Workplace politics is present in every organisation and you have to deal with it, be at the junior, middle-level or senior level management. Avoiding such political confrontations at times, as a HR creates communication void between you and your employees within an organisation.
As a senior HR manager or business partner you need to be an effective leader, and acknowledge political reality without shrugging off responsibility or eloping from the situation.
Human resource managers need to develop political skill. An important paradox exists with regards to leaders possessing political skill: ‘They seem to appear to lack it.’
This is because skilful political behaviour always comes across as genuine, effective and straightforward. On the other hand, the politically unskilled HR managers always look manipulative and those serving self-interest.
Tips for human resources managers to learn and become politically skilled, in order to effectively manage and handle workplace politics are as follows:
Managers should possess the ability to build strong interpersonal relationships, influence decisions and be able to turn odds in favour. You can only be politically right if you understand situations with a broader view, possess sound judgment and assert yourself when required. Skilful influencers are never overtly political, but are competent enough to play a fair game.
Powerful leaders have higher levels of integrity, honesty and sincerity with a transparent approach to build and gain trust and confidence of the working staff. They are view as open to discussion and forthright.
See: Fixing the Workplace Culture for Our Own Good
If you are able to build professional alliances and forge deeper bonds of trust in your organisation, then you can be an effective leader. Good networking skills and congenial relationships at workplace helps support causes, negotiate terms, take a stance on arguments and manage conflicting situations effectively. These people are always looked upon for they are willing to reciprocate, understand and attend to situations on hand promptly.
Empowered managers are good at connecting dots and get the cues right at the onset, during interactions with fellow colleagues and staff. They are highly alert and use information from the conversation during lunch breaks to their advantage.
In social settings, they accurately assess human behaviour and have strong powers of judgement. This self-awareness contributes to political effectiveness at workplace.
Leaders and managers are the intermediaries responsible for maintaining fluid communication flow between the different management levels.
While they are required to keep the senior management informed about inadequacies, they need to be smart communicators to ensure balanced views are considered. Skillfully managing workforce problems requires a political skill, which needs to be honed through time.
This is the approach that politically skilled HR professionals need to keep in mind before engaging staff or communicating ideas to the team or divulging crucial information to employees.
They need to be cautious when expressing resentment, unhappiness or any other work-related issues to friends at work. Timing and presentation of what has to be said needs to be pre-planned, before actually taking to the dais and seeking spotlight.
Follow these six enumerative tips to emerge as a politically skilled HR leader in a collaborative work environment and set things in order, as you wish an ideal office set up should be. Good luck!
Also read: 5 Myths of Great Workplaces
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