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Types of office politicians and how to handle them

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“JUST BECAUSE you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” – Pericles Last week we started a series on “office politics”.

We established that in every organization there is office politics and we look at two of six types of office politicians and how to handle them as identified by staffing firm Accountemps. Today we look at: 1. The Flatterer: This person is easy to detect.

He/she is the “yes please manager”, agreeing with every decision the boss makes and complimenting every action. As a rank and file, this employee bows and scrapes to the boss and always has the right words to say. Sooner than later you will be able to tell when the flatter is disingenuous.

2. The Saboteur: In the world of politics, the saboteurs have opposition research. In the office, this person is a self-seeker who is skilled at making others look bad. He/she searches for dirt on employees and creates upset at the opportune time. If you experience a saboteur, confront the person early.

Do it in an assertive but professional manner. That may cause him/her to respect you and stay clear.

Otherwise, keep track of your exchanges and share them with your boss or the Human Resources Manager.

3. The Lobbyist: In government, the lobbyist’s objective is to sway the opinion of parliamentarians and garner support for his/her cause. In the workplace, this staff is combative and has a reputation for swaying opinions in

his/her favour. A Lobbyist does not like to have his/ her opinions challenged.

However, to thrive among lobbyists, you need to speak up when you disagree with their opinions.

It may just be what they need to be opened to other ideas.

4. The Advisor: In government, a special advisor occupies a discrete role in providing advice to ministers that is more of a political nature. In the workplace, the advisor is often the person the CEO or management team confides in and turn to for assistance. It is within your best interest to befriend the advisor, since that person will have inside information of what’s going on and is very influential among the powers that be.

You may not enjoy office politics, but to thrive in it you must understand the rules and be prepared to play if necessary.

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