We’re in the heart of the season. When the wind can blow either way along the party lines. You hear candidates rant about their opponents along with taking jabs and body blows to that same opponent’s mom; it’s never pretty. And all the while supposedly using their platform for “good.” Now you would think I am referring to political races, and in all honesty, I am, but I am referring to “Office Poli-Ticking.” In an article written by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Talent Scientist at ManPower Group quoted “the great Dale Carnegie, who probably knew more about the art of politics than anyone else, once observed: “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic but creatures of emotions.”
Did you just have an Ah-Huh moment? So did I, after reading that passage. It felt like I wanted to jump out of my seat, and yell “Eureka!” But instead I tooted my lips and nodded my head in agreeance, because this is how people are. As humans we tend to work off our emotions, and just like when voting, you normally lean towards the candidate that encompass your core values, and beliefs, and that normally doesn’t change when it comes to “Office Poli-Ticking.”
Below you will find descriptions of some of the politicians that poli-tick within your workplace walls. To be clear “poli-ticking is something you can’t avoid, so either way you will encounter these people.
Candidate #1: The Natural Leader
It’s easy for most people to flock to this candidate. This type of candidate normally paves the way through hope and establish a foundation of trust for others to follow. This candidate normally promotes cooperation, and the team building mentality. This leader uses verbiage like “we” instead of “I” “Do you need help” instead of “handle this.” This candidate’s emotional intelligence is high, because they have empathy for others. Observant to what is going on in the workplace, and mindful of others. Thick-skinned to the negative words or actions that may come their way. Most of the time the opinions they don’t agree with they tend acknowledge and respect that fact that others have different views, but they don’t have to agree. This candidate would be someone like a Margaret Thatcher, whom was the first female Prime Minister in the UK. Margaret Thatcher was most famous for breaking gender and class barriers. Considering, came from nothing only to rise in a male dominated arena.
Candidate #2: The Power Hungry “One”
This candidate thrives off FEAR and keeping the focus on them. They are normally attention-seeking, grandiose type leaders. They tend to point the finger when they are about to get in trouble, or when they are caught. And then take the credit when things are going well. They demand loyalty, but they will never show you the same in return. They are manipulators, not necessarily good at it, but they tend to bring in a crowd. Their decision making is flawed, but here is the crazy part they have a charismatic personality, but it can be an acquired taste, as I like to call it. While I want to give an example of a recent candidate, I will steer clear for now, and bring to the table a loved candidate George W. Bush like when he stated “I’m the decider.” This isn’t close to the things of what the most recent President has stated, but you get where I am going with this.
Candidate #3: The One-Track Mind
This candidate is very conscientious. This candidate is driven based on accuracy. They are deliberate in their decision making and love complex issues such as policy-making and processes, however, they are horrible in crisis situations. In an article by Steve Toback titled “Why Control Freaks Are Natural Leaders,” he states “Like it or not, the characteristics that make control freaks insufferable jerks may be the unwanted flip-side of what make them natural leaders” …. “1. By nature, they are results oriented problem solvers 2. They’ve got something to prove and believe they’re special. 3. They’re often driven by compulsive need to get attention adored. 4. Anecdotally speaking, they’re out there in great numbers.” For instance, Steve jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, or even Hilary Clinton (hmm I am sure I got a few raised eye-brows.)
Candidate #4: The Master Manipulator
They have this innate way of walking into a room and immediately begin to size up their prey or the predators that may prey on them. They are normally out to appease only to gain everything in the process. See this is a game to them and favorable outcome for themselves is what they hope to gain. They come off as cool tempered, however, they are calculated, these manipulators are not worried about ethical practices they again are only worried about the outcome for them. In this example, I am going to use a television reference; Tony Soprano would be a prime example regarding this type of person. The fictional boss of the Soprano crime family in New Jersey he was okay with lying, happy to lie. He did a lot more, but it was all for a favorable outcome for himself and that was to make it to the top of the crime pyramid, the “Throne.”
Candidate #5: The Dictator
They are very competitive with their peers, domineering towards subordinates (if they have any). Being Ford “Tough” is what they value. These people tend to portray their selves as conservatives, but often places their flaws and insecurities onto low status groups. Keep in mind that this type of candidate wants all control and wants little input from anyone within the office – or outside of it for that matter. They typically make decisions based on their ideas and judgment. For example, Vladimir Putin. His vision and mission have a strong presence in his country and now around the world. He handles almost all the checks and balances, and almost of the laws must have his approval. He even consolidated power in a centralized government. And he has been the leader of Russia...Since 2012.
Candidate #6: The Suspicious One
They are secretive, suspicious, and it seems like they are lurking at times. These types of candidates are perceived as having hidden agendas. So where is the transparency, right? They have a lot of doubts about loyalty of confidants, they hold on to grudges, and can be egotistical. While scrolling through some articles I stumbled upon an article by Zac Keeney, from “The Keen Mind” blog. The article was titled “The Beauty in Paranoia” he pointed out after watching Shark Tank, which is my husband’s favorite television show, but has become a household favorite to talk about business strategies with our kids, he pointed out a comment that was said by Robert Herjavec “In this and any other business, the most paranoid wins!” Zac Keeney then goes on to point out that “paranoia in business revolves around two key words. Solution focused. Paranoid leaders are challenging leaders inspecting their team’s work and process. Paranoid leaders think of their offering from the client perspective instead of always from the business owner’s viewpoint. Paranoid leaders don’t know all the answers, but they’re not afraid to ask the questions.” Now that’s a great way to look at that. However, many would say that Richard Nixon was this type of leader, but he just didn’t convey they last portion very well.
Candidate #7: The Oppressor
This person demands absolute obedience from their minions, so to speak, they like to rule. Yes, I said rule through power, and terror. They have a cult personality. This type of person perceives facts as an attack on them personally. Everything is looked at from an emotional stand-point and that can be bring on a lot of issues within their camp. Conveniently forgetting facts, wholeheartedly believing their own lies. They even go so far as denying the existence of reality. Which this would lead one to think of someone like Saddam Hussein.
Keep in mind that all the candidates play a pivotal part in the workplace culture and environment. Emotions run high when dealing with these candidates as well, because we all gravitate towards the candidate that encompass our beliefs, our morals, or ethics. I am going to leave you with this thought on regarding this subject - be sure that whatever candidate you choose you are ready to deal with the consequences of what they bring to the workplace.