What's your take on work or office politics? | INFJ Forum

What's your take on work or office politics?

Discussion in 'Education and Careers' started by Gaze, Aug 27, 2010.

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  1. Gaze

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    What's your take on work or office politics?

    imho, politics has a place, and those who are emmersed in it, whether they like it or not, are usually more aware or clued-in about what's really happening than those who aren't. They see those on the outside of the internal politics as having little understanding how things really work, which is reasonable assumption, but not always accurate.

    There's also the feeling that if you're not interested in it, then you simply can't handle it, and for me, that's probably true. Just waaaaay too much stress for my little mind. :D On the other hand, i'm simply not interested in being involved. I see it, observe it, see the issues and effects, but i'd really prefer observing from afar. Personally, not interested in being part of it and not any less aware because of it. Any experience i've had with it is just annoying and draining, so i'd prefer to stay away from it.

    Of course, there's the usual reasons for getting involved such as power, control, leadership, opportunities, etc. I'll always be fascinated with how people think or how politics works, but i'd always rather be on the outside looking in.

    But, how do you feel?
     
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    #1 Gaze, Aug 27, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  2. ~jet

    ~jet Director of Space Exploration

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    I think politics are CRITICALLY important to our survival... and also that if everyone participated in politics, they'd be over and done with before breakfast and everyone could enjoy the rest of their day. All they are is the negotiation between disparate parties who have different needs from one another. Frankly, the more we're pushed to be convinced we 'don't like' politics, the more that the corrupt (in and tangential to politics) can get away with, besides... the more you've been manipulated into looking the other way.

    It's scary at times.
     
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  3. OP
    Gaze

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    Someone can be completely aware of what's happening and still not like it, which is my point. Simply because something is a necessity doesn't mean it's good. You can know it's there, and also realize that quite a bit of it is about corruption, greed, power struggles and has nothing to do with getting things done, but more about people and egos. Why is that supposed to be interesting much less inviting to everyone?
     
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    #3 Gaze, Aug 27, 2010
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  4. ~jet

    ~jet Director of Space Exploration

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    But that's just is... if everyone was involved, all those varieties of corruption would be nearly impossible to get away with, and then no one would be particularly freaked out by or turned off by politics since it would be rendered to an almost trivial duty, like washing the dishes. =P

    It's because so many people turn the other way that it's so corrupt, and the corrupt are doing everything they can to get us to turn the other way.
     
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  5. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    When I think of "office politics" I think of really pointless petty shit. I avoid that as best I can. I do agree with what ~jet said though and I think being able to cooperate and communicate within your environment is key in a lot of things, and the more you turn away from it, the more you open things to corruption.
     
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  6. ~jet

    ~jet Director of Space Exploration

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    And yeah, sorry for my enthusiasm for this... I'm extrapolating out to the health of the world and humanity at large, and so I get a bit passionate about it. I mean no harm!
    :m107:
     
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  7. OP
    Gaze

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    Which assumes that people working together, even it is based on entirely on pure self interest, naturally creates a trustworthy system of checks and balances.

    And so you're saying our involvement in an experience such as politics naturally desensitizes us to it's effect? Doesn't that take human iniative, individuality, and perspective out of the picture?

    Some are clearly in politics because they want to help improve or changes things . . . have no doubt about that. And clearly they realize that changing things require being a part of the politics, but i doubt if you asked some of these people if they thought life was any easier because they're so aware and involved, that they'd agree. We're humans, not robots, we can't simply adapt our neuroprocessors to changing circumstances because our flexible "programming" *sorry, just watched an episode of Star Trek Next Gen :D so the scifi terms are still in my head*

    People in these professions suffer from great deals of stress, so the idea that it's something that simply rolls off your back after a period of time, doesn't seem to be true.
     
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    #7 Gaze, Aug 27, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  8. OP
    Gaze

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    No worries. Just a healthy discussion. :D
     
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  9. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Regular Poster

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    I find office politics distasteful, and my natural tendency is to avoid them. However, I've learned the hard way that the decision not to participate in these politics is a political decision in itself. There are people who make it their main function at work to participate and try to run these politics. Conversely, they usually produce the least tangible work (at least at my job) ... but they are connected to the machine and work well within it, often floating to the top.

    I'm a quiet and reserved person, so I find that the political animals often see me as a blank slate and ascribe their views to me as well. "Of course, you understand and feel that x is best for us." While I'm not a threat, I'm not with the in crowd either. There is also a tendency for people to think those who talk more are more intelligent. Therefore, the verbose political animals are seen as more enlightened than the possibly intelligent people who rarely open their mouths.

