Office politics are a fact of life. People are complex and work relationships are often complicated to navigate. So, what should you do when office politics become problematic?
When people feel that they have been listened to, they tend to step away from the politics and become more transparent. Active listening, combined with empathy, is powerful.
Lead by example:
If left unchecked, office politics can lead to bullying and conflict. If office politics becomes a serious issue, the management team needs to set a clear code of conduct, lead by example, and quickly discourage unprofessional behaviour through direct communication.
Stick to your values:
Stick to your principles and don’t let others force you down a road that you aren’t comfortable with. You should try to remain consistent, authentic and ethical. This can be difficult if everyone else is being pulled into a political situation.
Encourage your team members to focus on the long-term goals and objectives of the team and the firm. Providing continuous performance feedback is a good way to address any undesirable behaviour. You should try to provide constructive and specific feedback to each of your team members and keep them focused on their individual responsibilities and objectives within the firm.
Keep people informed:
Lack of information can contribute to negative office politics. As such, it is important to embrace open communication. Managers should brief their teams and keep them up to date on the company strategy, overall progress towards achieving objectives, upcoming projects or changes, etc.