Regardless of how much we choose not to be a part of it, office politics often seep into many aspects of our working lives. So, given that office politics aren't going away anytime soon, what can anyone really do?
Well, you have two options: Ignore it and hope it goes away, or play it to your advantage.
Here are 5 ways to win the game right now.
1. Figure out who runs the game
There's something to be said about having an intuitive feeling for those who have more social power than others. Identify individuals who seem to do a great deal for an organization, analyze how they interact with others in the company, and do your best to ally yourselves with them.
2. Remain professional
In small conversation and larger talks alike, it's important that you remember to stay professional in your language, behavior, and actions. Appear objective, learning more than you offer, and always think before you speak--because what you say might be used against you later on.
3. Include, incorporate, and communicate
Although it may be force of habit to include as many people as possible when having group conversations, it's wise to watch who you bring where--especially as you never know who might turn around and start talking poorly about you once you leave. Communicate readily and with great transparency when it comes to people you trust, but refrain from overly sharing with people you don't know that well.
4. Protect those on your side
As in any situation, when you demonstrate that you really show up for your loved ones--or at least coworkers you consider close--it encourages them to return the favor should it ever be necessary. Attempt to squash disputes at the highest level possible, and prevent cross-departmental conflict.
5. Embrace the game
If you accept that your job and workplace will always be political, you're sure to have a better experience than someone who denies the reality of the situation. Work with the grain--not against it.