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How to Navigate the Political Landscape as a Training Manager

Posted by Linda Carole Pierce on 4/23/18 8:00 AM
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Regardless of where you are, or the country you live in, people are often talking about politics—the good, the bad, and the ugly. If that’s not enough, we must also be aware of the politics that occur in the workplace. You can run, but you can’t hide because organizational politics are ever present.

 

Navigating the political landscape successfully is the mark of an advanced training manager. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t play political games because it’s so dishonest.” On the flip side, others feel that playing politics is necessary to get ahead. Regardless of where you stand, it’s important as a training manager to identify your political comfort zone and how it aligns with the political challenges you may face within your organization.

 

One of the many challenges training managers face is how to change the perception of the training department from that of “order takers” to that of performance consultants. Achieving this milestone will certainly add more value to the bottom line by allowing the training department to identify and focus on true training needs. This challenge will depend on the culture of the organization and how training is currently viewed and supported. The less buy-in there is for training, the more you will require political navigation. Whether you love or hate politics, as a training manager you’ll need to make a choice. As I mentioned, it helps to make a choice when you are aware of your own comfort zone. Which of these three political comfort zones do you fall into?

1. Cautious – playing politics is unpleasant

2. Realistic – playing politics is necessary

3. Shrewd – playing politics is opportunity

 

Armed with your political comfort zone, and the ability to identify that of others, you will be better equipped to navigate your way through the political landscape while creating a healthy image for your training department.

 

If you would like to dig a little deeper to discover your political comfort zone, we explore this in much more detail in our Advanced Training Manager and Certified Training Manager/Director courses. Hope to see you there real soon!

 

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Linda has been a course leader with Langevin since 2005. She graduated from New York University with a degree in Organizational Behavior and Communication. She’s also had the privilege of teaching at NYU’s Gallatin Division in the area of Theatre and Education. Linda began her career facilitating conflict resolution and coexistence workshops for diverse groups, and running workshops in the Middle East and South Africa, as well as facilitating social issues workshops for young people in the NYC school system. Linda believes learning works best when it is student-centered, experiential, interactive, and fun. Outside of the classroom, you’ll find Linda at the theatre, either as an audience member or actor, or spending quality time with her family and friends.



Tags: managing training, organizational politics

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