Friendly talks and banters around the proverbial water cooler, or current times pantry turn into toxic office politics when they turn into a power play inspired by personal agendas and as a means to resolve personal conflicts even at the cost of other employees and perhaps organizational goals itself. Office politics evokes intense emotions such as anger and frustration from those who participate in the political game as well as those who witness it. Thus creating a toxic organizational culture that greatly affects employee moral, generating unhappiness, discontentment and eventually disengagement among employees.
But can one simply choose to ‘stay away from office politics’? Unfortunately, however hard you may try it may not be possible. In fact, some people think that getting into office politics is not only important, but is very necessary to go ahead in their career!
Is there a solution? Developing personal Emotional Intelligence and Emotionally Intelligent teams can provide a long term solution as Emotional Intelligence influences a person’s ability to identify emotions in others, understand the impact of others behavior on self, understand behavioral patterns and predict behavior, and most of all develop effective coping mechanism for dealing with such issues effectively. Understanding of emotion can shape perceptions of politics and the manner in which employees understand and regulate felt emotions affects their interpretation of the political arena.