How to recognise office drama

It’s an unfortunate fact that in many companies you’ll find rival groups and sources of conflict. Some people seem to spend more time dealing with internal politics than actually doing their job. 

You don’t need to get involved in conflicts and disagreements. When a co-worker complains or says negative things about the company, you don’t need to pay any attention. It’s not worth your time and energy. When someone insults one of the senior managers and says they are an idiot, you don’t need to discuss the point. Always make up your own mind about people based on your own experience, rather than believing what others say. Be positive and straightforward with everyone and learn as much as you can. It’s alright to be aware of whatever political conflicts there may be, but don’t get directly involved. It’s easy to get drawn into disputes you don’t want to be a part of. 

Sometimes the hard part is distinguishing between the juvenile fights and the important conflicts. If you need some help spotting office drama, here are three instances you should recognise and avoid:

  • Talking about someone behind their back
    Gossip is often a source of conflict at work. If you find yourself talking about other people in a way that isn’t related to the job you are doing, chances are you’re gossiping. Gossip doesn’t help anyone – all it does is spread negativity. People will feel as if they are on one side or the other and this will divide them. This doesn’t help to build a strong team. Try to stick to conversations about work while in the office. That way, you will become known as an honest person and people will feel comfortable approaching you to talk. Even if you’re not the one starting the gossip, don’t feel pressured to get involved. It’s always better to stay out of it and focus on your work. 
  • Complaining instead of trying to solve the problem
    If you are unhappy about something at work or if a colleague comes to you with a problem and tries to get you involved, look for a solution. Don’t tell other people about your problem until you have tried to fix it. You will not make a good impression if all you do is complain at work. It will look like you are too lazy to do your job. However, if you work to solve the problem, you will give the impression that you are a hard worker even when things are difficult.
  • Getting involved in conflict that doesn’t involve you
    If there is a disagreement in the workplace that you are not directly involved in, do not join. Ask yourself whether the matter concerns you or whether you are simply trying to be included. Your manager will not appreciate a conflict being made worse by other people joining in. And it is a sure way for you to become distracted from your work.