The term ‘office politics’ is often used in a negative context. It is seen as being a little shady, or even scary; something to be avoided wherever possible.
And that is a shame because office politics is really just another name for the way we relate to each other at work. We are all involved in the politics of our work place and, contrary to popular opinion, I think that is a good thing.
Unless there is a particularly toxic culture in your professional environment (in which case you should go find yourself another job) politics is the way things get done. It is just another name for the interaction, co-operation and mutual dependence of organisational life. It is how we relate to each other, show what we are about, make productive connections, co-operate and collaborate.
Navigating office politics successfully is simply about using our influencing skills to make authentic work-place friendships and build our profile in the professional environment. There is no need to seek to avoid it; in fact we should embrace it as having a critical role to play in our own success and that of others.
We are all here to make a contribution, to share, guide, learn from and inspire each other. If you opt out of what you see as office politics you may be putting your relationships and your sphere of influence at risk.