I am working in Korean MNC, as in HR team,
In my organisation every person plays politics as i am new here or fresher unable to understand the purpose why they all are behaving like this, although i have ask for guidance to my immediate senior. but he is also saying that its trend and we have to behave like this.
my question is that ... is it right play politics in organization..
why they are acting like this, why they are not supporting... always tried to make issue and tried to give trouble so they can enjoy.
they don't like our work.. but when they get in trouble they lie or thought their responsibility to other person so they can enjoy..
now what to do ... how to handle this corporate politics...

From India, New Delhi

Dear HR Mind,
Corporate politics is not unusual thing. The situation you are facing, prevails almost every organization. As a fresher, I have only ONE advice for you. WAIT AND SEE. Do not hurry to comment, suggest and or interfere till you have not understood all things. Do not get stressed slowly and gradually you will understand every aspect of office politics and will learn how to deal it.

From Pakistan, Karachi

what to do when they intentionally provoke for comment anything...
they ask like what is your personal opinion on this things,,,,
after some time they use it like official comment...
if i am not replying anythings then say you are mature for anything you are not fit for corporate world....

From India, New Delhi
Dear HR Mind
As a fresher when you join an organization, you feel this, but after few months you would be comfortable with the same environment.
for this you have to just stay calm have patience, do not put yourself in any kind of informal discussion which you think is not trustful.
Try to be polite and avoid gossips as people always tend to present your gossips as a statement in front of other seniors, colleagues or juniors.

From India, Delhi

what to do for those people who provoke me.. and creating negative feedback about me.... top management getting wrong feedback about me that i am not capable and not doing right things ...
From India, New Delhi

Hello HR Mind,

Like the other members mentioned, this is quite usual in any set-up where there are people--not just Corporates.

However, this is NOT to say that it's 'normal'.

To sum-up the situations you are facing--you are just gathering corporate experience.

Coming to your statement 'they intentionally provoke', let's look at any such situation from a DIFFERENT perspective.

While anyone or everyone can try to provoke, ITS UP TO YOU on how to respond.

For eg, let's say someone has abused a person [COULD be you]. One person can just ignore the abuse & walk-away. Another can give a serious look & still walk-away. Yet another can retort 'verbally' & get away. Still yet another COULD get physical & bash the guy who abused. While another may go into a shell--not knowing how to respond.

Looking @ the basic situation--IT'S THE SAME, yet the response of each of the others who faced the abuse(s).

So, to repeat, IT'S UP TO YOU on how to respond to the provocations. You CAN'T apply the same response mechanism to all the provocations you face--you will need to 'calibrate' your response according to the person who is provoking, according to the situation, according to the issue at-hand, etc.

When you are asked for a 'personal opinion', you gave it but realized that it was being used as your 'official opinion'. Now you have learnt on how to handle such situations BETTER than in the past, IF they repeat [which you can bet they will]. One way could be to say 'what you think' doesn't matter--and give an opinion that's in the Company's best interest, with a rider that you aren't experienced enough & MAY be wrong.

Frankly, it's IMPRACTICAL for ANYONE to give you a list of responses for various situations you WOULD face--since what suits me MAY NOT suit your psyche to respond in the same way. Mahatma Gandhi could show the other cheek SMILINGLY when slapped--not all can do that I guess. Hope you get the point.

All the Best.



From India, Hyderabad

Thanks TS for framing the example a example for me ... certainly this will give my thought a new approach to handle the situation ....
since i am new in corporate life this will take time ....
one more thing.. once in my general discussion with one of HR senior .. he suggested me "" You have to Smell the Air""
what is going around you....
how it is possible... could you please frame one example for me .....
this will be very help full for me and give me a strategy to prepare my self in this corporate life ...

