The U.S. presidential election is coming up soon, and of course, people are talking about it. Political discussions are happening everywhere – including the office.

But talking politics at work can be a little tricky. If you’re not careful, you could end up offending a coworker who holds different beliefs than you. So how can you ensure that your political conversations stay civil and respectful? Here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Be polite – Remember that you’re having a discussion, not an argument.
  • Talk to people you know – If you don’t know anything about a coworker’s political leanings, you could cause offense without meaning to. So if you want to talk politics, it’s better to talk to a coworker whose views you’re familiar with. (If you share similar views, you can relax and talk freely. If you don’t share similar views, you need to be a little more careful and diplomatic.)
  • Don’t talk about religion – Stick to politics. Don’t bring religion into it.
  • Don’t try to change your coworkers’ opinions – You can talk about how you feel, but don’t try to persuade other people to change their minds.
  • Don’t judge your coworkers based on their political views – Even if you disagree with your coworkers, you shouldn’t think less of them. You can hold different political beliefs and still be great friends and colleagues!

 

Wolper, J. (2016). Talking politics. Talent Development, 70(7), 14.

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