Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Six Rules for Talkiing Politics at Work

You can talk politics at work, since we are all political animals, but you have to be careful because things can go dreadfully wrong.  Here's the things you need to know:

1.  Realize your vote doesn't count for anything - nada, zilch, zip.  No national election has ever been won by one vote.  It doesn't matter how you vote, you won't change the election outcome.

2.  Realize your political opinion doesn't count for anything.  Even if you could convince all your friends and acquaintances that your slightly offbeat politics are correct, it doesn't change anything. The increase of a few hundred votes won't change a national or congressional election.

3.  Realize your relationships with your co-workers are everything.  You work there 8 hours a day and your co-workers are key to your happiness and success there. 

4. Realize that knowing your co-workers better can actually improve your relationships.  That's the purpose of talking politics at work - it's not to change their wacky political views - it's to understand them better and improve your relationships.

5. Don't try to change their viewpoint - that's when things go wrong.  If things get a little testy, say, "Oh, my, look at the time, I've got to go."

6.  Don't tell them directly your viewpoints, but ask them their viewpoint. As Covey says, "Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood".  Wait for them to ask your opinion, if they don't, bite your lip, and don't tell them.

For example, in the break room you can ask, "What did you think of the primary results last night?"  Let them talk and listen, but really do listen.  Always remember they could actually, gulp, be right and you could be wrong.

Go ahead and talk politics at work, it can be great fun and deepen your understanding of your co-workers, but be careful.

1 comment:

John Mayson said...

John's rules.

1. Never talk about politics at work.
2. See #1.

:-)

What I tell people is given any hot button topic I'll come across as a knuckle-dragging conservative or liberal pansy, but I average out to moderate.