Many people have turned away from the idea of being politically aware because they have seen the games of politics used to manipulate and tear others down. The truth is, however, when political awareness is used as a force for good it is an essential skill of life. Whether it is in voting our lawmakers into office or in getting things accomplished within organizations, political awareness gives us an understanding of the power webs and helps us to navigate through these power webs to get things done. Though the idea of political awareness in our divided, bi-partisan world may have some negative connotations tied to it that may give us an inclination to run in the other direction, it is, perhaps, more important than ever to make efforts to consistently remain politically aware.
Awareness Requires Understanding
With regard to electing lawmakers, here is something that’s important to understand: the point is not about determining which side you are on; what matters is that you are forming your own opinions based on awareness. Understanding the policies each candidate stands for and then determining which candidate best suits your beliefs is critical. The right to vote is something to be valued, there will always be debates about who is the better candidate. At the same time, knowing about policies and about those running for office is what helps us to make informed decisions regarding what will help to further shape our society and our future.
Beyond the political awareness that is needed in making informed decisions pertaining to lawmakers, political awareness is an aspect of emotional intelligence (EI). As a business leader, the higher you progress within a company, the more stakeholders you will be required to work with. Each stakeholder has a different set of priorities, goals, agendas, and personal dislikes/ likes. Political awareness affords you the ability to understand these different types of people and use this knowledge to successfully lead in business. By understanding more, you can work more easily with different viewpoints, have a greater influence, and essentially, satisfy more people.
All of this is needed for success in business, thus offering another important reason why political awareness in our divided, bi-partisan world is so incredibly important.
Effective Leadership is at the Core of Politics
Rather than focusing on political awareness as something that is burdensome, one should look at it as an essential element of leadership that can be used well in order to get things done; in order to progress. There is not a single leader that can afford to turn a blind eye to the political dimensions that inevitably exist within their organization. Organizational politics is about the methods needed in order to get things done, who holds the power to make decisions to get those things done, and who the main people are that influence the decision makers.
Politics will always exist whenever groups of people come together, whether for electing public officials or running an organization. It is a natural fact of life that makes it extremely important to have and encourage political awareness. Developing political awareness skills may start with a simple evaluation of self to become more aware of one’s current state. Are you a good listener?
Where Do You Stand in Terms of Political Awareness?
How politically aware are you currently? How do you handle political disagreements in business, in politics, and in life? Once you have a good grasp on this, then it is time to evaluate the areas where you wish to improve and fine tune things. Remember, political awareness in our divided, bi-partisan world is more than having disagreements with people based on political party or a single issue. It is more about the big picture. It is about being as informed as we can be, on as many issues that affect us as possible, and then making informed decisions based on those issues. It is about being able to discuss differences in a diplomatic way, practicing active listening and trying to work toward the greater good for all in the long term.