Are You Able to Correctly Read Political Styles at Work?

Are You Able to Correctly Read Political Styles at Work?
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Scan Your Situation to Better Read Political Styles at Work
Wouldn’t it be helpful to correctly read political styles at work to better navigate important meetings, high stakes decisions, and critical conversations? If you and your team knew how to scan the organization for clues about power and politics at work, they would know who and what to focus on along with how to better influence those around them.

“Power of Ideas” versus “Power of Person” Political Styles at Work
Organizationally savvy leaders can walk into a complex and visible situation at work and identify who has a “Power of Ideas” and who has a “Power of Person.” Leaders, especially new managers, must understand that these styles represent two different world views, each with a different moral compass, each with a different calculus for evaluating ideas or being influenced.

  • “Power of Person”
    In general, a “Power of Person” coworker has a more political style at work. They tend to focus on image and optics, make relationship-based decisions, highlight successes, and have private agendas.

    In the overly political extreme, they tend to be aggressive, dismissive, and manipulate special deals behind the scenes. Some are so into being a power player that they sabotage others at work for their own personal gain.
  • “Power of Ideas”
    In general, a “Power of Idea” coworker has a less political style at work. They tend to focus on substance, feedback, integrity, learning, transparency, and results. In the under-political extreme, they can underestimate, reject, and fall prey to office politics.

    Without political skills training, their influence, career ambitions, and impact can be severely diluted — especially if they adopt a “holier than thou” and self-righteous attitude toward ever-present organizational dynamics.

Leaders who correctly read political styles at work avoid political style-related taboos such as being careful about name-dropping with less political people, or not offending the ego of more political colleagues.

The Bottom Line
We know from assessing organizational cultures that each political style at work has a different worldview, level of political activity, and preference about power, politics, perceptions, image, and promotion of ideas and contributions. Smart leaders know that it pays to recognize political blind spots so that intellect, ideas, and results have a fair chance of receiving the proportionate level of recognition, credit, and reward.

To learn more about equipping managers and leaders to better navigate politics at work, download, How to Build the Competency of Organizational Savvy

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