Friday, December 05, 2008

Up until just a couple of years ago, I never gave much thought to Corporate Politics and how it impacted my career or the organization I worked for. I recognized incidents of power struggles, internal conflicts, workplace gossip or drama, but never articulated them into any formal thought of organizational politics. When I shifted my career to I-O Psychology, I became more aware of the internal dynamics within departments, between employees, colleagues, and supervisors and noticed how those types of relationships played a significant role in how decisions are made. Now I can reflect on numerous incidents that occurred in the past where I was either in the middle or on the edge of political tactics. I remember an incident where I had to move my car from a parking space because someone in a higher position wanted it, although the parking space was not reserved for anyone. I was infuriated and at the time, and because I did not recognize it to be a power struggle or a political dilemma, I lashed out at HR and made myself look petty. My manager even pulled me aside and told me she was shocked that I had such a reaction to it. If I had understood politics at the time, I would have approached the situation differently and used my personal power and influencing styles or just taken a moment to reflect on the situation and use that opportunity to understand the company’s culture and what it meant that they would allow that to happen.
Understanding the importance and value of politics not only helps us in our own personal careers and jobs, but as future consultants and executive coaches, we need to be aware of how politics play a significant role in everyday situations. Before this Corporate Politics class, I never saw myself as politically savvy, and thought politics occurred only in grandiose gestures. I didn’t see myself as a participant of political games or struggles. Now, I see that politics can be much more subtle, and to develop a political antenna has allowed me to hone in on my personal influencing styles and power. Although I may not be politically savvy, I feel more empowered to not be a victim of political situations and use it to benefit me or the company.
I am excited to explore politics in more depth in future research, and this class has set the stage for my continuous development of recognizing and my role in participating in organizational politics.


Blogger Kopitzee said...

Desiree's experience points out the importance of being aware of politics. Politics is part of the fabric of social interaction that perhaps we've simply adapted to its presence so much so that we aren't aware of it? Additionally, understanding that "politics" does not simply refer to malicious games or tactics people use to achieve selfish ends and rather represents various social "rules of engagement."

This awareness, as Desiree describes, allows her now to be more aware of the subtle and obvious maneuvering that occurs all around her. This awareness is also a form of personal power (knowledge is power). It is a form of power in that most people continue to be oblivious to how pervasive politics really are.

I agree that her continued development in identifying politics and in maneuvering them for herself will contribute to her being a highly effective professional and individual.

1:40 PM  

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