Talking politics in the office can be a risky course, but most people will let you speak your mind if you are passionate and knowledgeable about your beliefs, and good debaters will let you do so even if they disagree with you.
Here are some things to make sure you DO while carrying on a political conversation:
• Allow your co-workers to speak without interrupting them.
• Respect their opinion; even if it is different from yours. You will want them to do the same for you.
• Be intentional with your communication. Make sure you have a point to the conversation and aren’t just trying to make small talk.
• Ask follow up questions. Find out why your co-worker believes what they believe.
• Stay informed. You don’t want to be talking about a topic that is outdated. Not only is it old news, you will present yourself poorly on a topic that you may feel strongly about which can reduce your credibility.
• Hold your emotions in check. If you cannot discuss a topics without hitting the boiling point then avoid the political discussion. The same holds true if you are personally offended by opposing beliefs.
• Know which political topics are off limits in your office. Whether it is war or same-sex marriage, there are typically one ore more issues that shouldn’t be discussed.
• Be cautious about hitting certain points that could directly relate to your or your team’s compensation and ability to have credibility with higher-ups and other colleagues.
• Do choose the right time for a political discussion. For example, during lunch or breaks, but not in the middle of a meeting or presentation.
• Do think about how people might perceive you in your role at work if they knew your position on certain issues. Stay with political topics that won’t jeopardize your credibility.
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