What to Do When Office Politics Stand in Your Way From a Happy Work Life

"Leadership requires great courage -- the ability to do something that frightens you and helps you stay the course in the face of opposition." ~ Claudia Chan

Yesterday I was speaking to an amazing group of professional women on confidence at work -- how to project confidence in a way that doesn't come across as bitchy or mean; how to be direct and be kind at the same time; and how to make your business case and negotiate well.

The hardest question to answer (and it always gets asked!) is what to do when politics, ego and company culture are standing in your way from a happy work life.

What do you do at the end of the day if you've tried all the things I suggest and are still struggling against someone's ego, navigating toxic office politics and trying to succeed in a culture that doesn't support your best work?

This is a GREAT question AND it is VERY unique to you and your situation. There is no simple, easy solution and so I always ask one or more of these questions back:

  • How safe do you feel to have honest conversations with those in power?
  • How much can you contribute to culture change by showing up differently and modeling better behaviors? Can you exemplify good leadership for those around you that helps to shift things?
  • Can you rise to a position of power in your organization that allows you to systematically change the culture by setting new values, performance measurements and policies to support a more healthy environment?
  • Should you start looking for a new job in a company that is better aligned with what you want?
  • In what ways are you contributing to the problem? Would a mindset shift, a new approach, or a different tactic help things improve? Remember, wherever you go, there you are so make sure that you're not avoiding growing as a professional and developing a new approach to work that might actually be good for you. 

I experienced this kind of thing at many jobs throughout my career and I always stood in my integrity no matter what because inherently I felt that I could handle the consequences whatever they were (even when they were very very hard).

I learned from these challenging situations how I prefer to work, what kind of people I want to work with and how to discern that for myself in each new situation. 

This challenge is not unique and is very common. Can you see it as an opportunity to evolve, get more discerning, make choices that are right for you and be more honest with yourself and others? 

If you struggle with this kind of thing and want some support in answering these questions (and more) I offer $99 power coaching sessions and...

THIS FRIDAY at 12pm PST, I'm teaching an hour-long FREE course as part of a series of free trainings I'm offering leading up to the Second Annual Superwoman SummitReserve your spot today! 

Stay strong out there! You're not alone.