Helping Clients Navigate  Workplace  Politics for  Successful Career Climbing Jamie Mitus, Ph.D., CRC Hofstra University S...
Outline of Webinar <ul><li>Overview of career climbing </li></ul><ul><li>Career climbing of employees with disabilities </...
Janet:  The Customer Service Clerk <ul><li>Janet really enjoyed her job working as a customer service clerk at the bank.  ...
Janet:  The Customer Service Clerk (cont.) <ul><li>“ Kevin, I don’t understand why I did not get the position. I know I wo...
Definition of Career Climbing  <ul><li>“ A sequence of posts from most junior to most senior within an organization or dep...
Definition of Career Climbing <ul><li>Types of Career Climbing </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational vs. Career Climbing </li><...
Career Climbing of  Employees with Disabilities <ul><li>Consumers may find and secure jobs but career advancement is often...
Barriers to Career Climbing <ul><li>Disability Considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Self Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Work-Plac...
Career Climbing & Workplace Politics <ul><li>How they work together </li></ul>
Definition of Workplace Politics <ul><li>Activities that are not required as part of a person’s formal role in the organiz...
Definition of  Workplace Politics <ul><li>Subtle and informal ways of gaining an advantage in the workplace – Sometimes re...
<ul><li>The games are competitive in nature; competing interests, desires, wants, and needs; usually self-interest driven ...
Definition of  Workplace Politics <ul><li>In simple Terms, workplace politics is getting form point A to point B </li></ul...
Playing the Political Game Well <ul><li>Defending your own position </li></ul><ul><li>Earning Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Ex...
POLITICAL GAMES PLAYED AT WORK <ul><li>Legitimate  </li></ul><ul><li>Rational persuasion </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation </...
Other Types of  Political Games  <ul><ul><li>Did Janet Encounter Any Political Games?   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Po...
Who are the Political Players? <ul><li>The Androids (Naïve) </li></ul><ul><li>Quiet </li></ul><ul><li>Limited ideas or inp...
Who are the Political Players? <ul><li>The Streetwise (Sensible) </li></ul><ul><li>Competent </li></ul><ul><li>High credib...
Who are the Political Players? <ul><li>The Hustler (Sharks) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-interested </li></ul><ul><li>Withhold i...
Why Political Games Exist <ul><li>Scarcity of resources </li></ul><ul><li>A competitive work environment </li></ul><ul><li...
Why Political Games Exist? <ul><li>Cravings for power  </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional insecurity of people </li></ul><ul><li>...
What the Research Shows <ul><li>Highly political work environments lead to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>decreased job satisfacti...
What the Research Shows <ul><li>Subordinates are more negatively affected by politics than supervisors  </li></ul><ul><li>...
The Effect of Workplace Politics on Career Climbing <ul><li>Unskilled in Managing Politics  ►  Stagnation and downward mob...
Learning to Show Who You Are <ul><li>How could Janet increase her viability so as to be considered for the promotion? </li...
Political Challenges Some Clients May Experience <ul><li>Understanding and recognizing workplace politics </li></ul><ul><l...
Playing the Game Effectively <ul><li>Game Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Form Allies </li></ul><ul><li>Chits </li></ul><ul><li>Thi...
Navigating through Workplace Politics <ul><li>“ Political moves are the navigation through your career – not the driver.” ...
Navigating through Workplace Politics  <ul><li>Observe how things are done in the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Profile i...
Navigating through Workplace Politics  <ul><li>The Importance of Forming Strong Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Listen wit...
Comments & Questions <ul><li>Final Thoughts about Janet? </li></ul>
Contact Information <ul><li>Jamie Mitus Ph.D., CRC, LMHC, LCPC </li></ul><ul><li>Hofstra University - Department of Counse...
THANK YOU!
TACE Center: Region IV  <ul><li>Toll-free:   (866) 518-7750  [voice/tty] Fax:   (404) 541-9002   </li></ul><ul><li>Web:  T...
Education Credits <ul><li>Participants may** be eligible for CRCC and CEU credits. </li></ul><ul><li>CRCC Credit - (2.0) <...
