Office politics-the elephant in the room!!

on Apr 20, 2010 @ 06:37 pm

Ugh...who has NOT come across OFFICE POLITICS....the game players, the multiple layers, the back stabbers....

How do you 'deal' with the office politics and games? Do you remove yourself from the situation? Do you make your 'position' clear from the beginning? Or do you play Switzerland?

3 Replies

Ali de Bold
Switzerland on Apr 20, 2010 @ 09:51 pm

The biggest problem with office politics as I see it is that people forget they are coworkers first and friends second. What you say can and will be used against you. I have worked with very few people who were truly difficult, but I'd generally avoid them as much as possible and make sure I had a good relationship with my boss and coworkers. If someone tries to get you in on the negative nasty stuff, don't fall for it. Get really good at the smile and nod and then excuse yourself. People who are disgruntled want you to agree with them in their negativity, but that's never to your benefit.

dynamic relationships on Apr 21, 2010 @ 08:28 am

Ali's absolutely right. In my experience, unfortunately, sometimes you don't realize you are involved until it's too late! You may be nodding sympathetically as a coworker vents about her deskmate - not agreeing nor disagreeing - and then later hear that you totally support that coworker! At the same time, staying completely apart can be difficult if (a) you are a social person to begin with and (b) you don't want to seem unapproachable.

It also makes a difference if you are fairly junior in the company or if you are senior with influence/management. In the case of management you really must try to steer clear, but if you seem frigid as an entry level, it can be difficult to cultivate the often important friendships that lead to business mentoring and career advancement. As you move up, too, your relationships change - hence the title of my reply.

So to get back to the matter at hand... What should you do? Be Switzerland. But is that truly acheivable? That's the sticking point!

switzerland on Apr 22, 2010 @ 11:10 am

I've been fortunate enough to have very agreeable co-workers so far in my career. I guess it could be related t the fact that I am so easy-going myself. I'm not a doormat by any means, but I tend to not ever put up a stink. I'm not implying that you do, meredith. I guess I've just been really lucky to have generally dealt w/ easy-going colleagues. It could also be the nature of my industry -- I'm surrounded by a bunch of like minded geeky scientific meteorologists and computer programmers ... a lot of introverts that prefer to avoid conflict.

Every now and again, though, something does arise that requires sticking out your neck. You just have to do that in good judgment and style so it does not come back to haunt you.

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