Transforming Office Politics Into Opportunities (Featured On The Straits Times)


Office politics is a dynamic of power and relationship. I called it the workspace energy – a honeycomb of tension and opportunities intertwined with one another, and there is no need to fear it.

Here are three new honeycomb perspectives on how we can see this energy in a positive way so that we can manage them with higher awareness and understanding.

  1. Workspace energy is a honeycomb of relationships. 

A friend recently shared that he went for an interview, and the interviewer asked him on how does he handle office politics at the workplace. He did not know how to answer them because he prefers not to get involved in the first place because he hates it.

I decided to help him to look at this workspace energy from a different perspective. Office politics is, in fact, a relationship. Either you focus on building a positive relationship with the person over time, or you decide not to create any of it, that is, to not get involved.

However, if you decide not to build a relationship from the beginning, you have no power to manoeuvre through it and are thus at the mercy of the collateral damage. Since office politics is often inevitable in the workplace, it is logical one should always strive to build healthier relationships.

  1. Workspace energy is a honeycomb of untapped power. 

The interesting aspect of office politics is that no one knows who has more power in totality until the tension arises. When the tension rises, the fight for power increases because it is a human instinct to protect one’s turf.

To build a healthier relationship with the person, seek first to understand what they are protecting. If you can help both parties to protect what they want and align them to see a common point, it’s easier to manoeuvre through the wave. And if you are at the centre of it, it’s crucial that you build the honeycomb of relationships.

  1. Workspace energy is a honeycomb of opportunities.

 Office politics can be a landmine, but you can defuse the mine and turn it into a fertile soil of opportunities. It is a landmine because no one knows how to deactivate it.

If we can understand what people are protecting and build a genuine and positive relationship with them, we can harness valuable intelligence about their workspace energy through their networks and colleagues. That allows us to move around it and find a possible solution for the issue.


This is Joseph Signing Off.

May You TRANSFORM, FLOURISH AND PROSPER in the brand new world!

#leadership #influence #stakeholder #persuasion #riseup #leader #team #mindset #authority