By Aubrey Gorum
It's an election year! What does that mean for your Monday morning water-cooler talk? A big change. Many people bring their political views out of their morning commute-talk radio binge inside the office to share with their coworkers. This would seem OK if you weren't in a professional setting, but many vent their side to the election and degrade themselves to their work-mates in the same sentence.
Therefore, we took to the Internet to research the most appropriate way to handle work place politics. So without further ado- here is the protocol of office politic talk.
1) Be mindful of when it is appropriate
Interjecting your political views into business meetings, emails, or business related conversations is highly inappropriate and can be taken offensive. Understand that by doing so you could alienate a potential client, employee, or coworker. Knowing when the right time to talk politics in the office is crucial, so choose a more relaxed time to do so. These times may be in a more social atmosphere like the break room, at lunch, or during down time.
2) Pay attention to those around you
When starting these political conversations, it is important to be aware of the people that are around you. If you do not know all of their views, it may be appropriate to ask to speak about politics first before shouting out your opinions at lunch. If someone around you is particularly quiet or shy about the subject, you may want to end your conversation. You would never want someone to be uncomfortable with what you are speaking about and not participating may be their way of telling you they aren't into it.
3) Don't take it personal
Don't take someone not agreeing with you to heart. Understand that you started the conversation and not everyone that you are speaking with may have the views that you do. America is where we all have the right to have a viewpoint and a vote of our own. A person's political viewpoint does not define them. Never take to insults or inappropriate language as a result to someone disagreeing with you. This could put your job in jeopardy.
Three steps you can take to keep your reputation in tact while still engaging in political talk at the office. Often engaging in important conversations like one about the upcoming election can be key in making you a viable candidate for moving up in the workplace. Don't steer away from these conversations because you feel uncomfortable. Educate yourself on the topics and chime in, using the three steps above of course. As always, if you feel targeted by someone in your office or like an inappropriate conversation was held in your presence speak with your human resources coordinator and report the problem.
A couple more articles we like:
How to Win Friends While Discussing Politics at the Office
Talking Politics in the Workplace Generally Not a Good Idea
Tweet LinkedIn Google+