With the ever-changing political scenario and global unrest, there have been so many news and stories worldwide. And then the media streaming is also substantial in developing the curiosity to discuss these concerns with your family, relatives, friends, or colleagues.
When it comes to working, any sort of disruptive discussions can lead to adverse situations and affect the work environment. Though you may have a strong urge to have a political conversation in particular while at work, however, avoiding such instances is a better idea. This article will highlight the do’s and don’ts that would help you to avoid political debates at work.
Why Political Discussions at Work is a strict ‘NO’?
Before getting into the do’s and don’ts of talking politics at work, let’s understand the reasons why it is said to avoid political discussions at the workplace.
Distraction: Any political debate can actually distract your attention from your assigned work and affect productivity.
Differences: Political discussions at the workplace can cause differences of opinions which in turn can lead to team divisions.
Disrespect: Political banter at workplace can, at times, create heated-up situations leading to disrespectful positions.
How to Handle Political Debate At Work?
The Do’s and Don’ts
Keep it light and easy. If you confront a conversation about politics, try to keep it lighthearted and avoid ending up the debate by making non-confrontational statements.
Show respect to other’s views. Be patient and keep an open mind to hear out what your co-worker has to say without jumping into any conclusion.
Walk away at the right time. If you feel that the political discussions in the office is getting heated up, choose to walk away. It’s wise enough to avoid such confrontations and get back to work.
Be impartial on your statements. Never opine partially on any political topic. Always go for neutral comments and mutual discussions with colleagues instead of heated political arguments.
Smiling is a good gesture. Sometimes a friendly gesture such as smiling or nodding is good enough to play safe during a political debate at work.
Know your boundaries. If at all you do not want to participate in the conversation about politics, draw your boundaries and disengage yourself by clearly stating your intentions without creating any discomfort for anyone.
No politics after work. Don’t discuss and politics with your boss and/or colleagues after work. Having a team get-together or a hang-out with your co-workers post office hours is a great way to build up team spirit. So, avoid politics during that period.
Avoid hot issues. Beware! Don’t ever think of touching the prevailing hot button political issues if someone intends to start political conversations even though for a small talk.
Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations. If you face any such situation that is unavoidable, keep calm and act wisely. Don’t give any opinion or comment that can vilify the opposite person.
Be tactful. Don’t be too straightforward when it comes to rendering opinions during a political debate at work. This can actually curb down the chances of heated discussions.
No show-offs. Don’t express your political views or perceptions by displaying signs or logos at your workstation. This may create emotional differences with your colleagues and furthermore, may initiate action against you.
Think before you speak. Choosing to talk carefully at the office can avoid workplace disasters as per the policies that come along the spectra of the HR services of your company. Your office is the place where you work for your personal as well as professional growth and success. You should utilize your break time or lunch hours by discussing other things related to your life rather than politics. Focus on what’s important and avoid political debates at work.
Aparna Paul is an HR professional and a passionate Author based in Kolkata, India. She is also an avid reader and researcher. She is associated with Gretis India, one of the reputed HR management company providing HR & payroll outsourcing services in India.