How to Avoid Office Politics

Last Updated Nov 13, 2007 12:00 PM EST

office-politics.jpgMost people hate politicians, but that doesn't stop them from engaging in office politics. It's human nature that whenever there's a hierarchy, some folks will always be gossiping, jockeying for position, overstepping their bounds, and so on. Lifehack.org offers four tips for steering clear of office politics, thereby making your office a more pleasant place. Here's an excerpt from tip number one:
Avoid office gossip. Participation in gossip is usually the fastest entry point into office politics -- usually the person who is letting you in on the latest news is consciously or subconsciously trying to align you with their point of view, or negatively dispose you towards their enemies. Gossip is very often a two-edged sword: "Whoever gossips to you will someday gossip about you," so the Spanish proverb goes. Gossip can also unfairly poison your opinions of your colleagues and influence your judgement if you have to make decisions that affect them.
The writing here is a little shaky, but the points are sound: By understanding the motivations behind office politics, you can attune yourself to it and subsequently avoid it. Got an office-politics horror story to share? You know where: the Comments! Photo by davidcrow.
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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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