Top 4 Workplace Politics and How to Manage Them

Workplace Politics

Top 4 Workplace Politics and How to Manage Them: Workplace politics—it’s an undeniable element in every office setting, no matter how big or small, no issue the industry. It can influence work culture, impact employee morale, and even determine career progression. But don’t you worry! In this article, we’ll unravel the top 4 types of workplace politics and arm you with strategies to deal with them effectively.

Understanding Workplace Politics

Defining Workplace Politics

Workplace politics refers to the social maneuvering and power plays within a workplace. Individuals use an intricate web of strategies to gain an advantage, personally or for a particular cause. Sounds sinister? It can be, but remember, not all workplace politics are negative.

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Causes and Effects of Workplace Politics

Workplace politics arise from differences in employee goals, interests, or values. It’s further fueled by limited resources, ambiguity in roles and responsibilities, and organizational structure. When politics are positive, they can foster collaboration and creativity and drive the organization forward. However, when negative, they breed conflict, reduce productivity, and create a toxic environment.

Top 4 Types of Workplace Politics


Definition and Impact

Ever heard someone say, “Watch your back” when joining a new workplace? They’re warning you about backstabbers. These individuals betray the trust and undermine colleagues behind their backs. It can result in damaged professional relationships and a hostile work environment.

Dealing with Backstabbing

Facing a backstabber? Stand tall. Collect evidence of their actions, calmly confront them, or report the situation to a superior. Keep your integrity intact; it’s a quality no backstabber can take from you.

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Definition and Impact

Favoritism is the preferential treatment given to one individual over others based on personal likes rather than merit. It stifles healthy competition, leading to resentment, demotivation, and a lack of trust.

Addressing Favoritism

If you’re in the throes of favoritism, start by evaluating your own performance. Could you do something differently? If not, discuss respectfully with your supervisor or involve HR if necessary.


Definition and Impact

Gossiping involves spreading rumors or unverified information about others. It can be destructive, hampering productivity and breeding distrust among colleagues.

Handling Gossiping

Avoid gossip mills. If you’re a target, confront the source politely but firmly. Encourage a culture of direct communication and positivity.

Power Trips

Definition and Impact

Power trips happen when someone misuses their authority or influence for personal gain. It can create a climate of fear and decrease employee morale.

Navigating Power Trips

Stand your ground, yet be respectful. Maintain professionalism and address the issue directly or escalate it if required.

Tips to Manage Workplace Politics

Practical Strategies

Learn to navigate politics by building solid relationships, demonstrating transparency, and promoting open communication. Encourage a culture of respect and fairness. It can be as simple as acknowledging everyone’s contributions and ideas.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent individuals are better at work. They understand their emotions, empathize with others, and effectively manage interpersonal relationships. Sound like someone you’d like to be? You’re only a few steps away!


Workplace politics is like the weather, constantly changing, sometimes predictable, other times not. It’s normal; it’s human, but how you handle it makes all the difference. Embrace positive politics, tackle the negative, and remember, the work environment you cultivate will influence not just your professional life but you’re personal too.

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  1. What is workplace politics? Workplace politics refers to the social maneuvering and power plays within a workplace.
  2. Why does workplace politics occur? Politics arise from differences in employee goals, interests, or values. They are often fueled by limited resources and ambiguity in roles and responsibilities.
  3. How can I deal with backstabbing at work? Collect evidence, confront the person calmly, or report the situation to a superior.
  4. What can be done about favoritism in the workplace? Evaluate your performance, discuss respectfully with your supervisor, or involve HR if necessary.
  5. How can I handle gossip in the workplace? Avoid participating in gossip. If targeted, confront the source politely but firmly.
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