The most commonly used techniques of political behavior are:
- Controlling information
- Controlling lines of communication
- Controlling agenda –
- Using outside experts
- Game playing :
- Image building
- Building coalitions
One technique of political behavior is to control the dissemination of critical information to others. The more critical (he information and fewer the people who have it, the stronger is political power base of those who possess these information.
Controlling lines of communication is another political technique related to the flow of information. People who have some control over lines of communication can yield considerable political power. For example, the secretary may have considerable power in deciding who sees the boss and who does not at a given time. She may use this power in favoring those whom she likes and frustrating those against whom she may have it grudge.
Controlling the agenda also gives a person power over information. The person who controls a meeting’s agenda, for instance, may consistently put a particular item last on the list and then take up time so that meeting adjourns before considering the item.
The opinions of outside experts and consultants often curry much weight in organizations and many consultants can be swayed by political interests. Consultants know who is paying them and even honest consultants are likely to give opinions consistent with those of their employer. Hence, hiring an outside consultant can be a clever political move.
Game playing can range from fairly innocent to very manipulative. It involves people doing something insincere, but not outright illegal or unethical to gain political ends. For instance, a manager who does not want to answer a committee’s tough questions may, for instance, avoid meeting by going out of the town on the day of meeting.
Image building is creating positive impression reflected by the personality, appearance and style. Some of the factors that enhance a preferred image consist of being well dressed, having a pleasant smile, being attractive, honest, sociable and loyal to the organizational interests. In addition, always project an image of competence and self-assurance.
Building coalitions or alliance is another technique of gaining political power. It is necessary to have the alliance with the right people. Coalition building can become simply a matter of quid pro quo: I will support you if you will support me.
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