Last week we discussed the basics of organizational politics – this week we’ll talk about some intentional strategies that you can leverage to facilitate your success. Whether your perception of organizational politics is positive or negative (I don’t know many who are neutral), you need to have the tools available to expedite your career growth, as well as to enable corporate growth and development.
It is important for you to take both a strategic and an intentional approach to politics. Unfortunately, there are few useful resources available to assist you in navigating your way through the turbulent sea of corporate politics. Below are some strategies that I have employed myself for many years, as well as consistently deploying them with my clients:
- Communicate Regularly With Perceived Opponents:
Most of us communicate with our allies, who we trust and who agree with us… when the people we have the most to learn (and gain) from are our adversaries.
- Do Not EVER Allow Work To Become Personal:
When you communicate with perceived antagonists, keep your statements objective. If you refuse to make it personal, it is more difficult for the opposition to make personal attacks – as well as making it far easier to maintain a focus on what you are both trying to achieve.
- Constantly Reframe:
Seek perspective. It is natural to assume that it is “all about us” – the alternative is to recognize that much of politics is about people working to get things done within a diverse community of interests, for a mutually beneficial period of time. Communicate in terms of common interests and recognize that interests may shift over time.
- Build Mutually Beneficial Relationships:
The better you are at networking, the better you will be at organizational politics.
- Focus On Interests, Not Positions:
In the interest of finding common ground, show interest in others’ objectives and ask more questions. Why is this person interested in …? What is s/he trying to achieve? How can you help? How do interests align?
As a leader, you need to inspire people to engage politics in a positive way by creating clarity and unity of purpose and build synergies through creating and reinforcing organizational values. You have a choice – you can engage in negative politics and leverage your political skills to manipulate others… or you can engage politics from a positive perspective to influence people to achieve more than they ever thought possible –
Which will accomplish more and move the organization forward faster?
You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next week for the next installation in the ongoing discussions of Leaders Across Boundaries & Borders.