"POLITICAL SAVVY: A COMPLIMENT OR AN INSULT?" - Part One
By Roberta Prescott
does the expression “political savvy” have a bad rap?
Because people think they will be perceived as manipulative or looking
out for number one.
Having “political savvy” should be considered a compliment.
It is the unwritten rules of the business road. It’s about building
working relationships so that you get things done.
If you are politically astute others will:
a high level of confidence in your competence
you on their team / want to work on your team
other projects and make yours a priority
for you in a difficult decision
you for a promotion
“politically savvy” has two key elements. They are:
Be Business Smart
Build a Network of Relationships
issue focuses on BEING BUSINESS SMART
including Thinking and acting
from a corporate point of view and Understanding the expectations
and needs of your boss.
Being business smart is not about how you do your job. It’s
about how you think strategically about your job and how it fits into
overall corporate goals.
THINK AND ACT FROM A CORPORATE POINT OF VEW
What are the business pressures on your company and your
boss, especially those that spill down to your area / job /team?
are the competition and general marketplace doing that
affect your company’s sales / earnings / growth / profits?
• What does your area / division contribute to the bottom line?
What are the corporate mantras / newest messages? And how
are they being quoted in print and other media?
business issues are your internal and external
does your project add value to the business?
are the political minefields to avoid?
UNDERSTAND THE EXPECTATIONS AND NEEDS OF
Everyone has a boss, and managing up is a part of your job. To build
an effective working relationship ask yourself …"
pressures are working on your boss? Delivery? Quality?
Profit? Delivering extraordinary customer service?
• What is his or her work style? Impatience (I want it
Decision-making by consensus? Quick to conflict? Laid back?
• How does he or she like to receive information? Thirty
thousand feet overview with bullets? Lots of detail? Trusts you
to know the details and just wants the bottom line?
hard will you be pushed for results?
do others perceive your boss?
your analysis is complete choose behaviors that add value.
Make sure your boss gets critical information that prevents
her from getting blindsided.
the data that needs to be presented up the food chain.
recommendations and solutions, not just problems.
connections with other departments.
an advocate of your boss’s policies.
success in a low key way.
positive in the way you present information.
what I want to do, and here’s why.”
"The issue is … and here’s what I’m doing to fix it.”
Make assumptions or decisions
without key information
Push unwanted or discarded
Hold back until you can give faultless results. Take a risk. No
one is perfect. Situations change, and you need to be flexible
enough to change with them.
Be defensive. If your manager pushes you on deadlines
or metrics, think about the business pressures that are
causing the push. Rather than “It can’t be done.” Your
manager needs to hear:
best case delivery date is ... The fallback delivery
is what we CAN give you in three weeks … “
Being “politically savvy” is a compliment when, in an
ethical way, you can build influence and trust and get things done.
You will build lasting relationships that will have a positive impact
on your career.
The Prescott Group