5 Ways To Shield Yourself Against The Politics Of The Workplace
Words are the conveyors of our thoughts. They are like the cargo plane that conveys our goods to distant lands; they get loaded with the content we want, they move with a frightening speed, an amazing gusto, a bewildering audacity that does nothing else but delivers it’s content to the location we have programmed into them.
Knowing these about your words must steady you to a time of seriousness with what you say, appreciating that your words have the capacity to either emit life or death (Proverbs 18:20) must cause you to ponder on them a few seconds, minutes or even hours before saying them.
And why is that?
Because silence, sometimes is golden!
Little wonder, Abraham Lincoln, the President of the United States during the civil war said and I quote:
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove every doubt.”
My dear, knowing the power of your words at the work place, should cause you to say them with caution. For there is a palpable dose of mutual suspicion that goes on at the workplace. It is a suspicion that everyone preaches against, yet no one is able to completely eradicate. That is why you can find two individuals who while working a shift together would seem like the nicest of friends and the best of buddies, but as soon as one person leaves, the other person begins a new set of tales to the next person about the other person that may not sound too great.
I once worked with two individuals who chatted so freely and nicely about themselves that I decided just to listen to them, thinking that they were the best of friends. But as soon as one of them closed her shift, the other one began to say some of the nastiest things about the one that had just left to me. And not being able to factor the two lines of story together, I asked him this question:
“Were you not just talking to that lady a while ago about your personal secrets, domestic issues and other things that one only tells a close confidante?”
And he said:
“Yeah, I know…But I also know that she says a lot of crap at my back, so I also say a lot of crap at her back.”
And while that sounded odd in my ears, it also sounded somewhat amusing to me that someone who knows that the other person says a lot of crappy things about him at his back could be so open and friendly to that same person on such a high note of friendliness and pretentious conviviality.
And as I drove home that day, I began to wonder how we entrust our greatest secrets to the wrong people. How we speak before thinking it through, and how we empower those who can use our own very words to maim us at our back in the politics that go on at the work place.
Years ago, when I read the autobiography of President Bill Clinton of the United States, he carefully talked about:
“How keeping secrets is a part and parcel of the human nature…but knowing how long to keep those secrets for and from whom is another thing.”
In my further research in the word of God, I discovered that Proverbs 29:11 clearly says:
“A fool speaks all his mind, but a wise man keeps it in till afterwards.”
In other words, even the holy book considers the very act of venting everything on your mind to the wrong audience to be an act that can only be found in the golden books of foolery.
So, while at the work place, try to do the following:
1. Understand That You Have A Job To Do:
Yes, knowing that you left your house to work is a major reminder you must always feed yourself with. Forgetting that will sometimes make you drop your guard of professionalism. It will make you begin to talk about things that are not needed at the workplace. It will open you up to unnecessary work-place gossip and tales that can injure your morale when you get to hear of them. So, get to work with some gusto, smile at nice jokes, maintain a certain grade of professional mien that says, “I am here to work and not to play.”
2. Never Reveal Your Domestic Troubles At Work:
The politics of the work place includes the idea that people want to look nice and radiant before all, even if they are been bitten by termites underneath their shirts. They want to listen to your tale of woes and offer half-baked counsels just to smile at your back when they get home. So, learn to only discuss your issues with professionals in that particular area who can help and not those who would use it against you.
3. Trust Is Not A Word You Want To Engage Easily At The Workplace:
God never trusts anyone he has not tested. That was why he first of all tested Abraham before trusting him, even though, he could forecast what Abraham can do in a million years. So, in your own life, trust is not a word you want to engage so easily at the work place. And that is because you do not have enough time to test anyone there. As a matter of fact, only the simple-minded person trusts before testing, the wise person tests before trusting. The only commandment we have in scriptures concerning human relationship is to love others. It did not say, we must trust them. So, trust is on another frequency simply because the one you have trusted wholeheartedly at the workplace can turn around to give you in just for their own gain.
4. Be Cheerful And Radiant All The Time:
Yes, the act of cheerfulness at the workplace is one of the reasons your employer hired you. That is actually why he preferred you to the other person at the interview who was also as smart as you were. So, smile like you mean it, talk within acceptable public norms like you mean it, and by all means back it up with a certain measure of cheerfulness that is natural and disarming.
5. Be On Top Of Every New Detail:
Finally, read current journals in your area of competence, attend social functions of colleagues and remember not to open your mouth too wide, attend seminars, watch DVD’s and CD’s that help to sharpen your competence rate with the aim of being on top of every detail in your place of work.
For when you do those, you are shielding yourself from the hazards of office politics.
Now up to you!
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