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I met someone and listening to her phone conversation, she said to the person on the other end, “I know she dislikes me for no reason, but they can’t fire me because I’m the best hand they have in the organisation.” Knowing that she had value and something her organisation needed gave her confidence. But there was no need to be cocky about it.

I have heard the phrase “office politics” quite a number of times and suffice to say, have seen it play out and I wonder. Politics involves campaigning, sharing manifestoes, gaining support from friends and enemies alike via what you have to ‘deliver’. Here, the popular political quote “there are no permanent friends in politics, only permanent interests” plays out. It is against this backdrop that I write, questioning why you would fall a victim of office politics and become ‘enemy of state No 1’.

It is about sharing manifesto, right? So, what do you have to offer your office? What are you bringing to the table in terms of value? How has that office improved since your arrival? If you left today, would they sit and say “if only Mr. Z was around”?

How Do You Survive Office Politics?

  1. Learn the values the office stands for and exceed them.
  2. Be ready to ask questions and also proffer suggestions.
  3. Be respectful, courteous and responsible.
  4. Don’t leave loose ends.
  5. Learn the different styles of all your bosses and give deliverables in the format each needs.
  6. You are in the organisation to work, deliver value and not make friends (though friends are good). When you realise this, it will help you react objectively to situations and queries (if there be any) and make balanced decisions.
  7. Treat others as you would like others to treat you. However, note that they may not be as nice to you. You do your part.
  8. Read! Google up innovative ways to deliver on the job and add your touch to it. Own it!

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This article was first published on 30th January 2017


I am in love with words! I believe they have unbelievable powers to change people. As a writer, I paint my world with colours defined by words. As a mother, I enjoy conversations with babies and children generally. A poet, content developer, administrator and one given to details. Contact me via email: imaniking[@]; Blog:; Twitter: @imaniking and Instagram: @imaniking02

Comments (2)

2 thoughts on “Office Politics and How to Survive It”

  • What a nice one! however, I believe office politics is more than that of the conventional politics

    • Thank you Jamiu for reading and your comment. I will have to agree that there’s more to office politics. The key is, don’t get caught in the center of one and be the answer they need.

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