Office Politics Terminology

“Life is too short not to make the best and the most of everything that comes your way everyday.” Sasha Azevedo


Apple Polishing or Brown Nosing

Making the supervisor look good.

Back Stabbing

The action of criticizing someone in a treacherous manner despite pretending friendship with them

Blame Shifting

The act of transferring responsibility for an error or problem to another person.

(Power or Loyalty) Cliques

Facing superiors as a cohesive group rather than alone.


To keep someone at a distance, treat coldly or in a unfriendly manner.

Distortions in Communication

Mis-information.Communication can be distorted either intentionally or unintentionally in many ways.

Empire Building

An attempt to seize control of others or decisions or resources to regain self-sufficiency.


Sieving out content or meaning based on one’s opinion or prejudice.

Group Think (Blind Conformity)

The practice of thinking or making decisions as a group, resulting typically in unchallenged, poor-quality decision-making.


Make (someone) feel ashamed and foolish; disgraced, embarassed by injuring their dignity and pride


Showing lack of interest, enthusiasm , or concern for something or someone.

Information Overload

This is the situation when a person is given too much information at a time.


The act of willfully disobeying a supervisor’s lawful orders. Refusing to perform an action that is unethical or illegal is not insubordination; neither is refusing to perform an action that is not within the scope of authority of the person issuing the order.


Cause hurt feelings, deep resentment or contempt by doing or saying something that shows a lack of respect for someone.


Having made a choice, tries to make it appear or look acceptable or “right”.

Lying to Cover Up Blame

A cover-up is an attempt to conceal something illegal, immoral, or undesirable.


An attempt to make the consequences of an action appear less harmful. Recognize the fact, but deny its seriousness.


To give a wrong impression or lead toward a wrong conclusion, especially by

intentionally deceiving.


The word is used  in those situations where a target is selected and bullied (mobbed) by a group of people rather than by one individual.


An attempt to discredit one’s competitor or opponent (harm his reputation) by malicious or scandalous attacks.


Ostracism is any act of banishing, shunning, ignoring, or excluding. It can be carried out by one individual upon another or by a group.


Excessively or unpleasantly self-assertive or ambitious. Behaving in an unpleasant way by trying too much to get something or to make someone do something.

Push Back

The act of repelling. The act of forcing the opposition to withdraw.

Scratch Someone’s Back

Collecting and using social IOUs. Exchanging reciprocal political favors by making someone look good or covering up someone’s mistakes.


The slacker does not like to do too much work.They push their responsibilities on to everyone else around them. They show little initiative and deadlines are merely suggestions to them.


Damage the reputation of (someone) by false accusations; slander.

Suck Up to Someone

The act of behaving in a very friendly, flattering, or kind manner to someone higher than you in order to get a benefit.

Taking Credit for Other’s Work

Claiming credit for someone else’s hard work or credit.


Territorialism is extreme control over resources and headcount. As resources become tighter, some departments or individuals tend to want to exert an extreme amount of control over the people or resources in their area or at their disposal.