How to Handle—and Survive—Office Politics

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 2016-07-21 Email

The U.S. presidential campaign rolls around only every four years, but, for American workers, office politics remains a never-ending reality that must be dealt with every workday, according to a recent survey from Accountemps. A clear majority of the employees surveyed said office politics exists in their workplace—often in the form of activities such as gossiping and taking credit for the work of others. Most professionals concede that in order to get ahead, they need to be involved—at least some of the time—in office politics. It's best, however, to tread carefully, as aligning with the wrong person could result in career damage. "There are certain situations in which office politics can't be avoided—it's a natural part of workplace dynamics," said Bill Driscoll, a district president for Accountemps. "The key is to understand what's at the core of politically charged situations, such as personalities or working relationships, and try to resolve issues in a tactful manner. If you must get involved, you want to be seen as the diplomat." In addition to the survey research, Accountemps has come up with a list of classic "office politicians"—along with tips on how to deal with them—and we've adapted some of those situations here. More than 1,000 U.S. workers took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

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