What to Do When You Are Caught in an Office Political Crossfire

You're in trouble…it seems that senior management has lost confidence in you. Your ideas are shot down at every turn and each decision you make is constantly questioned. Your future with the company is precarious and uncertain. You've overheard conversations that suggest you are a "has been".

Sounds downright depressing doesn't it? Well, before you bail or commit career suicide, reflect on your answers to these questions.

  • How's your personal quiet devotional time and relationship with God?
  • How are you responding to current work stress and pressures?
  • Has your work been criticized recently by your manager? If so, is there any action you can take to eliminate the criticism?
  • How would you describe your company's political environment and its impact on you, your job and career?
  • Who are the true power brokers and how do you interact with them?
  • What's the worst thing that can happen regarding your job and career? Is this a fact or anxiety?

Once you've tackled these questions, you'll have a picture of how you fit in with your company's political environment.

To keep from being caught in political traps consider these three strategies.

  1. Re-build or develop good working relationships with your staff, colleagues and senior management. Start with the staff first and focus on creating a supportive work environment that fosters trust and facilitates positive interaction between the staff and you.
  2. Become known for excellence in performing your job and as someone who can be counted on to get the task done. Learn everything you can about your job, the company and the industry.
  3. Protect yourself from political barbs by communicating consistently and appropriately with peers and senior leaders. Participate in informal or social events sponsored by the company. Do not withdraw or isolate yourself.
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