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Indifference and Politics at the Workplace

 

Human psychology has always led to differences even though people represent the same family or even the organization. The same holds true for people flocking together while pursuing their professional objective in an organization. People may work together in the same project in the same department, possess the same skill, the same educational qualification, at times same ethnicity, however, in spite of all these commonalities, people vary on their opinion, expression, perception, actions and even reactions. If all these indifference’s are managed with the right spirit and approach, quite often than not it leads to the emergence of a diverse organization, where creativity, innovation, managing change effectively becomes the order of the day. On the contrary, if these indifference’s are allowed to foment and instigate issues with vested interests where certain sections or individuals gets benefited at the cost of the majority, then the ramification would be severe in the long run. It would not only tarnish the organizational image, but would also create a dent in the culture of the organization.

Positive indifference is a boon

Positive indifference where employees cutting across culture, nationalities, caste, creed, religion may vary on issues of significance hinging on the common aspect of sharing the same goals and objectives, in the larger interest of the organisation. This as examples galore of all the Multinational Organizations, be it Microsoft, Toyota, McDonald, Unilever to name a few has always leveraged these indifference’s so as to establish competitive advantage vis-a-vis their competitors.

 These organizations have taken these challenge of difference or diversity as an opportunity, culminating in ideating new products and services and grooming new bunch of leaders within the organizational hierarchy. It is a boon for all the stakeholders, as the indifference when channelized through the common prism of organizational goals generates faster, wider and better options for all concerned.

Politics-The negative fall-out

The mis-management of indifference within the human elements present in the organization, more so with a myopic interest often results in nurturing office politics, which if prevented may lead to a catastrophic scenario in the long run. Behemoths globally have tasted the flip side of organizational indifference when groups were formed either on the basis of community, language, ethnicity, food habits, thereby leading to the downfall of established empires. Experts have referred such developments as malignancy resembling that of a cancerous cell, which spreads its tentacles within a short period of time. The emergence of the divisive forces are small at the outset, slowly and gradually they creep into the organizational hierarchy, spreading across the functions impacting one and all.

The role of the leader play an important role if such practices are to be curtailed. He/she should understand the moves and actions of the employees indulging in acts which may vitiate the working environment, and take preventive measures even before the grapevine is formed within the rank and file of the company. A smart leader at the helm would always decipher the implicit and explicit meaning of their employees words, actions and body language and would also take commensurate action as a preemptive move so as to manage the chaos through his/her foresighted approach. On the other hand if the leader is part of the gang, he would hardly pay any heed to those moves being made by the employees thinking that its going to protect him/her from his/her professional weaknesses. The irony of the fact is that a sensible leader would always prefer to adopt ethical ways so as to manage such outages, even if it means exposing his/her shortcomings in the short run. As they say, one wrong move may cascade and boomerang quite fast, leaving very less time for the leader to react.

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