In every organisation, there is usually one or more people who either do not want to be there, hate their job or career, or just can’t stop gossiping (and sh*t stirring) about other people…no, that is not a typo).

One way to avoid it is to leave, the department or organisation altogether, but like I said, in every organisation, there will be one or more of these…so you’ll soon find yourself around such a person again.

Another option is to become your own boss, but we know that self employment isn’t for everyone, so keep reading…

Start talking

Sometimes, office politics start when coworkers don’t know what the role of their colleagues really are. They start to make assumptions, which can be completely off track and start to resent the people they work with.

It’s such a shame to watch a drama blow out of proportion just because of assumptions and misunderstandings. Why not ask your colleague to go for a coffee, or if you can’t stand the thought of being alone with them, ask for a joint meeting and ask to cross check on roles and responsibilities in as tactful a way as possible, so you can demystify your role and learn more about what their job actually entails. You’ll be surprised what will come out.

Go to the top
You don’t have to be a Barbie doll who has no self respect to rub shoulders with key decision makers in your organisation. Start mingling a little more, make conversation in lifts, in the office kitchen etc – go beyond the pleasantries and you’ll soon start to find out who’s who in your organisation and get them on side.

Find out what your goal is
Sounds really weird to be asked to do this when you already have a job, right? But when you think about it, as we progress in our roles in a workplace, what we often intended to achieve either becomes a distant memory or gets thrown to the wayside a little bit.

If that sounds like your life right now, write down your goals. Have you achieved everything you want to achieve in this workplace? Is there something you could do to help the people you work with, so that you become indispensable to them and a weak(er) target for their politics?

Guard your tongue
Yes – it can be tempting to join into discussions about a colleague with an attitude problem, or one who has zero work tolerance, but you’ll only duel the fire. Avoid making nasty remarks about people to colleagues at work – if you really need someone to speak to, look for someone neutral like a friend or relative who you can trust.

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