t play office politics to please others. Don’t make yourself fit into something that actually doesn’t serve you.”
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post Australia.