Training managers, you’ve probably noticed training is not immune to organizational politics. Not sure if you’re dealing with politics? Consider some of the following situations. Does most of your upper management believe everything needs to be delivered through e-learning? Are they good at supporting training in words but not in actions? Is training considered an afterthought in major organizational initiatives? Is your team expected to provide training to an entire group when only a few individuals truly require it?
If any of these situations are familiar, you know all too well how organizational politics relate to training and development. You are not alone! As a matter of fact many of our clients are dealing with these, and other similar situations, on a regular basis.
Any time we are dealing with politically charged dynamics or circumstances, it is very important to consider the following points.
When managing any training situation, we need to remember the relationship with those involved will be affected by the trust, respect, and communication we build (or destroy) with them.
Our credibility, professional standing, and integrity are all part of our image as well as our clients. We need to listen to our clients graciously, without judging their recommendations. If we do have to advise a client that training is not the answer, we need to engage in that conversation with tact and integrity, creating a shared understanding.
Rather than influencing others by applying power or authority, consider transparency, authenticity, and vulnerability as they yield much better responses. The openness and sincerity of these qualities will go a long way in developing trust and influencing others.
Finally, we must remember that few things will have deeper impact than positive results, goals accomplished, and a successful ROI (Return on Investment). While talking about training’s best practices may show everyone what we know, ROI and ROE (Return on Expectation) show what we can do!
As a training manager, it’s important to balance these four areas. This will result in positive relationships that will help you manage organizational politics. Have you tried using a personal mantra to help balance yourself and deal with situations objectively? For example, “We are always responsible for the energy we bring into any space and/or situation.” It’s a saying that acknowledges your beliefs and principles while reminding you to remain objective.
How do you consider relationships, image, influence, and impact in your role as a training manager? How have they helped you deal with organizational politics? Please share your thoughts and ideas. We’d love to hear from you!
While you’re pondering those questions, take a peek at our Advanced Training Manager workshop where you can learn how to navigate the politics of training and gain support for the strategic initiatives that will maximize the value of your department!