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All of us who work have experienced this. This article is about a well known corporate menace----Corpolitics.

Submitted: February 17, 2017

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Submitted: February 17, 2017



Tina got placed in a multinational company after her graduation. She was very excited that her hard work paid off and she was now a part of the great and glamorous corporate world. She was able to get into an important project soon and was delighted to have such a great learning opportunity in her early career. She was working hard and learning fast; thus delivering great results. Tina was even making extra contributions to her team by sharing new ideas and helping the team lead in putting up presentations, analysis and reports together. The lead would always shower praises on her whenever she assisted her. One day, in an executive meeting, Tina’s team lead presented a great idea along with a proposal for some process changes that would enhance the team’s productivity and had great applause from the senior management. Tina was shocked, as she prepared that stuff and her name was nowhere to be mentioned. She could not say a word and clapped like all others did. Thus, Tina was greeted by corporate politics, which I prefer to name as ‘Corpolitics’.

All of us who are in their professional career have had their tryst with Corpolitics. Some of us ignore it; some let it silently hurt them, while others tackle it smartly. In which category do you fall? As Corpolitics a.k.a. office politics, is related to human behaviour, and organizations are made of people, it may not be possible to totally eliminate this menace from the workplace. However, there needs to be awareness and willingness to minimize it; so that it doesn’t harm the quality of the workplaces or productivity of the organizations.

Why does it happen?

There could be many reasons why some of the corporate employees indulge in a menace like Corpolitics. According to my point of view, the primary reason is wrong attitude. Such people have a negative attitude which leads them to the wrong use of their authority or adopting devious means to outshine their colleagues. This kind of behavior becomes natural for them and they don’t see that they are doing something wrong.

Another factor is cut-throat competition as well. As so many people compete for the same amount of limited resources, projects, appraisals and promotions; competition sometimes becomes unhealthy or unprofessional when people just want to serve their own selfish interests.

In addition, lack of leadership skills in the manager to whom the perpetrator reports contribute towards the propagation of ‘Corpolitics’. As manager fails to see through the word-web created by the culprit to highlight his contribution and demeaning others, resulting in favour or rewards for the perpetrator; manager commits the mistake of letting his team down.

A bit if fault lies with you as well, if you are a victim of ‘Corpolitics’. If you quietly keep on bearing the brunt of this nuisance; letting others bully you, take credit for your work and create your negative image in front of the manager, you are at fault. You got to do something for sure. However, just don’t tag yourself as a victim to find an easy way out to blame others for not doing your work properly. Analyze the situation critically and calmly, without taking too personally or judging others, then you can decide if the matter is worth ignoring, talking to the person concerned or manger; or filing an official complaint within the organization. It is advisable not to make a mountain out of a molehill.

What to do?

As a genuine professional member of the workforce, stay away from the gossips, but keep your eyes and ears open along with maintaining good professional relationship with everybody.  If you become a good observer, you can get to know a lot about what’s going on in the office and who’s having what intentions. You will get an answer to the question--Who’s playing which way? Be assertive, understanding and try to create win-win situations rather than playing a selfish game. If you are doing your work well and know when to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, you won’t let others exploit you. Don’t forget to mention your contributions in a smart way to the higher ups during formal and informal conversations, so that they know the real picture in case your team lead is trying to downplay your achievements or planning to take credit for them.

If you are a person who is indulging in ‘Corpolitics’, stop it right away and be a true team player. Keep in mind that the progress of your team members is your success as a team leader. You can always take the credit for guiding and supporting them to better results instead of taking credit for the actual work done by them and demean their contribution.

If you are a manager, beware of those favourites on whom you solely rely for all the information about the team. It is understandable that your workload doesn’t allow you to directly supervise each team member, but you can interact with them often enough to get the real picture. Think --- Have you created such an environment in your team, where any member would feel comfortable in discussing any of their work related problem with you or do you rebuke the employees in case they like to show a discomfort about their team lead? If the people resorting to ‘Corpolitics’ won’t get what they want by manipulating the bosses like you, obviously they would have no interest in propagating this hazard.

In the end, a point to realize is that each one of us needs to be a better employee by conducting oneself in a more professional, positive and genuine manner; as commitment to such behaviour would let us neither be a perpetrator nor a victim of ‘Corpolitics’.

Cheers to a better workplace around the world!







© Copyright 2018 P.D.. All rights reserved.

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