Some of my clients do not enjoy navigating the political environment in their organizations. However, I am convinced that understanding and navigating the political environment within your organization is just as important as the technical aspects of your job. Why do I say this? I say this because I have observed people who do it well are often promoted, even when they may not be as talented technically. People who know, respect, and navigate the political environment have an advantage.
There are many different elements necessary for achieving success at work. Otherwise you might inadvertently detonate a political landmine. I myself did this once, and from that point forward I made it a point to understand the political environment to the best of my ability.
What are some of the elements of successfully navigating politically? One aspect is to understand the power structures within an organization both the obvious and hidden. For example, an individual can be very powerful without a formal title. I know individuals who are at a lower hierarchical level, but they wield a tremendous amount of power because they have a steady, ongoing audience with an individual(s) in a position of power.
If you have been thinking that office politics are beneath you – I encourage you as I encourage my 1-1 executive coaching clients to think again and begin to see this as an integral part of your job.