I've recently been reassigned to another dept. My new boss and my former boss are at odds with one another. Lines are being drawn between the two depts, and I am being pulled into the fray. I would prefer to stay neutral but I wonder if this is naive. What advice or experience have others had around office place factional fighting?

ken_wills's picture

 Hi - If you focus on knowing and doing your job to the best of your abilities, you'll find that you can steer through most of the politics.

In my experience, the majority of office politics doesn't have to do with the job itself - it's tied up in gossip, speculation, taking sides (what is this - a playground?).  That is, most of politics can be ignored - if you choose to ignore it.

For example, if you say you're "being pulled into the fray" by people who want to include you in us vs. them conversations, or in gossip - don't participate.  Try to avoid those conversations, and when you can't avoid them, keep your opinion to yourself.


I'm risking making this sound easy, and I know it's not.  It's simple, but not easy.


Good luck!

Tribble's picture

 What if it happens to be about decisions on what work gets done?


Some people really have an agenda.


For instance, in my first meeting I found I got ignored and everyone was loud and agressive putting what work they wanted to do out there and it was different than what is in my project plan.


I had to tell the meeting leaders after the meeting I just don't have the resources to do all those things and they were different that what I had previously agreed to so I am told to talk to the release manager about it and he says it isn't his decesion to talk to the other manager and I talk to him and he comes down to my office and I tell him I can't squeeze it in. He says well lets just wait and see on that one. What the bleep does wait and see mean? I either have to say we are doing it and what release date it is or not meaning I have to assign the work to someone.


So  I go to the business manager about the situation and copy in the two other managers and then I am invited to a meeting with the general manager.


I think the product manager is sneaky and he is driving this lot of work and told the gm he could do it without finding out if there was the resources to do it. So now he is too chicken to tell the gm he can't get this one piece of work in like he promised.


So how do I deal with this mess?


My style is high I and I am quiet but very direct.