Pin Me

Recognizing & Avoiding Nasty Office Politics

written by: tesewell•edited by: Ginny Edwards•updated: 8/26/2010

Dealing with office politics can be a real headache, but there are a few things that you can do to stay above it all.

  • slide 1 of 1

    Co-workers, like family, are a segment of the population an individual can’t choose not to be around. However, that doesn’t mean the person must choose to participate or be pulled into nasty office politics. Usually, when office politics occur, workers are trying to obtain career goals such as promotions, better pay or showing their employers how invaluable they are. Unfortunately, when workers engage in bad or nasty office politics they are trying to obtain their goals at the expense of their co-workers.

    Nasty Office Politics: 11326425991 Office Politics Aren’t Always Obvious

    Granted, sometimes nasty office politics are obvious. For instance, a supervisor named Dave may unnecessarily write up co-workers while showing one co-worker, Greg, favorable attention with additional breaks or lighter duties. Or, Amy, a supervisor, may hold meetings without co-workers even though the workers are available and vital to the success of the company.

    However, other types of office politics aren’t so obvious. Possibly there is co-worker like Dan who gossips to newly hired employees about everyone’s life in and out of work or provides false advice or support to further his career.

    Although, he claims he’s looking out for the new co-workers, he’s telling all the wrong information that will cause trouble. Another example of office politics involves two co-workers, Carrie and James who work at a marketing agency. Carrie may need a vital report by noon Tuesday for a marketing presentation she must give at 3 p.m. that day. James may delay or withhold the report until 11:59 a.m.—even when it was finished hours before the deadline—because he wants Carrie to look unprepared and not vital to the company’s success.

    Avoid Nasty Office Politics

    Many employees—whether working in an office, restaurant or factory—want to move up in their company, achieve better pay or be appreciated by their employers. However, engaging in nasty office politics isn’t always the best path to take. So, sit back and watch co-workers. Figure out the co-workers who are playing politics. Although co-workers shouldn’t avoid them, they shouldn’t engage in mudslinging or gossip.

    Engage in Good Office Politics

    According to CNN, an individual should first figure out how success is measured at their company. This means finding out if their company promotes workers based on the revenue they generate, their knowledge of their job or willingness to take on new responsibilities. Then try doing those things to become successful.

    Also, it’s natural for people to develop friends at work. However, a common mistake is for a person to purposely align themselves with to one group or co-worker just because they will get them further in the company the fastest. Instead, be friendly to everyone and help them even when the co-worker's success won’t be a benefit to you. Although, it may sound simple, employers can take notice.

    Image Credit: sideshowmom/