Conflict and Politics at Work

If there's no conflict in the company where you work, enjoy it, it won't last. Wherever you have two or more people working together, sooner or later a squabble is going to breakout. Here's a small sampling of the causes of conflict.


Gossip is the act of saying something negative about a person, true or false, behind their back. People with an inferiority complex try to distract others from seeing their ignorance and incompetence by using gossip and rumors to direct everyone's attention to another person. If you learn that someone is spreading gossip and rumors about you, do not confront them.

Confronting a gossip shows them that they have succeeded in their plan to make you look bad, and that what they say is very important to you. Instead of confronting them, just ignore them. For one thing, everybody knows this person is a gossip and only the stupid believe what they say, and why make a lot of effort related to the stupid?

For another thing, ignoring what a gossip says about you shows them that you think they, and what they say, is unimportant to you. If someone reports to you what the a gossip said about you, respond by saying "only a stupid person would believe that and I don't care what the stupid think".


Sometimes squabbles break out at work because someone feels that another employee is not doing their fair share of the work. You have to understand that some people are developing a career and they take pride in their work, while other people come to work primarily to socialize and get a paycheck.

If you're one of the people who takes pride in their work, then you need to work according to your own plan and your own values and just ignore what the slackers are doing. Believe me, everybody knows who's doing the work and who isn't. Eventually those who are doing the work will be rewarded, and those who are slacking off will just stagnate.

If you're one of the people who comes to work primarily to socialize and get a paycheck, I actually respect that. After all, we work to live, not live to work. On the other hand there are consequences if you don't pull your fair share, and one of those consequences is people resenting you at work. This hardly contributes to your desire to socialize. What you need to do is self-regulate your socializing and chatting time at work to make sure you're doing your fair share of work.


Sometimes squabbles break out at work because someone feels that another employee is not cooperating and this is causing them extra work or other problems. The most productive work environment is where everyone cooperates to get the job done. But some people don't want to cooperate. Some people don't want to cooperate because they have the "not my job" syndrome.

People with the "not my job" syndrome feel they don't get credit for doing work that is outside their job description. Actually company's hate employees with the "not my job" syndrome. One of the best ways to succeed at work is to be able to do as many different jobs as possible. If you can't get cooperation from a co-worker with the "not my job" syndrome, maybe pointing out how this is not in their best interest will help.

Another reason some people don't want to cooperate at work is because they feel it threatens their job security. You run into this when the cooperation involves the other employee revealing how they do some part of their job, or releasing some data or information that they use for their job. They feel that if no-one else knows how to do their job, they can't be fired.

If you can't convince a person who won't cooperate because of job security reasons to cooperate, you have only two choices; either point out to your boss that his department is vulnerable if this person quits. He may then force the other employee to cooperate, or learn how to do the other employees job yourself, which will result in a vigorous attack against you by the other employee.

Organizational Politics

Wherever you have two or more people working together, there is politics. All organizations have politics. And trying to stay out of politics is a mistake because if you're not in a clique, you're an enemy to that clique, so pick a team. On the other hand, you don't need to be the most active member of a clique.

If all employees were competent and cooperative, there would be no company politics. Unfortunately many employees are incompetent and need to protect their job by covering up the mistakes they make. They do this by trying to draw attention to someone else's mistakes.

Several incompetent employees will form a group or clique in order to cover each others mistakes and perform coordinated attacks against people in the other clique, blaming them for all the companies problems.

Join a clique, but get involved in the politics only minimally as requred to retain your membership. Eventually one clique will lose the war, and if you chose the loosing team, but where only minimally involved, you might survive.

More Success at Work Information:
• How To Beat Job Burnout
• Dealing With Employee Insubordination
• How To Impress Your Boss Without Sucking Up
• Working For a Bad Boss
• Self-Esteem and Success
• Boost Your Career With Networking
• How to Successfully Manage a Difficult or "Bully" Boss
• Communicating With Your Boss
• Meeting Assignment Requirements at Work
• The Gamble of Workplace Romance