From India, New Delhi
Dinesh Divekar

Dear HR_Mind,

Already few seniors have given their opinions. Nevertheless, I would like state the following:

a) Yes politics is part of every organisation but then when you say that "every people plays politics every time" then clearly it is excess.

b) This is failure of your organisation's leadership. They have allowed things to come to such a pass. Now changing the organisation's culture is quite difficult.

c) Excess politicking could be taking toll of employee satisfaction or even customer satisfaction. This would mean low morale and not getting better ideas from the employees. It could be fostering employee attrition as well.

d) Changing the organisation's culture is beyond realm of your duties. So better be part of it. However, let me tell you that in this organisation, you may not learn much.

e) If at all your leadership wishes to bring change then first thing they need to do is to conduct organisation-wide training on 7 habits. The second training should be on Patrick Lencioni's "5 Dysfunctions of Team". The third thing they can do is to foster value-centric decision making.

f) Last but important thing your leadership can do is to foster culture of feedback. The feedback should be given on whether organisation's values are followed or not.

Final comments: - This is a nice case study for the people who go ga-ga over working in "MNC". Korean or otherwise, many MNCs have their own Augean stables. These may be located at some corner but the stench pervades the entire organisation!


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Hello HR Mind,
I guess NO examples are needed for it--for the simple reason that it's tough.
Since you are in HR yourself, you know that the First & Foremost trait any HR person needs to develop AND inculcate as a part of his/her psyche is to focus on 'HOW IT IS BEING SAID' than 'WHAT is being said'--meaning learning to read the body language along with listening to the content of what's being said.
And this is something that takes time--all one can & needs to do is to keep-up the effort to learn. After all, that's what is EXPERIENCE I guess.
All the Best.

From India, Hyderabad


It is said that when in Rome, one should do as the Romans do!

This is a survival strategy and NOT a growth strategy and therefore I am not going to advise you to follow the same.

But to get to the basics, please note that:

1) The Organization and People are mutually dependent for survival and growth in a competitive environment.

2) Industrial Organizations are essentially economic organizations and justify their existence only when the output is greater than the input!

3) To ensure this are needed people, technology and management skills besides many other skills and inputs.

4) The hierarchy controls and coordinates the process of surplus generation by optimum and skillful usage of all resources, including the human resources.

To that end what is necessary are:

1) Clarity of GOALS.

2) Effective Leadership.

3) Trained manpower at all levels.

4) Strong communication culture, worthwhile motivational inputs and effective interpersonal relationships.

To ensure that all this is well orchestrated is the responsibility of the Head of the Organization by whatever name called. He must enlist competence, create work designs, establish an inspiring, supportive work culture. If he fails to handle his responsibilities the Organization is doomed and with it the people working there. If anyone feels he is above and greater than the organization then he is most likely to fail.

Having said all this, the question remains that what can an individual do when the Organization is already affected as described above. Well, the individual has a defined scope of work and responsibility to serve the organization. It is an empirical reality that one works best when he is aware of the directions and goals of the organization. And if he is in a situation you describe, it would be a delusion that by getting some tips and pointers from the well wishers, he will be able to cause desired transformation.

If the leadership fails in its task, I cannot make it an excuse and fail myself also.

At every forum one must courageously speak his mind and so long he is seen to be holding organization's interests above everything, sooner than later he will be noticed. But while speaking his mind at every available forum, he must NOT be judgmental and should avoid the temptation to criticize in an exaggerated manner.

The first time one speaks like this people may not clap or appreciate. There may be suspicion about your intention and if some people feel threatened by your expressing your thoughts freely and firmly, one may even encounter opposition-open and secret!

One must be diplomatic, committed, studious and restrained but fearless in stating his view point/s. One must become proactive and keep up this style os performance at least for a year or so and the "powers that be" are still refusing to consider reality being presented by you, you must take a responsible and conscious decision and start looking for alternate employment at a more cultured organization.

Playing politics and squealing to superiors levels above yours will never help in the long run!

Moral of the story is, try to change the environment for better from within in a strategic, diplomatic but honest and committed way for a reasonable time and if nothing happens to generate hope for improvement then look for alternatives and move over.

Please remember that the time, talent and resources you have deploy to change things for the better are NOT a waste since during this journey also you would have enriched yourself with additional experience that will stand you in good stead in future!



October 27, 2013


From India, Pune
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