Disclaimer <ul><li>This presentation was developed by the  TACE Center: Region IV ©2009  with funds from the U.S. Departme...
Copyright Information <ul><li>This work is the property of the  TACE Center: Region IV.   </li></ul><ul><li>Permission is ...
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  • Vertical: person chooses a specialty field early and orchestrates a plan for moving upward. Expansion of role moves vertically and in a linear fashion. This may happen on a cyclic basis. (a bounded upward journey) Horizontal: person moves from one area to another but never above or below his current role or responsibilities. Expansion of job duties occur horizontally or in a spiral fashion. ( a planned, boundaryless journey) – positions are lateral to each other versus vertical. Steady-state: employee chooses a single work role or occupation and spends his/her career in it. (a bounded nonjourney) Transitory: person moves from job to job with no particular pattern. (unplanned, boundaryless journey)
  • Rational persuasion : logical arguments &amp; factual evidence Consultation : Seeking participation in planning Exchange : Exchanging of favors Personal Appeal : Appeals to feelings of loyalty &amp; friendship Coalition : Seeking the aid of others Legitimating : Pointing to policies, rules, practices, or traditions Pressure : Demands, threats, blackmail, persistent reminders Legitimate Politics: Normal everyday politics Complaining to a supervisor Bypassing the chain of command Forming coalitions Obstructing organizational policies or decisions through inaction or excessive adherence to the rules Illegitimate Politics: Extreme political behavior that violates the implied rules of the game
  • Scarcity of resources : shortage of money, materials, space, and people leads people to play games in order to get what they think they need or deserve. (e.g. employee seeks transfer to another department that will be more challenging for her. The supervisor denies the request b/c he knows if he lets her go, he won’t be able to replace her right now due to a hiring freeze.) A competitive work environment : when hiring several ambitious people, they may be inclined to try to out perform each other in order to get recognition, raises, &amp;/or advancement, hot commodities. (e.g. who can stay latest at work?) Subjective performance standards : without objective measures, there is no clear cut way to differentiate who is effective and who is not. As a result the employer may result to favoritism. Employees may go out of their way to become friendly with the boss in order to gain his/her favoritism (e.g. help the boss with personal problems that spill into work, e.g. babysitting example on p. 5 or appealing to the boss’ ego). Better to incorporate objective measures that look at frequency, quantities, numbers, etc.) Unclear job definition: Those who do not clearly defined jobs have more time to get involved in politics. Instead of having a tight work plan, they have time to get involved in politics, they are referred to as “office wanderers.” The may schmooze with other people in the office, factory, mill, hospital, etc. May use the information they gain in someway to their own advantage. Win-Lose organizational philosophy: Rewards solely based on this philosophy leads to politicking. Reward pie is fixed so that any gain for one person or group is at the expense of another person or group. People will do what they can to be noticed and take active steps to discredit others. A manager in retails store is going to have to let someone go. She has to decide who is the person to let go. So the employees may go to her, defending why they should be kept as opposed to the others. Cravings for power or to be powerful: May lead to bullying other employees around b/c the person likes the feeling of being powerful even if she/he is not in an authority position.
  • Emotional insecurity : May worry a lot about performing well &amp; being liked by others. Has a lack of self-confidence. As a result, may seek out approval by always asking for approval on everything she/he does. S/he may also be too quick with body language by nodding his/her head or smiling during a meeting when the boss speaks; thinking that the boss is always right; but remains expressionless when a coworker talks. It seems insincere. Hunger for acceptance: similar to emotional insecurity can be a major motivation to politic. (e.g. Tom who is a mediocre employee tries to make up for it in other ways by handing out candy every Friday to coworkers or giving coupons to other coworkers, gives magazine or newspaper articles that he thinks others would find interesting.)
  • Formalization: Degree to which instructions, rules, procedures, and communications are written. Even though more politics tend to occur at higher levels in hierarchies, frontline or lower level workers tend to perceive more politics perhaps due to their lack of control over the processes and lack of involvement in politics. Supervisors who are more regularly involved in politics tend to define it as a natural part of their job and don’t define the behavior as being political. Centralization is the differential distribution of power.
