Connect with us

Politics

Corporate jungle: Surviving office politics – NewsDay

Emmanuel Zvada
DO you know that when you think of politics, almost everyone will think of “how the country is run”.

Organisational politics is ubiquitous and if you think your workplace is without politics, then perhaps you have been blindsided. In fact, all workplaces are political, simply because people bring their personal emotions, needs, desires, and insecurities into their professional lives.

What is workplace politics

Politics in organisations refer to the use of one’s individual or assigned power within an organisation for the purpose of obtaining advantages that are beyond one’s legitimate authority.

All workplaces are political to some extent, just because employees converge from different backgrounds with different ways of doing things that only can trigger office politics.

When employees meet at workplaces, they bring their own personal emotions, needs, ambitions, and insecurities into their professional lives. If all these differences are not merged or these differences become difficult to manage, that’s where office politics arises.

Office politics is a reality in many organisations, there is backstabbing and intimidation everywhere.

Escaping the influence of organisational politics requires you to consciously choose your reaction to the situation.

One has to recognise that no matter how bad the circumstances might be reacting well, will result in one not being affected by politics.

High performers are those who understand the art of winning in office politics.

If you want to become a full-fledged professional in your industry, you have to learn how to deal with office politics or prevent becoming part of it.

Some tips to handle and manage office politics:

Avoid trigger words

Every office has sensitive issues that trigger others to react, potentially working themselves into a frenzy.

What you want to do is avoid topics that make co-workers and managers think about these issues. Some of the most powerful words are words you use everyday.

These words can easily and unwittingly exaggerate your message and intent. Cautious people know what words to stay away from and maintain their influence and impact.

Avoid taking sides at work

Individuals should avoid appearing to take sides in any conflict that may happen in an organisation. In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in-between two powerful figures who are at odds with each other.

In cases like this, avoid taking sides, rather distance yourself from the issues and act as if you are not part to it. By this you are trying to be impartial and avoid hurting one individual by taking the side of the other.

By not taking sides, the issue will be handled in an objective manner that will not dent your trust with both parties.

The best way to avoid office politics is to stay focused on your work.

You were hired to do a job, and that job should not be interrupted because you want to listen to stories about dating and relationships.

When the rumours start flying, take the opportunity to design more streamlined processes for the company. Invent new product lines. Devote yourself to your work.

Do your job effectively and efficiently

The tried, true, and tested method of surviving office politics is simply doing your job well. The moment you configure yourself that you are supposed to perform your duties efficiently and effectively, you will be left with no time to waste especially in following and being involved in office politics.

Hard workers, who are determined, focused and goal oriented are difficult to target. In case you are involved in politics, be constructive.

One should be in a position to learn how to steer the discussion in a direction that is constructive, and this is possible when we avoid petty differences but be resolution seekers.

Avoid gossiping

Gossip is often at the root of office drama. One of the most venomous, hurtful, and dangerous activities you can engage in is gossip.

Everyone has experienced the distructive nature of gossip before.

Whether the people involved did not mean direct harm, gossip has always broken trust and hurt feelings. Remember to do unto others what you want them to do unto you.

Avoiding gossip can also help to reduce office politics, that is to say we should not gossip about our co-workers.

Sometimes it is very difficult to close ears when others are talking, but my advice would be for you not to spread gossip against a co-worker.

Continuously learn about your company and everyone

Learning about your company is not only done during induction, it is an ongoing process.

Very few people are humble enough to learn, but it is critical so that you are not dragged into office politics unknowingly.

Before walking into a crossfire or being caught on one side of a conflict, get to learn people in your organisation.

Know who your supervisors are, the office policies and procedures, and the organisational structure.

This way, when things get bad, you know how and when to report formally, and to whom you should submit the complaint or report. By learning office policies and procedures, you can easily know who to report to, how to deal with a situation as well as what is supposed to be done.

Don’t tolerate political behaviour

Everyone’s success should be measured, first and foremost, on the overall company objectives.

The pushing of personal agendas, no matter who is doing it or at what level of the organisation, should not be rewarded.

The minute leadership accepts political or bureaucratic behaviour, it is an invitation for it to be rampant within the company culture. If you are yourself all the time, there is no worry about how you would behave.

Do not act like a servant of co-workers and a master to others.

Be aware of your position within the company’s hierarchy, but do not let that affect your actions.

Avoid the politics of the office, as it can only lead to trouble. Take the time to cultivate your position as a neutral party.

Office politics can’t be eliminated  but the potential harmful effects can be managed.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Politics

UN envoy meets Mnangagwa over Zimbabwe sanctions – SowetanLIVE

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa says the sanctions are illegal. File photo.

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa says the sanctions are illegal. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday welcomed the UN Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on Human Rights in Harare.

The envoy, Belarusian Alena Douhan, who is also a professor of international law, met President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House.

In a statement the presidency said her 10-day trip aimed to “assess the impact of punitive economic sanctions on ordinary Zimbabweans”.

“These sanctions are illegal and hurt the most vulnerable in our society,” the presidency said.

Douhan also held a meeting with the minister of justice and legal affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi who gave the envoy an overview on the sanctions.

“We met the special rapporteur as the ministry of justice to give an overview of the effects of sanctions, but I am afraid that now we are unable to give details, or deliberations as you are aware they are on a fact-finding mission to establish the extent of the effects of sanctions on the ordinary people,” Ziyambi told journalists.

During the 10-day visit the special envoy will be in contact with civic society groups, Zimbabwe’s chief justice Luke Malaba, Central Bank governor John Mangudya, speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda and political parties.

From her visit she’s expected to produce a report that will be made public in September next year at the UN Human Rights Council 51st session.

The US through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZIDERA) placed an embargo on Zimbabwe’s ruling elite and companies linked to them because of an escalation in human rights violations linked to politics.

