As an executive coach and business consultant, I can say that that is a hard question to answer without specifics. It would be great if doing a good job and ignoring politics was a key to success. But groups of humans are nowhere near that rational.
Certainly, it is healthy to focus on work and put less energy into politics.
At the same time, some workplaces (or bosses) are so unhealthy it is best to leave.
And it is also valuable to learn the skills of communication and leadership so that we develop peace and reduce conflicts. My hubs on the 4 types of leaders (Gordon Bethune in particular) and Stephen Covey's 7 Habits might help.
We deal with it with lots of humour - and I mean lots and lots - it's the only way. I work in a small pharmacy- all middle aged women, including myself, and my daughter is the 'Saturday girl'. Our boss is a lovely young Irishman who is only 25 years old. It could be a dreadful mix, but most of what could be conflict and sometimes outright bullying is turned on it's head by sometimes quite sharp repartee. The result is that we have a very enviable working atmosphere with people from other branches wanting to work in our shop. it's a very busy and hard work, but it's usually good fun to go to work. It works for us
Can't ignore it. Politics is war without bloodshed. One should learn the rules of engagement. This is not utopia, this is reality. I would read the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu - it is a very slim book.
Another good book is The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene that goes beyond Niccolò Machiavelli with many historical examples.
"Everything must appear civilized, decent, democratic and fair .. place your iron hand inside a velvet glove, you cannot opt out of the game. There are no nonplayers. #1 master your emotions.
SidKemp said it right. Sometimes it's better to leave than have an ulcer or TMJ from grinding your teethe. Your health is affected by toxic bosses that will give you an illnesses from stress.
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