Tip Sheet for Politics Leaders

Leaders are visionary and goal-oriented decision makers who can inspire their team to achieve the company’s vision and keep them focused on the mission. Leadership and organizational politics are closely linked. Politics refers to the process of resolving differences through negotiation, discussion, and compromise. On the other hand, organizational politics is the behavior and process in human interactions that involve power and authority. Leaders must be sensitive to the political context and acknowledge the legalities of their organization mission.

Politics at work shouldn’t be about unintended or negative behavior. It’s about understanding the organizational environment – it is a tool that can help you make better decisions. To strategize political decisions, there are four main steps. The first step involves assessing political feasibility. This is a process that assesses both the operational and acceptability of a decision. The second step is to map the political landscape. This is done by identifying the organizational strengths and weaknesses, motivations, resources, values, trade-offs, and other relevant information. Third, you will need to do a political cost and benefits analysis. This involves comparing costs and benefits. The fourth step is actually to make the decision.

Politics can be used to evaluate operational capability and to weigh the views of different parties. It is power, and should be used to make decisions with political sensitivity. Here are some tips for leaders regarding workplace politics.

  1. Understanding the political relationship begins with defining the politics within the organization.
  2. Develop a political map to identify the benefits of politics.
  3. Political sensitivity is required to implement policies and decisions
  4. Take on political responsibility
  5. Professionalism and responsibility are your best qualities
  6. Personal and legal responsibility
  7. Accept policy by using political favors
  8. Powerfullness in making decisions
  9. To make future decisions, you can use the political environment
  10. Evaluate operational capacity
  11. Value and substance worth are two different things
  12. To assess organizational strengths and weaknesses, map the political landscape
  13. Learn about the exchanges, incentives, and resources available.
  14. Prepare in advance and develop your arguments
  15. Learn how to use the formal guidelines
  16. Make the most of information opportunities
  17. Negotiate, compromise and adapt
  18. Different points of view should be balanced
  19. Promote the goals of stakeholders
  20. Respect the authority of others and work within their boundaries.

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