Effective Communication Skills for Scientific and Technical Professionals

By Harry E. Chambers | Go to book overview

13
Mastering
Organizational Politics

"Politics" is considered to be a bad word by many scientific and technical professionals.Many take pride in their refusal to engage in or play organizational politics. They may perceive this as taking a high road position, yet it is not necessarily a strategy that enhances their careers. The bottom line is, politics makes the world go round. If you choose to remain aloof from organizational politics, do not expect the same positive benefits that accrue to those who understand the issues and cultivate good relationships. By refusing to participate, many of you literally make yourselves political prisoners. The results are generally problematic: access to organizational resources can be diminished and barriers to performance may remain in place for you while they are removed for others.

In the past, you were not called upon to be politically astute. It was not a necessary skill. Today, lack of political acumen is a luxury you cannot afford. Failing to master internal political circumstances can result in having less access or influence and increases the likelihood of being excluded from the main focus of organizational activity. If you want to find yourself on the outside looking in, refrain from internal political involvement. You do not have to like it; you just have to understand it!

One of the reasons you may find yourself at a political disadvantage is that you may not know how to engage in political activity. People in other functions and professions may be more politically astute by their very nature. You are often at a disadvantage because you work independently or in environments somewhat removed from mainstream activity, observations,

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