    One constant that I have noticed about political animals in my company is that they usually expend great energy to maintain or improve their position inside the organization. We have a few like that her where I work, and nobody is sure exactly what they do in their jobs. I do know that they haven't produced any concrete, revenue-generating work since I've been here. They are very politically astute however and seem to have convinced the CEO of their necessity. Perhaps they provide some organizational value that I don't see.
     
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  10. OP
    Gaze

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    Well said. Strongly agree.
     
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    #10 Gaze, Aug 27, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  11. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    Depends on what you mean by politics. Many people get politics confused with personal agenda/issues in the work place. I am a union steward at my job. I feel a great deal of responsibility to ensure that worker's rights are protected. My fellow stewards and I work with management to achieve goals that benefit everybody. I don't get involved in the petty "he said" "she said" garbage that most people associate with "office politics". I maneuver and strive for postive change and direction for the benefit of the people I work with and it brings me a great deal of satisifaction. It has been confrontational at times but that is the nature of the game.
     
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  12. Meridian

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    Very well said.
     
  13. OP
    Gaze

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    Yeah, this^^^ is what i think is important and necessary, because it's dealt with as a necessity to get things done, which is understandable. Why i find annoying is the personal, self importance, manipulation which takes place, which has no real, or long term positive effects on the work environment or accomplishing any real work goals.
     
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    #13 Gaze, Aug 27, 2010
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  14. ~jet

    ~jet Director of Space Exploration

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    Precisely; this is exactly why we need politics [and for everyone to participate in them] so desperately

    Well sure, because so few of us are sharing in the burden.
     
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  15. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Regular Poster

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    Yes, there is that confusion. I know that I see politics (in my microcosm) as mostly personal agendas and jockeying for power/control. I tend to overlook the other political processes such as the ones you mentioned. I admire people like you who can navigate that world and seem to enjoy doing so. I see it as a positive talent. One that I wish I had. It would definitely make my life easier.
     
  16. MindYourHead

    MindYourHead Courage doesn't always roar.

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    I try to stay out of workplce politics. It's nothing but BS.

    I played the game once at a company I worked for in hopes of gaining a promotion, but it went nowhere. Live and learn. I was 30.
    Decided from there on out to just keep head down, do my job, and not volunteer to be on any committees or what not.
     
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    #16 MindYourHead, Aug 27, 2010
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  17. the

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    I think that people who are involved in office politics have a drive to be involved in whatever the company is doing, and I think managers know this and see this and that is why people who are involved in the politics get promoted faster. Also this drive puts that person 'in the know' of what is going on and gives them a proactive status in the company where as people who are not involved turn into bystanders and get to watch politics and opportunity pass them by.
     
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  18. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Regular Poster

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    I agree with everything you say here ... ergo my previous comment that removing oneself from office politics is a political move in itself, with political consequences. However, what if the person has no interest in wanting to rise to a management position? Management isn't for everybody, so the types of people who don't like it would not see it as an opportunity. I'm in a position right now where the next promotion step is management ... and I'd be attending meetings all the time rather than writing the software that I love to write. Managers also tend to promote people who are like them more often than not, so they tend to promote others who are interested in management and politics.

    I've never worked anywhere where the upper ladders did not seque from technical to managerial as you get promoted ... and the managerial work does not appeal to me. So, I have made the decision (with all its pros and cons) to remain technical. This keeps my out of the political loop for a lot of things, but I don't see it as a missed opportunity because I am still doing what I love. I still contribute to the company in terms of bottom line and productivity. I've met managers who seem to think that everybody should aspire towards management as well, and that they are shortchanged in the brains department if they do not. Managers run the show (at least in this country), so that is the way the heirarchy is set up. Move up into management, or stay at your level. There are very few alternate routes, unless you want to become a highly technical specialist.
     
  19. the

    the Si master race.
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    I dont see you as having done anything wrong. You have been true to yourself. It seems like I offended you somehow. I appologize.
     
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    #19 the, Aug 27, 2010
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  20. deadred

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    Hubrus bites us in the butt everywhere in life. After we've been in the grinder for a number of years, the Idealism of youth begins to wear away. Not totally, but enough to make life difficult, particularly for the very Idealistic among us. We need to learn to cope with this reality or else it will eat us alive. An all-pervading cynicism can encompass us if we don't learn to tread lightly when we learn what's really going on, and it can produce terribly negative emotions. I used to be in that very narrow, highly technical slot Hawk was talking about, but I still had to sit at office meetings and listen to a whole group of people getting chewed out for stuff I wasn't in on. This was difficult emotionally, and tended to ruin my day. I understood management's position, but it didn't make anything easier to tolerate. I hate power plays and backbiting, but you cannot get rid of either. We used to call it the "Piranha Syndrome"...a little blood in the water, and whammo, the fire was lit. Next came the lectures. I became disabled about 5 years ago and don't miss it one bit.
     
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