Assuming most of you don’t live under rocks, you’ve probably been exposed to your fair share of political coverage via social media, TV, radio, and most likely your work place. Political views can be a very personal topic for many people, and therefore often a delicate subject. However, before you decide to ban office conversations related to politics, consider the potential for growth that productive and respectful discourse offers. Diversity is one of the best teachers you can provide your office community, as long as it is paired with mutual respect.
Read this article for an in-depth look at how diversity makes us smarter.
1. Keep the discussion detail-oriented.
Focusing on specific details regarding political views may be a useful way to keep discussions productive and respectful. Over generalizing any topic often has negative side effects leading to heated arguments and conflict.
2. Know your power as boss.
Before you decide whether or not you are going to make your political views public, take a moment to recognize the impact your personal views could have on your office community. If you do decide to share your political views, be sure to present the information in a respectful way that encourages your employees to be courteous to one another at all times.
3. Make sure your employees know when to step back.
Consider holding a brief office discussion about what will and what will not be tolerated in regards to political discussions. Be clear about boundaries and more specifically, how to recognize when a conversation should end. This will help prevent dysfunctional interactions and promote mutually beneficial outcomes.