Political savvy in organisations refers to the ability to understand, navigate, and effectively influence the political dynamics and power structures that exist within a given workplace or organisation. It involves being aware of the informal networks, power relationships, and unwritten rules that govern decision-making and influence within the organisation.
Being politically savvy requires a range of skills and abilities, including:
Emotional intelligence: the ability to understand and manage one's own emotions and the emotions of others.
Communication skills: the ability to communicate effectively with people at all levels of the organisation, including the ability to listen actively, express oneself clearly and persuasively, and negotiate effectively.
Relationship building: the ability to build and maintain positive relationships with colleagues, stakeholders, and other key players within the organisation.
Strategic thinking: the ability to think critically and strategically about the organisation’s goals, priorities, and challenges, and to develop effective strategies for achieving them.
Flexibility and adaptability: the ability to navigate and respond to changing circumstances, including changes in leadership, organisational structure, and priorities.
Political astuteness: the ability to read people and situations accurately and to understand the power dynamics and hidden agendas at play within the organisation.
Here are some tips for being more politically savvy at work:
Build Relationships: It's important to build positive relationships with colleagues, superiors, and subordinates in the workplace. Networking and socialising can help build trust, establish common ground, and provide opportunities for collaboration.
Listen more than you speak: Listening to others is essential in building relationships and gaining a better understanding of what is happening in your organisation. By understanding the concerns and perspectives of others, you can better position yourself to offer solutions that are beneficial to everyone involved.
Stay informed: Stay up-to-date with news and developments that may impact your company or industry. Knowledge of the latest trends, policy changes, and market forces will make you a valuable asset to your team and help you stay ahead of the curve.
Know your audience: Understanding the goals, priorities, and motivations of your colleagues and superiors will help you tailor your messages and communication style to be more effective in achieving your objectives.
Choose your battles: It's important to choose the right issues to focus on and prioritise. Avoid getting bogged down in petty disputes or issues that won't ultimately make a big impact on the organisation.
Build coalitions: Seek out allies and build coalitions around common goals. This can help you achieve greater influence and make your voice heard more effectively.
Be authentic: Be true to yourself and your values while navigating the politics of your workplace. People will respect you more if you remain authentic and true to yourself, even in difficult situations.
Overall, being politically savvy is an important skill for anyone who wants to be successful in a complex and dynamic organisation, as it can help to ensure that one's ideas are heard and valued, and that one is able to navigate and influence the organisational landscape effectively.