Four rules to live by if you’re dealing with office politics

Office politics are the quickest way to kill productivity.

Take a happy, high-functioning team and throw in a dash of favoritism, trash talk, and secrecy, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster in which even the best performers can lose confidence, and engagement can rapidly dip.

Office politics are bound to arise, so to ensure you are able to navigate them without losing your cool, keep these four rules in mind:

Identify the source, assess the toxicity level, and forecast its timeline

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have these politics been in place for some time, or are they new?
  • Do you expect them to be short-lived, or long-lasting?
  • Does the issue surround a specific project, team, or policy that’s likely to soon change?
  • Or is the problem related to a single person who’s shown no signs of leaving the team?

Your approach to handling the situation will depend on what the source of trouble is and how long you foresee it lasting. For instance, if a new boss has been brought in and created an unhealthy culture of favoritism on your team, you may find yourself in need of an exit strategy, and fast. But if the particular issue surrounds a three-month project, you may be able to use this one as a learning opportunity so that the next time a project like this comes up, you’ve shown you’re the right person for the job.

Slow down to control how you will react

In times of stress, it’s easiest to operate from a place of emotion and let your feelings get the best of you. If a situation or person at…

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