What it Means to be Political Savvy

Politically savvy in the workplace
November 28, 2016
During the weekly meeting on Election Day, the PAFs discussed what it means to be politically savvy in our lives and professional placements as a professional development competency. We set the stage by discussing the savviness of the presidential family, presidential candidates, and Julius Caesar and Socrates. Appreciating that the boundaries of being politically savvy could either make you president or hated by the republic, we focused on everyday actions and skills that can cultivate one’s political savviness.  
 
We covered 8 steps of being politically savvy:
  1. Understand your political comfort zone
  2. You have a choice in how to respond to conflict
  3. Know what you are trying to achieve
  4. Understand your circle of influence
  5. Don’t take sides
  6. Don’t get personal
  7. Understand before trying to be understood
  8. Think win-win
 
With these in mind, one can focus on being visible in office work, central in core projects, and relevant for the organizational mission. We concluded our discussion by recognizing 1) political savviness can be learned; 2) it helps to understand one’s organizational environment; and 3) it is important to be kind and generous to others. 

Dor Hirsh Bar Gai

Dor is a first-year fellow pursuing a Master of Science in Environmental and Energy Management with a professional placement at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.