Workplace politics is a harsh reality in India. When you take up a new role at a well-established organisation, the first few days seem fine. The smiles on everyone’s faces deceive you into believing that all is well. But a few days later, the cracks appear and a few months into it, you find yourself entangled in a labyrinth of power games. You end up taking sides and become a part of the vicious system. But that’s a very unhealthy position to be in. Although there is no cure for it, one thing can keep you clean and distinctly respectable — diplomacy.
Diplomacy is the art of saying no and making it sound like yes. To maintain a clean image, sound positive. Avoid speaking in the negative. If you are unhappy about anything, it is best to keep it to yourself rather than indulge in gossip. Another important aspect is managing your anger. Never ever send an email or request for a meeting when you are angry. Sometimes, your impulsive angry responses may damage things permanently. When angry, take a walk around the office, grab a coffee or simply read something interesting online. If you have a problem with someone or something, never disclose it in public. Speak to your boss behind closed doors and get it solved.
You must also be aware of people who sugarcoat everything they say and praise you unconditionally. These are usually the ones that can put you down when the time comes. The trick is to respond selectively to their comments and keep them at a safe distance.
If you are in a role that requires interaction with many other departments, it is all the more important for you to maintain diplomacy because you end up listening to stories from all the sides and each group treats you as a member. In such cases, never take sides. Employ only your ears and smile. By doing so you are most likely to gain a reputation of being someone who doesn’t interfere with anyone’s affairs. That is what makes you different. All said, at the end of the day, the diplomat is the winner.