” I hate office politics” said the young lady. “I have been working for the last 3 years and it’s getting from bad to worse. I wish I could join a company where there is no office politics”.

Wishful thinking indeed. Even if she were to search all over the wide world, she is unlikely to find an organization which does not have its share of “politics”. This may vary in degree. In some organizations, it is the way of life, as it were. In others, it surfaces from time to time when major decisions are to be taken. Some may be more covert than others but you can bet it is lurking somewhere there in the organization.

Lily Garcia in the  Washington Post says  “politics” is people jockeying for position or power, sometimes through unscrupulous or disingenuous means.

Since you can’t wish it away, I suggest you become adept at dealing with politics. Otherwise, it may become altogether too frustrating to you to find that the credit for your good work has gone to someone else or that you have been assigned the worst territory since you had no one to bat for you.

I am not for encouraging politics. I am certainly against using it to put down others. All that I am saying is that you should not become a victim of it, as happens to thousands all over the world, in organizations -big or small.

Understand your environment and the people who matter. Observe the “rules of the game” at your place of work. Being opposed to office politics does not mean you should not look after your interests.

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This is the 166 th of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success