How to prevent office politics and build greater rapport

Have you ever considered the gravity of the fact that we spend most of the waking hours of most of our adult life not at home but in office…not with parents but seniors…not with life-partner but colleagues…not with our kids but our juniors! And have you ever wondered about the metaphorical cost of not getting the professional ecosystem that fulfills one’s financial as well as emotional and psychosocial needs. Whoa!

So much so and still every other office has everything it shouldn’t have – toxic atmosphere, suffocating culture, stifling procedures, cold vibes, and the Potter’s Voldemort – the ‘Office Politics’. Yes! As if things weren’t already complex, people behave as if they are early adolescents fighting for notional assets in the battlegrounds of cliquish one-upmanship. So how to prevent this office politics? How to minimize workplace clashes? What is the best way to develop esprit de corps? Well, before we discuss further, watch this video to get the gist of the matter…



Yes. Collaboration requires rapport-building. Personal connect is the invisible glue behind any professional team. That’s why, for working in team, people have to be brought not only near but also close. Often people think that goal-oriented associations can exist in isolation by continuing only at the level of roles. But the fact is that hierarchy and structures can only collect people but can’t combine them. So, investing time in connecting people is not waste but worth. Well, like for any other behavior, the root of this point lies in neuroscience.

If we will look at our brain then we will find that when in a group, people are competing for resources or for a position that influences the allocation of resources, then our brain’s lower reptilian-mammalian centers naturally perceive people around us to be against us, and consequently generate an ‘aggression or withdrawal’ response. Its antidote also lies in the neurochemistry inside us. Actually when we feel safe connectivity with people around us, a pleasurable bonding chemical gets produced in our brain-part hypothalamus. It is called Oxytocin.

The same chemical facilitates lactation for mother-child bonding, and the same chemical is at the base of human bonding-behaviors. In interpersonal terms, a greeting, a handshake, addressing someone by name, or discussing something common like weather or traffic can cause a release of oxytocin, and create vibes of cohesion and cooperation. That’s why it is worth every bit to invest time in establishing and maintaining rapport between team members. To appreciate this fact, social & emotional intelligence is needed.

This ‘emotional & social intelligence’ is about one’s understanding of the design and functioning of human brain, and how they lead to people’s behaviors and choices. This all-important blend of neuroscience and psychology forms the basis for learning emotional & social intelligence – the skill of managing self and connecting with others. Yes, this base-skill of all intrapersonal & interpersonal skills can be learnt, practiced and mastered. However, it all begins with some important realizations like…“Collaboration requires rapport-building”.


Dr. Sandeep Atre

‘Emotional & Social Intelligence’ Expert

Founder – Socialigence

Note: Socialigence ( offers self-paced video-based online course on ‘Social & Emotional Intelligence’ with content that has relevance across the globe, and delivery specifically customized according to the work-scenarios in India.