If you are the coworker who would like to discuss politics, it’s
important not to burden colleagues with your political opinions. Some
people enjoy talking politics and find excitement in a politically
charged discussion. Others may be uncomfortable at the thought of
talking politics at work and would rather stay out of it. Be sensitive
to a colleague’s perspectives. He may only convey that he is
uncomfortable by responding with one-word replies and avoiding eye
contact, or shifting his gaze from the coworker discussing a divisive
If you have a coworker who is consistently in your
face about politics, practice restraint. Don’t add to the conversation.
You can state that you are not into politics that much. If you feel
threatened or uncomfortable, use the appropriate channels of
communication. Talk to your supervisor about your concerns. If the
person in question is in a leadership position, you can address the
issue confidentially through your firm’s human resources department.
political viewpoints isn’t always a recipe for disaster. If employees
are equipped with the right tools, they can talk about sensitive issues
such as politics. Remember: When talking politics at work, at home or in
public, always show respect. §
Michael Uram is a Licensed
Marriage and Family Therapist based in Orange County. Learn more or find
a therapist near you at counselingcalifornia.com.
*Poll conducted by VitalSmarts and the New York Times best-selling authors of “Crucial Conversations” (2008)