Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started
Viewers: in countries Watching now:
In this weekly series, Todd Dewett, PhD, shares the tips respected and motivated managers use to improve rapport, navigate tricky situations, build better relationships, and drive the business forward. Each week, we'll release two tips ranging from avoiding the dreaded micromanagement to managing a multigenerational workforce, cultivating better listening skills, and developing an understanding of your organization's politics. Check back every Wednesday for more Management Tips.
Man with glasses: Politics is part of work. It usually gets a bad rap. Politics can be good or bad, but your goal is clear. Behave in a way that lets you build and use political power while not contributing to the negative stereotype. I don't want to justify bad political behaviors, but it is somewhat understandable where these behaviors come from. In an environment where one group's success can be limited by another group's success, some leaders feel compelled to begin empire building. They make decisions not simply based on what they need for them and their group, but also based on how they might gain leverage or control over other groups.
Sometimes they do this by attempting to assert control over others. This might include trying to make changes to the organizational chart and reporting channels, or by trying to put in place rules and procedures that ensure one group has more control over another. Another tactic that is very common is to create duplicate resources. If they can't control others, they'll try to build skills in their group that makes another group less powerful. For example, they might try to create their own IT or HR personnel. Predictably this creates big inefficiencies and harms culture.
Those are both big, long-term, and negative political moves. In addition, there's also a host of short-term interpersonal behaviors you want to avoid too including criticizing others publicly, intentionally bypassing someone in the chain of command, disloyalty, and burning bridges by creating ill will. All of these are far to common. Believe it or not, they hurt the person using these behaviors even though they think they're gaining power. Not you. You're going to take just the opposite approach, one that has more integrity and in fact works better.
You're goal is to amass power through two things, great performance and great relationships. First, nothing trumps great performance. When you perform at a high level, you don't have to try to gain attention and influence. It comes to you. The real X factor is your ability to build productive relationships. Here are three quick tips to get you moving. First, remember that great relationships are like great bank accounts. You have to make regular deposits. That means sharing useful information and offering help.
I'm talking about once every month or two, not once each year. Next, even when you're not interacting with someone, you can still help them by sharing good news that concerns them. If you have a great colleague, or a good contact and they just scored a big win, find the right time and place to share the good news with others in your network. Finally, find opportunities to connect people. If you meet someone and you know they could be an interesting contact for another one of your contacts, consider reaching out electronically to make the introduction.
It's funny. Too often politics is viewed negatively at work, but it doesn't have to be that way. To gain and use power positively is good. When you perform well above average, seek to help others, speak well of others, and help connect people, others will support you too.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Management Tips.
Here are the FAQs that matched your search "":
Sorry, there are no matches for your search ""—to search again, type in another word or phrase and click search.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.