Pharos-Tribune

Online only

October 4, 2012

Career Coach: You should veto talking politics at work

(Continued)

If you insist on talking about politics at work, here are some tips to think about before jumping into the conversation:

• Consider your audience. Will they be receptive to a political discussion or will they be upset that you brought the whole topic up?

• Think about your purpose. Is it to share your ideas, ask questions about the candidates, or persuade others?

• Consider the setting. Is it a good idea to debate at a company team-building event or an orientation session?

• Don't make assumptions. Politics, like religion, can be very complex. Assuming someone has the same views as you can have repercussions if you think you are speaking to a sympathetic ear.

• Be informed. There's nothing more upsetting than when people get into debates and have little to no information about the issues or candidates' stances.

• Don't goad. If colleagues say they would rather not discuss them, let it go.

• Deflect with good humor. If someone tries to provoke you into a political debate, say something like "Are you kidding, no way am I taking on this conversation.' "

• Don't take it personally. According to a CareerBuilder poll, 23 percent of workers who have discussed politics at work reported having had a heated discussion or fight with a co-worker, supervisor or someone else higher up in the firm.

Employers, too, should be mindful of their responsibility. The Society for Human Resource Management reported that 25 percent of employers maintain written policies on political activities, and some of these involve conversations about politics at work.

One key area of responsiblity is making sure all supervisors are trained in understanding laws regarding harassment, etc. Some conversations about politics can steer into inappropriate (or harassing) comments about gender, race or age, for instance. Or a manager's opinions on a race could be regarded as contributing to an uncomfortable work environment, where employees feel pressured to support this candidate or that.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Online only
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.