The inherent politics in group interaction.
In my cerebral view, politics are so polarizing because we, as individuals, are constantly surrounded by them whether in families, school cliques, educational organizations, research institutes, or the workplace (which should be placed in focus, purpose, and integrity but is often placed in politics). While politics are complex, when one understands their complication anything (including, but not limited to, politics) becomes simple. To simplify, when there is more than one person in a group, the art of politics will persist throughout that relationship and/or endeavor. This will occur no matter the well-intentioned individuals involved as I believe people are naturally not just good but have good intentions. Survival, on some level, will always kick in at some point as a mechanism to either protect or win favor in the situation monetarily, socially, or mentally. This does not make any particular individual bad in any way based on that process. What makes politics end up in a negative space are the specific persons that use politics to not only forward their own agendas (which is not always bad) but directly hurt people by indirectly being ignorant. The evil of ignorance knows no bounds. Ignorant people often have no clue of the level of destruction they are imposing onto others in their wake because — simply put — it doesn’t affect them. There is often a divide in politics in general (and specifically) because most people involved in politics don’t understand their own politics. Therefore, a political game will never have a winner but, rather, one group that gains more attention than another. That attention is typically followed which is then deduced and somehow distilled into what we all want to find, which is truth. Since most of us rarely find it, we simply make it up. To analogize: when a crime is committed, or when something inexplicable happens, or when someone is cured of a disease, it is much easier to make up specifics of a story that sound true than to come up empty-handed and admit one doesn’t know why/how something occurred. Because most of us have such a hard time accepting the conclusion that we don’t know, we as a human race make up our own race. It’s called politics. Again, none of this explanation is about the “right” answer, but understanding the complication of political simplicity. Political simplicity in the workplace can be accepted if one understands that, no matter the person’s qualifications, connections, money, or gender, politics will always be at play whether good or bad. Therefore it is important to focus on internally serving the bottom line of what is needed for each situation. All situations are different, so it is important to always distill what is intended in what is being communicated in business operations, never what is being said. “Distill” is the operative word. Not interpret, as with interpretation can come misinterpretation. Misinterpretation leads to a far more negative and baseless result than not interpreting at all. Distilling is a process that should be followed in all businesses at all times as it does not mistake the person delivering the message for the business. The business as an entity has initiatives to serve itself and itself only. The person in that position conveying the information will always be on the side of the business, no matter what they explain or how they explain it. Therefore, what they intend by what they say can be distilled by looking at:
- what the business will gain from what is being said;
- what the business will lose from being said (and not being said);
- what initiatives the business has to gain leverage; and, lastly
- how you fit into the politics of the business’ objectives and its strategic plans.
If you don’t have clear, certain answers to all those questions, then you are not distilling what is intended from what’s being said but rather interpreting it. Interpretation is mainly subjective but can feel objective if one is using the words being used verbatim without seeing what is intended from a business point of view. Essentially, the person in the position conveying the information represents the business, not themselves. Therefore, anything and everything they convey has a motive. Not necessarily a negative one, but they will always have a motive and that motive is for the business. Never against it. Hence: co-operate (“Corporate”).