21 Ways Coworkers Make Your Job Harder

These are the under-the-radar ways to wage office wars.

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Michael Wade

Office wars may be waged in indirect ways that allow for deniability. It helps to know the multitude of snares that are out there.

Here are 21 tactics others can easily adopt to make your work life much more difficult:

  1. Agree to your proposal—and then do nothing to help put it into action.
  2. Lose vital paperwork. 
  3. Let deadlines expire, or nearly, and then ask for more time.
  4. Hide crucial information.
  5. Leak sensitive material.
  6. Exaggerate your position.
  7. Pretend to have misinterpreted your request.
  8. Bring in notorious producers of delay; e.g. lawyers, consultants, and accountants.
  9. Keep asking for additional information.
  10. Send your paperwork to the wrong office.
  11. Miss important meetings.
  12. Call unnecessary meetings.
  13. Fail to circulate background information prior to the meeting.
  14. Reassign essential workers to other tasks.
  15. Wait until the decision is on the verge of being made and then bring up possible objections that need to be resolved before any action can be taken.
  16. Generate unnecessary work for your team.
  17. Let key workers go on leave.
  18. Burden your team with uncooperative or incompetent people.
  19. Gut your budget.
  20. Make groundless complaints.
  21. Micromanage your activities.
  22. Michael Wade writes Execupundit.com, an eclectic combination of management advice, observations, and links. A partner with the Phoenix firm of Sanders Wade Rodarte Consulting Inc., he has advised private and public-sector organizations for more than 30 years.