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Should You Talk Politics at Work?

Political discussions have their place. But should they happen in your workplace? Modern Manners Guy has the etiquette rules for talking politics on the job.

By
Richie Frieman,
April 6, 2012

Should You Talk Politics at Work?

It seems you can't turn on the TV without seeing ads for some political candidate or campaign. Mostly, it's just obnoxious noise, lacking all constructive substance which you can easily ignore. But what happens when that same political "noise" enters the workplace?

Is there a way to properly discuss politics at work? And furthermore, how do you (or should you) show your support for a certain politician? These are tough questions, but Modern Manners Guy is up to the challenge.

First of all, I seriously doubt you'll ever work in a place where everyone is on the same political page. Heck, you won't even find a workplace where everyone agrees on the best pizza in town! And we all know how heated those office debates can get. Combine pizza, politics, and passionate people and what you have is a recipe for disaster.

If you absolutely HAVE to talk politics, do it in a very small group of very close colleagues; colleagues who you regularly hang out with outside of work and who won't be offended if your viewpoint clashes with theirs.

Notice, I said "colleagues," not bosses. Refrain from bringing up political talk with your boss at all costs! Disagreeing with the boss' political choice is the Quick and Dirty way to end up at the bottom of the lineup.

Generally, waving the flag for a certain candidate or political cause is something you should stay away from at work. Don't get me wrong, you should have your beliefs and act on them in off hours in any way that you see fit. But we all know that politics can really offend people. I'm sure you've seen this happen. Someone puts up a sign or poster advocating for one candidate and the guy in the cubicle next door is steaming mad.

The Bottom Line: Whether you work in a small, friendly, family-based office or in a huge corporation with thousands of employees, discussing politics in the office will always end up backfiring on you (unless you work for a politician). At work, it's more important to work than to promote a certain cause. Leave that for the weekend.

 

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