When I worked in the corporate world, people often asked me what I did all day. Facetiously, I would say that I played chess. While it was meant to be cheeky, the joke was not far from the truth. I spent my day navigating company politics.
You will not find training programs on company politics or how to deal with them. It is a bit shocking considering their significance in the corporate world. Our latest episode of The Intuitive Customer podcast addresses office politics and how to manage them effectively.
Company politics are ubiquitous and influential. Managing them is part and parcel of a career. As a senior vice president, at a large telecoms company, office politics surrounded me.
Every organization that I have worked at had office politics. They exist because it is human nature to crave power and influence.
You must be able to manage office politics for many reasons. First, it will help you advance your career. When you can get on with management, you can get on with your promotions after all. Also, if you can’t manage company politics, you won’t make it at many organizations. There was a phrase that used to entertain me along these lines that said, “When somebody pats you on the back, they are looking for the place to stick the knife.”
However, company politics are worth managing because it can help you move your Customer Experience program forward. Without support from others at the peer level and above, your plan is doomed.
Managing office politics requires different finesse for the various types you will encounter. Typically, office politics have two levels. The first level tends to come from above, meaning those with their names above yours in the organization chart. The second level tends to come at you from your peers, which has a different dynamic entirely. Developing skills for managing up and managing laterally are essential to the success of your Customer Experience program.
The first skill you should develop comes from the advice I received from my dad early in my career. He said to me, “Colin if you focus on doing a good job, everyone will want you.”
He is correct. Who doesn’t want people on the team that do a good job?
Having a reputation for successful work behind you is an excellent strategy for managing company politics also. Not only will everyone want to be on your team or have you reporting to them, but it also allows you access to the influencers at the top.
Listen to the podcast in its entirety to learn more about How to Manage Company Politics for your Customer Experience.
The Intuitive Customer podcasts are designed to explain the psychological concepts behind customer behavior.
If you would like to find out from one of our CX consultants how you can implement the concepts we discussed in your organization’s marketing to improve customer loyalty and retention, contact us at www.beyondphilosophy.com.
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