The European Union followed suit in 2002 through “common position 2002/145/CSFP”.

Over the years, the ruling party Zanu-PF has maintained that the sanctions affect ordinary citizens. But Western countries insist that Zimbabwe should put in place reforms and strong institutions to curb corruption, promote human rights and democracy for sanctions to be removed.

The EU and the US review their sanctions lists annually and last year they added President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special adviser and businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei to the list.

TimesLIVE

Continue Reading

Politics

UN envoy meets Mnangagwa over Zimbabwe sanctions – TimesLIVE

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday welcomed the UN Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on Human Rights in Harare.

The envoy, Belarusian Alena Douhan, who is also a professor of international law, met President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House.

In a statement the presidency said her 10-day trip aimed to “assess the impact of punitive economic sanctions on ordinary Zimbabweans”.

“These sanctions are illegal and hurt the most vulnerable in our society,” the presidency said.

Douhan also held a meeting with the minister of justice and legal affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi who gave the envoy an overview on the sanctions.

“We met the special rapporteur as the ministry of justice to give an overview of the effects of sanctions, but I am afraid that now we are unable to give details, or deliberations as you are aware they are on a fact-finding mission to establish the extent of the effects of sanctions on the ordinary people,” Ziyambi told journalists.

During the 10-day visit the special envoy will be in contact with civic society groups, Zimbabwe’s chief justice Luke Malaba, Central Bank governor John Mangudya, speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda and political parties.

From her visit she’s expected to produce a report that will be made public in September next year at the UN Human Rights Council 51st session.

The US through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZIDERA) placed an embargo on Zimbabwe’s ruling elite and companies linked to them because of an escalation in human rights violations linked to politics.

The European Union followed suit in 2002 through “common position 2002/145/CSFP”.

Over the years, the ruling party Zanu-PF has maintained that the sanctions affect ordinary citizens. But Western countries insist that Zimbabwe should put in place reforms and strong institutions to curb corruption, promote human rights and democracy for sanctions to be removed.

The EU and the US review their sanctions lists annually and last year they added President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special adviser and businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei to the list.

TimesLIVE

Continue Reading

Politics

Colin Powell, military leader and first Black US secretary of state, dies after complications from Covid-19 – NewsDay

He shared Bush’s reluctance to project military strength across the globe, a view that was quickly displaced by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

As Bush’s top diplomat, he was tasked with building international support for the War on Terror, including the Afghanistan War, but it was his involvement in the administration’s push for intervention in Iraq, over the concerns of many of America’s longtime allies, for which his tenure at State would become best known.

In February 2003, Powell delivered a speech before the United Nations in which he presented evidence that the US intelligence community said proved Iraq had misled inspectors and hid weapons of mass destruction.
“There can be no doubt,” Powell warned, “that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.”

Inspectors, however, later found no such weaponry in Iraq, and two years after Powell’s UN speech, a government report said the intelligence community was “dead wrong” in its assessments of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities before the US invasion.

But the damage was already done — to both Iraq, which the US went to war with just six weeks after Powell’s speech, and to the reputation of the once highly popular statesman, who was reportedly told by then-Vice President Dick Cheney before the UN speech: “You’ve got high poll ratings; you can afford to lose a few points.”

Powell, who left the State Department in early 2005 after submitting his resignation to Bush the previous year, later called his UN speech a “blot” that will forever be on his record.

“I regret it now because the information was wrong — of course I do,” he told CNN’s Larry King in 2010. “But I will always be seen as the one who made the case before the international community.”

“I swayed public opinion, there’s no question about it,” he added, referring to how influential his speech was on public support for the invasion.

In his 2012 memoir, “It Worked for Me,” Powell again acknowledged the speech, writing that his account of it in the book would likely be the last he publicly made.

“I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me,” he wrote, referring to the report he used that contained faulty evidence of supposed Iraqi WMDs. “It was by no means my first, but it was one of my most momentous failures, the one with the widest-ranging impact.”

“The event will earn a prominent paragraph in my obituary,” Powell wrote.

Shifting politics

After leaving the Bush administration, Powell returned to private life. He joined the renowned venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins in 2005, where he worked as a strategic adviser until his death. For a time, he gave speeches at “Get Motivated!” business seminars, and he authored the 2012 memoir.

Though the large majority of Powell’s time as a public servant was spent in Republican administrations, the later years of his life saw him supporting Democratic presidential candidates and harshly criticizing top Republican leaders.

By 2008, the longtime Republican’s coveted presidential endorsement went to another party when he announced his support for Obama’s White House bid. At the time, he touted Obama’s “ability to inspire” and the “inclusive nature of his campaign,” while criticizing attacks on the Illinois senator by Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s campaign as “inappropriate.” He was later named an honorary co-chair of Obama’s inauguration and endorsed him again in 2012.

Powell went on to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 over Donald Trump, whom he had strongly condemned as a “national disgrace and an international pariah.”

In an extraordinary move that year, three presidential electors in Washington state cast votes for Powell rather than Clinton, resulting in state fines that were later upheld by the Supreme Court.
He again snubbed Trump in 2020 during the President’s second campaign, announcing his support for Joe Biden in June of that year while blasting Trump’s presidency.
“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it,” he told CNN, adding that he “certainly cannot in any way support President Trump this year.” The retired general later delivered an address in support of Biden during the Democratic National Convention.

And after Trump incited a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol in early January 2021, Powell told CNN that he no longer considered himself a Republican, with the longtime grandee of the GOP saying he was now simply watching events unfold in a country he long served.

“I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican. I’m not a fellow of anything right now,” he told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on “GPS.” “I’m just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat throughout my entire career. And right now, I’m just watching my country and not concerned with parties.” – CNN

Continue Reading

Trending