No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic changed office politics. Many employees switched “temporarily” to remote work only to realize 18 months later that they might never see the inside of an office again. Some greeted this with relief, others with anxiety.
Yet even without an office, we still have office politics. Office politics often take the form of gossip (pre-pandemic some 80% of workers in an Accountemps survey said they dealt with this and the rumor mill was the most common element.) Even in our online world, workers are still chatting informally and sharing information. And trying to be “above” office politics is a mistake. While you don’t want to spread malicious gossip, important information is passed along informal channels. The secret is dipping your toes into the political pool without drowning (or selling your soul). If you are wondering what I mean, well here are some office politics quotes you must obey.
- When words are both true and kind they can change the world. — Buddha
- “I don’t care how old you are—fifty, sixty, or seventy. Your value doesn’t diminish with each birthday.”
― Bonnie Marcus, Not Done Yet!: How Women Over 50 Regain Their Confidence and Claim Workplace Power
- “When one is commuting to work, happiness is neither the journey nor the destination.” ― Rajesh
- Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain. — Jack Kerouac
- “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Pete Drucker
The best office politics quotes apply both in and out of the office, like this selection from Inc magazine.
- “Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” Ronald Reagan
- “Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.” Horace Mann
- “When introverts are in conflict with each other…it may require a map in order to follow all the silences, nonverbal cues and passive-aggressive behaviors!” Adam S. McHugh
- “There are some people who always seem angry and continuously look for conflict. Walk away from these people. The battle they’re are fighting isn’t with you, it’s with themselves.” Rashida Rowe
- “There’s been a quantum leap technologically in our age, but unless there’s another quantum leap in human relations, unless we learn to live in a new way towards one another, there will be a catastrophe.” Albert Einstein
- “No pressure, no diamonds.” Mary Case
- “Effective teamwork will not take the place of knowing how to do the job or how to manage the work. Poor teamwork, however, can prevent effective final performance. And it can also prevent team members from gaining satisfaction in being a member of a team and the organization.” Robert F. Bales
According to legend,the President often called “Silent Cal” was challenged by an actress who bet she could get him to say three words. His reply? “You lose.” That quote may be apocryphal, this one isn’t:
- “Let men in office substitute the midnight oil for the limelight. — Calvin Coolidge
- Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.
I really think Winston Churchill understood social media:
- “There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion.” — Winston Churchill
The best office politics quotes applie to multiple situation –– like this one:
- Be the person your dog thinks you are..
- Being polite is so rare these days, thats its often confused with flirting. And if recent reports are true, we could really use some polite people right now.
- When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion. – Dale Carnegie
- You may look around and see two groups here: white-collar, blue-collar. But I don’t see it that way, and you know why not? Because I am collar-blind. – Michael Scott, The Office
- Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They’re underused.— Tommy Lee Jones
- An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put into office. One would suppose that they were rarely disappointed.— Henry David Thoreau
I love this collection of best office politics quotes from SnackNation:
- Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that. —Ellen Degeneres
- The sun himself is weak when he first rises, and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on. —Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
- How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. —Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
- If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe. —Abraham Lincoln
Of course sometimes quotes aren’t perfect (who is) as Ayn Rand may not have said precisely these words (it’s actually a paraphrase from her novel The Fountainhead) but I still love this sentiment:
- The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me? —Ayn Rand
- The reward for good work is more work.
And I leave you now with two last office politics quotes:
- The person who says I’m not political is in great danger. Only the fittest will survive, and the fittest will be the ones who understand their office’s politics.
- One should feel lucky to have survived a day at a workplace with office politics.
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