Sunday, 31 March 2013

Office Politics


Someone in my workplace once said, "There is no office politics in this company" but that’s a false statement. Office Politics is a fact of life in any organisation, you can’t run away from it. This is something bound to happen no matter what size the company and no matter where you go.

My friend, OKL has joined another competitor company a year ago.

You got a new job! Hooray! How to have a good first day at work?

Starting on a new job can be nerve wrecking experience,  like the first day in school. When adjusting to life in a new surrounding, anxiety starting to creep in. Looking at his new environment he was surrounded by unfamiliar faces, he feels a sense of isolation and loneliness.

Its a natural feeling when he feel a little intimidating after spending half of his working life-approx 20 years in a previous company, he has to take a bit of time to adjust to a new working place.

Hoping to starting off on the right foot, he need to make a good impression on other people and try not to step on others feet.

He need to be patience as it is extremely difficult to change another person opinions. Those old timer in his  new company is unlikely to accept his ideas whether is for good or bad.

Going to a new place involves getting a few weeks for new employees to learn the ropes. Someone who joined the company need to get familiar with many things, ranging from the new company product line to their corporate culture and new fellow team members and subordinates. The first few days he need to follow the golden rule - talk less and listen more.

Facing Your Fears In Your New Job:

First, whether you are able to cope with your new job. That depends on your ability to use your intelligence to grasp any complicated matter.
Some people have the knack for learning technical things fast and some people with a difficulty to follow even a few simple steps.

Second, this is the harder part which not much can be done of it- OFFICE POLITICS! If this did not happened in his old workplace, he would love to continue working there.



The negative office politics ingredients include:

Backstabbing is one of the most common reasons why people leaving their employment. Some people think this despicable act is one of the fastest ways to climb up the corporate ladder.

Remember your history lessons? Let me refresh your memory a bit..the assassination of Julius Caesar was the result of a secret plot by 8 Roman senators. I think that's how the term 'stabbed in the back' comes from the way Julius Caesar was murdered who gets stabbed in the back.(23times)

Group morale becomes low or bad as a result of poor leadership and work conditions.

•Put the blame on someone else. Something never change, you'll usually see kids doing blame on others and point the finger at someone else. Most people tend to shirk responsibility by 'passing the buck' rather than accept responsibility.

Lack of personal integrity and accountability become the order of the day. Deceit and lack of honesty is a way they do things to cover up some of their poor performance.

• Why can't people find it hard to admit their mistakes? Yeah..It's easier to blame other people's mistakes rather than their own, making up lame excuses for self-justification.

Favouritism and preferences based on personality. If your Boss dislike you, no matter how large your contribution is but your performance will be overlook. Likewise another colleague who like to flatter the Boss will be given the promotion instead despite his poor ability.

Nepotism- Wrong individuals who do not deliver results get the promotion based on favouritism due to family members and not by qualifications and ability.

• Too much unproductive time spend on gossip and rumour mongering which can affect great reputations damage to people.

• Being identified with one group involved in a struggle for power between a few groups who want to rule the place. The new boss will start to recruit his own 'henchmen' from his old place, who he thinks are loyal to him. This scenario is clearly seen when a new football coach joining a new club where he will start to recruit his 'old players' from previous club.

Friendly fire. Some workers may suffer punishment as a result caught in 'friendly fire' between two groups. One group ask you do one thing and another tells you do differently. OK. Let me put it this way for you. Imagine you are the driver asking for direction. One ask to steer to the left, the other ask to steer to right.   You're lost and confused.

"Pss.. Did you hear about ... but you don't tell anyone


Me Tarzan, You Jane. Some superior like to portray themselves as , I'm the superior style and you inferior. This makes them arrogant by not wanting to listen to their subordinates who might have better ideas but do not appreciate their insights.


Next thing to fear is.. Making New Friends..It's important to know who your friends or foes.

Never jump to conclusion on the appearance of someone. A colleague who like to argue with you, may not be your enemy, on the contrary he may become your best friend one day. He's actually a frank and a good man at heart who is sincere in carrying out his duties

Not all person like to "polish another person shoe",this unique local phrase is borrowed from Cantonese  colloquial language to describe a person who like to  flattery or butter someone up for ulterior motives.  Simply to make the other person feel good by insincerely praise or a "yes-man" employees.

Likewise, if a person appear to be friendly, he can end up backstabbing a colleague who fool him by looking helpful but otherwise. Sooner of later, you know he was lying and doesn't look trustworthy.

Luckily, his position as Factory Manager put him less vulnerable but some people may dislike him because they resent his policies because they view as beneficial to the company but not to them.

They can no longer "bully" their Boss anymore as previously he did not understand much knowledge on factory related matter but not anymore, by hiring my friend OKL he will act as his ‘Bodyguard’ in all that matters.

In a new environment your first impression is to be aware on what’s the informal organisation chart that you have to beware of. You could be looking a few teams in the company. These groups have internal social structure based on dominance and friendship relations, like street gang.

The existing group will try to be friendly to lure him into their group but he tries to stay NEUTRAL as he does not want to upset other Groups.