  • When someone is not skilled at managing politics, they can be overlooked, talents ignored, one’s success limited, and left out of the loop.
  • Second bullet – may feel anxious about playing politics.
  • Determine Game Plan: (1) What is it your client wants now versus later? (2) Need to map out career or workplace priorities (3) Align the politicking with those goals. Form Allies: (1) find the people who listen to your ideas and support your ambitions. Those with the power to help your client may be peers and support staff. Chits: Before asking allies for favors your client needs to give them genuine support. What skills, insights, or information can your client offer that is of real value to them. Thick Skin: It is common for people to try to block your goals to advance their own. Help our clients not to take this personally. They probably not out to get your client but out to save themselves.
  • PowerPoint Presentation - PPT

    1. 1. Helping Clients Navigate Workplace Politics for Successful Career Climbing Jamie Mitus, Ph.D., CRC Hofstra University September 2, 2009
    2. 2. Outline of Webinar <ul><li>Overview of career climbing </li></ul><ul><li>Career climbing of employees with disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers to career climbing </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of workplace politics </li></ul><ul><li>The effect of workplace politics on career climbing </li></ul><ul><li>Navigating through workplace politics </li></ul>
    3. 3. Janet: The Customer Service Clerk <ul><li>Janet really enjoyed her job working as a customer service clerk at the bank. She had been in the position for two years when a teller position opened up; a step up from her current job in terms of pay and responsibility. Although Janet has had episodic depression in the past, she has been stable since starting at the bank. Janet has performed exceptionally well in the customer service position but usually doesn’t mingle too much with her coworkers. She along with another coworker Nicole threw their hats into the ring for the position. Nicole started in a comparable clerk position a year after Janet. Yet, the teller position was offered to Nicole. Believing she was more qualified, Janet approaches her boss, Kevin, to talk about it. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Janet: The Customer Service Clerk (cont.) <ul><li>“ Kevin, I don’t understand why I did not get the position. I know I would do a great job just like I have as a customer service clerk.” </li></ul><ul><li>Kevin says, “Well the fact is some people felt Nicole was a more suitable choice because they know her and have a better sense of her skills. You know, she networks with everyone and puts herself out there. You just don’t do that Janet. You should really work on this so the next time around you have a better chance. </li></ul><ul><li>Janet later learns through gossip, that Nicole said some negative things about her to Kevin in relation to her job performance which weighed in on the decision not to promote her. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Definition of Career Climbing <ul><li>“ A sequence of posts from most junior to most senior within an organization or department. A career ladder provides a structure for an employee to climb up through an organization. It is most typical of bureaucracies, as flat organization structures tend not to be hierarchical to the same extent.” </li></ul><ul><li>BNET Business Dictionary: http://dictionary.bnet.com/definition/career+ladder.html </li></ul><ul><li>7/16/09 </li></ul>
    6. 6. Definition of Career Climbing <ul><li>Types of Career Climbing </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational vs. Career Climbing </li></ul><ul><li>Vertical Career Ladder (Linear) </li></ul><ul><li>Horizontal Career Ladder (Spiral) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inkson, K. (2006). Understanding Careers: The Metaphors of Working Lives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Career Climbing of Employees with Disabilities <ul><li>Consumers may find and secure jobs but career advancement is often more challenging and far less likely. </li></ul><ul><li>Was this the case for Janet? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Barriers to Career Climbing <ul><li>Disability Considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Self Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Work-Place Politics </li></ul><ul><li>Career Clarity </li></ul><ul><li>Organization Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking </li></ul>
    9. 9. Career Climbing & Workplace Politics <ul><li>How they work together </li></ul>
    10. 10. Definition of Workplace Politics <ul><li>Activities that are not required as part of a person’s formal role in the organization but that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Robbins, S. & Judge, T. (2009). Organizational Behavior. 13th ed. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ </li></ul>
    11. 11. Definition of Workplace Politics <ul><li>Subtle and informal ways of gaining an advantage in the workplace – Sometimes referred to as games </li></ul><ul><li>They are played to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get ahead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dominate over other people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get others to do things you want done </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Durbin, A. (1990). Winning Office Politics. Prentice Hall, Inc.: Paramus, NJ </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>The games are competitive in nature; competing interests, desires, wants, and needs; usually self-interest driven </li></ul><ul><li>Occur when there is decision-making and/or problem-solving going on </li></ul><ul><li>Has pros and cons </li></ul>Definition of Workplace Politics
