Dealing With Office Politics? Here Are the 6 Types of People You’ll Meet
By Jillian Kramer, June 30, 2016 12:30 pm
Political drama doesn’t just happen between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump or on House of Cards. Politicians lurk in your office hallways and boardrooms, too, according to a new survey. And playing their games could be the key to career success.
According to the survey by staffing firm Accountemps, 80 percent of employees say they think politics are alive and well in the workplace. And 76 percent believe you have to play political games in order to get ahead at the office. That’s probably why more than half of workers—55 percent—admit to taking part in office politics.
If you feel you have to play the game at your nine to five, then you’ve probably encountered one or more of these six office politicians, which Accountemps has identified. But luckily, the firm has also provided tips for how to handle each one.
1. The Gossip Hound. According to Accountemps, “this person knows everything about everyone and isn’t afraid to share information—and she gets a rush by spilling secrets during lunch or posting confidential details on social media.”
To deal with the woman who wants to spill all the details, Accountemps suggests keeping your conversations short, and to a minimum. “When you sense the topic is shifting to coworkers’ personal lives, gracefully exit the conversation by saying you have pressing work to attend to,” Accountemps writes.
2. The Credit Thief. This coworker “wants to get ahead at any cost,” Accountemps writes, “even if it means stealing your ideas or passing your work off as his own.”
Don’t let someone steal the credit for your job well done. “Be more vocal about your views and projects in front of the whole team,” Accountemps encourages. “Provide frequent updates to your manager so there is no confusion about where credit is due.”
3. The Flatterer. According to Accountemps, “it can be hard to tell whether this person’s compliments are genuine or just a ploy to win people over.”
So, take this coworker’s comments with a grain of salt. Then know this: “Most managers can see through fakeness, so there’s no need for you to call out this behavior,” Accountemps says.
4. The Saboteur. There’s no I in team, but this particular coworker hasn’t gotten the memo, Accountemps says. “[He] works to benefit only himself,” the firm writes. “He can be openly critical, throws others under the bus and rarely takes responsibility for his faults.”
Accountemps suggests dealing with this particular politician by being wary of him. “Sometimes a Saboteur will back down if confronted,” the firm writes. “If the issue continues, keep track of your interactions and bring it up with your manager or human resources.”
5. The Lobbyist. According to Accountemps, “often fighting for what she believes in and known for swaying opinions to her favor, the office Lobbyist could have had a lucrative career in politics.”
Accountemps continues, “when working with a Lobbyist, voice your views on projects and speak up if you disagree with her outlook. Though a Lobbyist can be unreceptive to fresh ideas, a little explanation may be the key to getting her to open up to new concepts.”
6. The Adviser. This coworker is the eyes and ears of your boss on the ground, Accountemps describes. “Those in leadership positions often turn to this trusted associate,” the firm writes. “The Adviser works closely with company leaders and holds indirect power.”
The best way to deal with the Adviser? Become his or her BFF. “He is often the gatekeeper of significant information and wields influence behind the scenes,” Accountemps says, which makes him a good friend to have.