Zhen Huan (后宫甄嬛传) Survival Tips For The Modern Workplace
Although the palace setting of the popular Zhen Huan Biography aka Empresses In The Palace (后宫甄嬛传) seem quite a distance from today's office set up, they are very much a naked reflection of the modern workplace environment. When Zhen Huan got selected to join the palace harem as Emperor Yongzheng's concubine, her innocence then was similar to a fresh graduate starting on his or her first job. Gradually, she soon grew to realises how harsh and cruel the palace truly is, and learns to survive on her own. The rules of survival she learned along the way are still very much grounded in today Asian workplace.
1. Don't Be Too Hasty To Impress
When you join an organisation, your new colleagues will be watching you closely during the first few weeks to gauge your personality and work capabilities. Regardless of your appointment, use the first few weeks to understand the company culture, your immediate co-workers as well as the departments that you are working closely with.
Practise patience and be prepared to eat the humble pie. Before you work out the intricate workplace dynamics, conceal your full talents to avoid being singled out as a potential threat.
Through your interactions, determine who wield the true power in the organisation, your possible allies, folks you need to be careful of as well as co-workers who may be affected in one way or another by your entry.
Launch your big plans only after you have sort out the relationships and sentiments of your co-workers.
You must be able to excel in your job yet at the same time avoid out-shining your direct superior at work.
To gain support, protection & advance within the organisation, the selection of your direct superior is highly important. Be on the look out for a capable boss who has a strong future prospects and at the same time willing to groom and fight for your career advancement. Offer your unwavering loyalty to him or her.
3. Be In Predictive Mode
In office, the boss is the most important person. If you want to strive for a promotion, you will need to understand your boss well and predict his or her mood, liking, dislikes and reactions to different work scenarios. But to survive, you will need to know your colleagues well and guess their moves.
If you ever get into a squabble or issues with your colleagues, it does not matter who is right or who has made a mistake. It eventually boils down to who your boss trust. Hence do not waste time on being sad or engaged in quarrels, put all your efforts on reducing your boss distrust.
5. Allow Yourself To Be Made Use Of
In a game of chess, a pawn is kept on the board only if it is part of the strategy to win the game. In the modern workplace, you become dispensable the moment you lose your value within a bigger scheme of things. Selectively allow others to make use of you in their plans so as to secure your own position. Only then can you turn your attention to make use of others.
6. Win The Hearts Of Others
Do not assume or take it for granted that people should help you in the course of your work. If they do not lend a hand, they are just focusing on their core tasks on hand. Get to know your colleagues better and on a more personal level to gain their trust, loyalty and goodwill.
If you are able to render assistance during their time of needs, do it. You will be surprised how grateful the person will be in future.
7. It Doesn't Pay To Be Too Nice
Being overly nice to everyone will have dire consequences. Your colleagues will conveniently park their own tasks with you and point fingers when things goes wrong. Review your own key performance indicator regularly, understand the results that you are personally responsible for and make sure that they are well taken care of before turning to your attention to help others.
Remember protecting your own rice bowl is far more important than anything else.
8. More Is Not Always Better
There is no point keeping a large number of subordinates when none of them is loyalty to you. The more the number of subordinates, the higher the chance of sensitive news leaking out to other departments.
Identify a few loyal subordinates to personally groom and keep close to you as you advance in the ranks.
Do not be fooled by her benevolent appearance, the Empress played her balancing act very well. She juggled the distribution of powers between 2 main camps of imperial concubines and set them against each other. With the imperial concubines pre-occupied with pitting against one another, they are unable to present a unified force against her.
She also make it a point to distance herself from her subordinates and constantly remind herself to keep a close watch over them, even the most obedient one.
10. Relax.... It's Just A Job
At the end of the day, it is just a job. There is no need to plot, quarrel and upset someone's rice bowl just to climb up the corporate ladder.
What goes around comes around and you will probably see the people whom you have upset on your way down.
Through mastering the application of these survival tips, Zhen Huan eventually worked her way up to become the Empress Dowager of the Ching Dynasty. Which of the above is most applicable at your workplace? If there are additional survival tips that I have missed out, please share with everyone through the comments section below.