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Political skills key to management success

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Political know-how is becoming an increasingly important tool for successful career progression, an executive recruitment specialist has claimed.

Professionals who can play a canny political game stand a better chance of getting ahead professionally, though politicking still carries negative connotations, said the Hitchenor Wakeford Group (HWG), and few professionals will openly claim to be skilled at it.

Research from the Chartered Management Institute showed that almost nine out of ten managers claimed to have sharpened their political instincts through their own mistakes and by being thrown into crisis management situations.

Modern business leaders need to be able to forge external partnerships, promote their organisation’s reputation, influence key decision makers and mitigate risks, all requiring political skills, said Adrian Hitchenor, HWG chief executive.

Too many firms leave the development of political skills to chance rather than using formalised training, he added. “Politics in the workplace is no longer about back-stabbing your colleagues to get ahead. It’s about working for the greater good, and the individuals who do this are the ones who will get noticed and succeed.”

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