Young professionals - especially the talented ones - are common targets of workplace envy; that is why it is best to learn about tips on how to deal with office rivalry early on the start of your career. Office politics can be deadly and stressful that others succumb to its powers by walking out of the door and waving a tearful goodbye to the dearly beloved cubicle. Envious people lurk everywhere (in a coffee shop, an accounting firm or the newsroom) so there is a need to check your mental and emotional armory for ways on how to deal with office rivalry. Here's some of what In have learned over the years:
1. Dine with Anyone in the Office
On your first few days, go to lunch with as many officemates as you can. People talk a lot over food. Do not just confine yourself with Miss Secretary or with Miss HR. This way, you are able to observe the different personalities who thrive in the office. Because you are a newcomer, it may be awkward to tell someone that you are anticipating office politics and you are thinking of ways on how to deal with office rivalry. First step? Observe.
2. Befriend the Secretary
Take hints from her but take everything she says with a grain of salt. Secretaries usually act as messengers so they know a little bit of everything. But be wary too. Be close with her up to the level where you swap make-up tips and season finale opinions. But don't pour your heart out to her or you are in danger of becoming a subject of tomorrow morning's gossip.
3. Do Your Job Really Well
Over time, I have learned that people will find other faults on you even when everyone knows you are so darn good in performing your duties and responsibilities. They will find faults in the way you talk or even the way you walk. Don't fret; just continue to be the awesome professional that you are. They'll run out of issues about you in the long run and get bored of talking about you.
4. Dress Smart and Pretty
It is my personal view that a woman should wear her red heels when fighting against the evil forces of envy. It's a way of sending a sublime message that you are not intimidated. You will also feel more confident, and in control. You will continue to be the best in your line of work when you look as brilliant as your reports.
5. Determine Your Rival(s)
How do you know they are your rivals anyway? It really depends on: (1) your ability to notice them; (2) the presence of other people who tell you about them; and (3) the rivals' actions toward you. I learned about my rival from a combination of the three. Be very observant. Listen more. Talk less.
6. Get Acquainted with Your Rival
I wrote "get acquainted" which means learning a thing or two about her/him. It will probably happen in the rest roomy while you are both making coffee or at the water cooler. Strike up mundane conversations: the weather, traffic situation, best café in town etc Remember the famous line "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"? There is wisdom in this.
7. Be Nice
Be nice, genuinely nice, to everyone. It will show. If others don't see it, then so be it. You don't need to be Miss Congeniality and make everyone like you. Be nice even when others are not. BUT keep your red heels within reach just in case....
Any of you been subject to office gossip? Please feel free to share your experiences.