You can’t win. Some will still be upset when he try to do things fairly and for the benefits of the company. His adversaries will always feel that ‘If you’re not with me then you’re against me’. They start to react hostile when they failed to convert him to their side. Naturally it will come from the Sales side.

Most people avoid confrontation but for the Sales and the Production sides are usually unavoidable, inevitably 'war' can drive everyone nuts with constant infighting. Much like the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, the sales and production departments must exist side by side, co-exist working together harmoniously, there cannot be one without the other yet they cannot exist at the same time. Is up to the GM or owner to do the balancing act.


We like to think when you join a smaller company it will like a family matter. Everyone will be cooperative and friendly, willing to help in any matter. Hey that didn't even happens in religion environment area like a monastery.

Wake up, for crying out loud. ... Even being brought up in here, there’s still be bound infighting circle. As you may recall..

It's not the first time scandal has hit South Korea's main Buddhist order. Just over a decade ago, TV pictures broadcast monks rioting in Seoul, over internal conflicts fuelled by internal divisions over the organisation's leadership.


Office Politics is a fact of life, everywhere and anywhere. Wise diplomacy will help you get what you want in the world of work without compromising others in the process. If you can't go around it, over it, or through it, you had better learn to negotiate with it.

You can't stop infighting and gossip in a work environment. A bad abusive bosses can create a hostile work environment which is detrimental to the employees and the company. Most good employees have left for others company due to the back stabbing and unbearable environment.

His previous experience from his old company has make him to be fair to all employees without creating damaging relationship with his down line.

Power struggle in office politics may existed since Roman Empire times and will continue indefinitely. You may says it a jungle out there in office politics where we have to play dirty office politics to get a promotion. Should we use any and all means necessary to guarantee a win?

We are constantly reminded by the Darwin theory on survival of the fittest where the strong will survive and the weak will perish. I don't think I would be able to be survival of the fittest just like Bond in the movie becomes "The last rat standing".

At the end of the day, I have a clear conscience that not only tells me when I have done something wrong, but it also warns me like a little voice inside that tells you, "Don't do that, it's wrong."

I guess I'm just not cut out for this game.

Which is the better choice for office practise? You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours or I'll Stab Your Back, You Stab Mine? Why can't working place cannot be in a harmonious work environment?

Maybe the work environment still require some battleground cause we need to engage in competition among ourselves, co-worker and others as we believe healthy competition can push us to greater heights and work together in common cause to deliver excellence results.

No Pain No Gain Pain is an unavoidable reality we live in. So face your fear today and don't run away. The key to success is to learn how to accept the pain and grow from it.
  
Here are some tips to help you from stepping on the land mine:


Tip 1 Stay Neutral like Switzerland

The easiest way to avoid problems is to get along with everyone by not entangled in this mess in any politicking. This means stay neutral; don't take sides.


Tip 2 Try to maintain professionalism at work

Be professionalism like a lawyer, focus on the situation, issue and not on the person to avoid us bias by blaming or judging the person. Stay calm and don't allow emotions to get the better of you when in conflict with a disagreement.

Tip 3 Always Look on Both Sides

Think in terms of “How can we both get a win-win negotiation in this situation?” Seek a solution that ensure both side happy and agreed to commit by both parties.

Tip 4 Art of diplomacy

When dealing with others it is very critical to keep in a respectful and tactful manner. A skill communicator can make a lot of difference when handling with  hot-headed worker.

Tip 5 Avoid gossip

It is a must that you put your effort to achieve better things, stay away from these corporate gossips. Office rumours is a social disease that hurts everyone involved.

Tip 6 Document things - Black and White Proof

How often we were frustrated by someone who deny by saying, "I did not received.." A black and white evidence can prevent any dispute which also can protect or back up your claim.

The documents should be records kept in it must be in proper order on the shelves so that comply with traceability requirements.


Office politics is inevitable part of corporate life, you have to play the game right in order to survive in the gladiator arena of Corporate world.


Stay true to who you are. After analysing the political landscape thoroughly in your company, you should decide whether you should proceed the next level or quit the game. If you had enough of the dirty office politics then you can prepare to move on. Game over. Time to move on to greener pastures.

You could say you left your job due to lack of job advancement but not anonymity.  Let bygones be bygones, let go off an old relationship with your old company and start a new chapter with a new one.

You will never know when you may want to come back. So leave the door, never burn a bridge that you may well need later when the office politics conditions can change in the future.

In response of your leaving , you may use Terminator saying "I'll be back". I've seen some people left  the company and returning a couple of  years later. Nothing beats being home sweet home when they found out the way their previous company method of working doesn't suit them well.

Whether you hate it or practise it, office politics is a fact of life in anywhere.  Use your good judgement and fairness when important decisions need to be made.

God does not and will not forgive sins, we will ultimately be accountable for all the sins we have committed at the end of this life unless there is a genuine turning away from dirty politics evil deed.

 Always channel all your energies to stays righteousness and honesty in all aspects of life. ..remaining in hopeful expectation and anticipation that forces of good always triumph over the forces of evil.



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