    13. 13. Definition of Workplace Politics <ul><li>In simple Terms, workplace politics is getting form point A to point B </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Securing a promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeing an idea come to life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaining support to make a change in the organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pate-Dwyer, K. (2009). How to Win at Office Politics. http://www.bnet.com/2403-13070_23-93243.html </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Playing the Political Game Well <ul><li>Defending your own position </li></ul><ul><li>Earning Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Exchanging favors </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping perspective amid the chaos </li></ul>
    15. 15. POLITICAL GAMES PLAYED AT WORK <ul><li>Legitimate </li></ul><ul><li>Rational persuasion </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation </li></ul><ul><li>Favor exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Personal appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition </li></ul><ul><li>Legitimating </li></ul><ul><li>Illegitimate </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Threats </li></ul><ul><li>Blackmail </li></ul><ul><li>Sabotage </li></ul><ul><li>Whistle-blowing </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic protests </li></ul>
    16. 16. Other Types of Political Games <ul><ul><li>Did Janet Encounter Any Political Games? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Political games include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buck Passing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Backstabbing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Playing Dumb </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Justifying </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Misrepresenting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scapegoating </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Playing Safe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stalling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stretching </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gossiping </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Who are the Political Players? <ul><li>The Androids (Naïve) </li></ul><ul><li>Quiet </li></ul><ul><li>Limited ideas or input </li></ul><ul><li>Small group of friends </li></ul><ul><li>Unambitious </li></ul><ul><li>Plodder </li></ul><ul><li>Reliable </li></ul><ul><li>Often outside interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics unpleasant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid at all cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell it like it is </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Who are the Political Players? <ul><li>The Streetwise (Sensible) </li></ul><ul><li>Competent </li></ul><ul><li>High credibility & respect </li></ul><ul><li>Generally well-liked </li></ul><ul><li>Wide networks of contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Supportive </li></ul><ul><li>Sociable </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics are necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use connections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiate & bargain </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Who are the Political Players? <ul><li>The Hustler (Sharks) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-interested </li></ul><ul><li>Withhold information </li></ul><ul><li>Manipulative </li></ul><ul><li>Controlling </li></ul><ul><li>Coercive </li></ul><ul><li>Egotistical </li></ul><ul><li>Unenthusiastic towards the success of others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics is opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manipulate, use fraud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bully, cultivate friends to use later </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Why Political Games Exist <ul><li>Scarcity of resources </li></ul><ul><li>A competitive work environment </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective performance standards </li></ul><ul><li>Unclear job definition </li></ul><ul><li>Win-Lose organizational philosophy </li></ul>
    21. 21. Why Political Games Exist? <ul><li>Cravings for power </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional insecurity of people </li></ul><ul><li>Hunger for acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest </li></ul>
    22. 22. What the Research Shows <ul><li>Highly political work environments lead to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>decreased job satisfaction (pay, promotion, coworkers, & supervisors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lower performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>decreased commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increased job anxiety </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When there are more diverse interests in the workplace, politics occur more </li></ul><ul><li>More common in larger than smaller employer settings </li></ul>
