When you hear the word politics, what comes to mind? What adjectives would you use to describe the practice of politics? Should there be power and politics in an organization? Can
Read/review the following resources for this activity:
- Textbook: Chapter 5
- Link (video): Leadership Tutorial: Using Positive Power and Politics
- Minimum of 1 library resource for initial post
For this discussion post, you will watch a short video discussing politics and power in the workplace. Before watching the video, reflect on the following questions:
- When you hear the word politics, what comes to mind? What adjectives would you use to describe the practice of politics?
- Should there be power and politics in an organization? Can and should management stop the use of power and politics in their organizations?
Now, watch the video keeping in mind your previous reflections on power and politics.
Initial Post Instructions
In your post, discuss the following:
- Did your reflections align with those presented in the video? Explain.
- Have you experienced political behavior as that described in the video? Has it been a positive or a negative experience?
- How would you rate your political skills based on what was discussed in class and in the video? What kind of political behavior have you used the most?
Secondary Post Instructions
Read and respond to posts made by at least two peers. Respond in one of the following ways:
- Ask a probing question.
- Share an insight from having read your peer’s post.
- Offer and support an opinion.
- Validate an idea with your own experience.
- Make a suggestion.
Power and politics within a workplace is a problem that a lot of organizations seem to have in the present day. For some, the ability to use their power to succeed is beneficial. For others, it is unfair and political. According to an article, “People leverage these power dynamics to further their own interests or that of a group they are affiliated with," Chancey told Business News Daily. "Such behavior is inevitable, given that human beings are naturally political and will do whatever it takes to protect their own interests” (Schooley, 2019). When I hear “politics” I instantly think of the government. I think of the two major parties; democrats and republicans. However, politics does not refer solely to government institutions. It also refers to workplaces and organizations. In my beliefs, politics and power should not be used in an organization. In many cases, a leader uses power too much and causes the organization to slowly fail. Management, board members, etc. should be allowed to use their powers to limit the politics and power of others. However, they risk losing their jobs, or their lives in several cases, in doing so. My reflections aligned very similarly with the video that was provided. As the video stated, people with too much power in the workplace often try to make changes to the organization structure, without the consultation of others. This is not right as it is purely a power trip. Again, in most cases, this eventually leads to complete failure of the organization. As I am just entering the workforce, I have not personally experienced political behavior. However, I certainly have seen it among several people. In these cases, it was a negative experience. As stated in the video, the x-factor is the ability to build a productive relationship. I would say that this is political behavior that I have used. At my job, I have been there the longest. So, I am able to use my political behavior in taking charge of the things I know how to do, while creating good relationships with my coworkers. I do not want my coworkers to think that since I have been there the longest that I am more superior. So, I create good relationships and balance out the duties of the job. For example, I do what I know how to do, and they do the same.
Schooley, S. (2019, October 4). How to Break Down Workplace Politics: Leadership. Retrieved May 18, 2020, from https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6374-fix-workplace-politics.html
When I hear the word politics, I think of negative malicious behavior and selfish tactics as used by politicians in government. After watching the video, I now understand the real meaning of politics. Politics refers to activities that are aimed at improving one’s status by gaining power. According to the video, politics does not always have to be negative (LinkedIn Learning, 2014). A group or an individual can gain power in a more sincere way by great performance and building productive relationships. These are the only ways of using positive power politics without contributing to the negative stereotypes associated with politics.
In my previous part-time job, I experienced political behavior, as described in the group. I was in the sales department, which is highly competitive. Thus, workers would use all means to ensure that they remain on top of the game, which included negative politics such as spreading rumors and sharing secret information about a person. These behaviors created a negative experience for me because there was no trust between co-workers. Also, there was a lot of tension in the workplace. Thus, preventing people from working together through teamwork requires loyalty and trust.
I would rate my political skills as wanting because I am a very introverted person. I find it hard to socialize and create alliances with people who might help me in the future. However, now that I am aware of my weakness, I am constantly working towards improving. I tend to use networking most because it involves developing relationships with individuals for the purpose of politicking and socializing (Lussier & Achua, 2015). I also plan to increase the use of coalitions and reciprocity because these two behaviors also offer numerous behaviors.
LinkedIn Learning. (2014). Leadership tutorial: Using positive power and politics | lynda.com. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ljW2aZLeeo
Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2015). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. Nelson Education.
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