- Remember when being political in business meant someone was kissing up to the boss to leapfrog over you for a promotion?
- Remember when being politically astute in business meant aligning with someone who would champion your career?
Am I the only one who longs to return to that version of politics in business?
I knew I was not alone in my longing when the Harvard Business Review cover featured an article, Managing a Polarized Workforce. Almost from the start, my own experience proved authors Minson and Gino’s point. Their point? We hold misconceptions about the psychology of disagreement and those misconceptions cause us to avoid discussions on contentious topics. We incorrectly think that avoiding allows us to keep the peace. By taking that supposed highroad, we are actually creating mental disagreements with ourselves. We then roll our self-created mental disagreements into and the illusion that we have less and less in common than we really do. All this illusionary disagreement erodes trust resulting in potentially greater disagreement and distrust than you would have experienced if you had engaged in a difficult conversation.
Why did I feel the article was speaking to me almost from the start? As I read the article, I kept saying to myself “easier said than done.” As I read, I fell into the trap of reflecting on my most polarized political relationships. Focusing on my most extreme experiences resulted in what the authors report as false polarization. Left to my internal conversation, I exaggerated how closed-minded a person may be. The more I exaggerated my perception, the less likely I was to want to work with, trust, or engage with the person. Does any of this sound familiar?????
I strongly recommend the HBR article. I also strongly recommend you watch one or all of my YouTube videos: Conversations: Politics Through the Ages Part 1 – 5. Being aware that I am not above contributing to the problems outlined in the article, I have been committing myself to highlighting good people involved in politics doing good work. The young, the experienced, the volunteers, and the candidates for political office, lend their voices to working to make themselves and the system better.
While you are on YouTube watching the videos, please subscribe to my channel. I have been having fun creating different video content over the last few months. If you have suggestions on what you would like to see me produce, please let me know.
Direct Links to YouTube Videos:
Part 1 Victor Creed Why Politics: https://youtu.be/xi2LvRpkOS4
Part 2 Voting: https://youtu.be/PYJVhFSqG3U
Part 3 Why Get Involved: https://youtu.be/XZvfO55fpWY
Part 5 Nancy Brune bloopers: https://youtu.be/ycQPM-5eqOw
Part 4 Nancy Brune: https://youtu.be/Ho1rfjgGd1k