    23. 23. What the Research Shows <ul><li>Subordinates are more negatively affected by politics than supervisors </li></ul><ul><li>When employees feel that they have more control despite their perceptions of politics they feel less anxious and more satisfied </li></ul><ul><li>Employers who are more formalized have less politics </li></ul><ul><li>Employers with more hierarchy and/or more centralization have more politics </li></ul><ul><li>Ferris, et al. (1996); Valle, M. (2001), Zhou, J. & Ferris, (1995) </li></ul>
    24. 24. The Effect of Workplace Politics on Career Climbing <ul><li>Unskilled in Managing Politics ► Stagnation and downward mobility </li></ul><ul><li>Skilled in Managing Politics ► Upward mobility </li></ul><ul><li>Best to be the Streetwise player versus the Android or the Hustler player. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Learning to Show Who You Are <ul><li>How could Janet increase her viability so as to be considered for the promotion? </li></ul><ul><li>Politically what should she do? </li></ul>
    26. 26. Political Challenges Some Clients May Experience <ul><li>Understanding and recognizing workplace politics </li></ul><ul><li>Participating in and coping with workplace politics </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding that politics may have little to do with the disability but more to do with the work environment </li></ul><ul><li>Being discounted as a political player because of the disability </li></ul>
    27. 27. Playing the Game Effectively <ul><li>Game Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Form Allies </li></ul><ul><li>Chits </li></ul><ul><li>Thick Skin </li></ul>
    28. 28. Navigating through Workplace Politics <ul><li>“ Political moves are the navigation through your career – not the driver.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Susan DePhillips – Former VP of HR for Ross Stores) </li></ul><ul><li>Frame arguments in terms of company goals </li></ul><ul><li>Develop the right image </li></ul><ul><li>Make yourself appear indispensable </li></ul><ul><li>Be visible </li></ul><ul><li>Develop allies & know your enemies </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid tainted members </li></ul><ul><li>Support your boss </li></ul>
    29. 29. Navigating through Workplace Politics <ul><li>Observe how things are done in the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Profile influential people in the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Develop track record as someone who gets results </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn </li></ul><ul><li>Treat everyone with respect </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t align to strongly with one group </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to communicate persuasively </li></ul><ul><li>Be true to yourself </li></ul><ul><li>www.cnn.com (2008) </li></ul>
    30. 30. Navigating through Workplace Politics <ul><li>The Importance of Forming Strong Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Listen without interrupting </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge a colleague’s point of view, even when you disagree </li></ul><ul><li>Offer a favor when you have expertise to share </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t overdo it </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of flying solo </li></ul><ul><li>www.BNET.com (2009) </li></ul>
    31. 31. Comments & Questions <ul><li>Final Thoughts about Janet? </li></ul>
    32. 32. Contact Information <ul><li>Jamie Mitus Ph.D., CRC, LMHC, LCPC </li></ul><ul><li>Hofstra University - Department of Counseling, Research, Special Education & Rehabilitation - </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul>
    33. 33. THANK YOU!
    34. 34. TACE Center: Region IV <ul><li>Toll-free:   (866) 518-7750  [voice/tty] Fax: (404) 541-9002 </li></ul><ul><li>Web:  TACEsoutheast.org </li></ul><ul><li>My TACE Portal:  TACEsoutheast.org/myportal </li></ul><ul><li>Email:  [email_address] </li></ul>
    35. 35. Education Credits <ul><li>Participants may** be eligible for CRCC and CEU credits. </li></ul><ul><li>CRCC Credit - (2.0) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By Tuesday, September 8, 2009 , participants must score 80% or better on a online Post Test and  submit an online CRCC Request Form via the MyTACE Portal.   </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CEU Credit - (.20) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Site Coordinators must distribute the CEU form to participants seeking CEU credit on the day of the webinar. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site coordinators must submit CEU form to the TACE Center: Region IV by fax (404) 541-9002 by Tuesday, September 8, 2009. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>My TACE Portal:   TACEsoutheast.org/myportal </li></ul>**For CRCC credit, you must reside in the 8 U.S. Southeast states served by the TACE Region IV [AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN]. If beyond TACE Region IV, you may apply for CEU credit .
    36. 36. Disclaimer <ul><li>This presentation was developed by the TACE Center: Region IV ©2009 with funds from the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) under the priority of Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Projects (TACE) – Grant #H264A080021. However, the contents of this presentation do not necessarily represent the policy of the RSA and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government [34 CFR 75.620 (b)]. </li></ul>
    37. 37. Copyright Information <ul><li>This work is the property of the TACE Center: Region IV. </li></ul><ul><li>Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the authors. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the authors. </li></ul>

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