It’s political season again. People are going to be talking about the election and, as always, there are going to be sharp disagreements. For your part, here is how you should handle this political season at work.
You Aren’t Going to Change Minds
Don’t argue with your peers at work about politics. You are every bit as likely to change your co-worker’s long held political beliefs as you are having yours changed—and you aren’t going to have your mind changed, now are you?
Your co-workers with different political opinions aren’t going to understand your view, and you aren’t going to understand theirs. Your co-workers are entitled to their stupid, shortsighted, pig-headed, partisan opinions, and you are equally entitled to yours.
Don’t try to change minds at work.
Remember, You Have More In Common
Regardless of your political beliefs or party affiliation, you are joined together with your co-workers by all that you have in common. There is more that binds you together than separates you, even if you have very different and very strong political opinions.
Your co-workers are important to you. These are the people you spend a lot of time with, and this is the team that produces results for your clients with you. Rancorous political arguments don’t bring you closer together, and sometimes they pull you apart. Attacks can get personal. Feelings are unnecessarily hurt.
Your relationships with your co-workers are too important to allow them to be damaged by politic opinions. When politics are discussed, be civil. Don’t attack your co-worker’s political opinions.
You Aren’t Rush Limbaugh or John Stewart
You don’t get paid to entertain people with your political opinions. Leave the professional political entertaining to the professional political entertainers.
Your Results Aren’t Tied to Politics
Unless you work in politics, your results aren’t going to be improved or reduced by the outcome of this year’s election. You alone are responsible for your results, and you will succeed or fail based on your efforts.
For those brave enough to accept the truth, successful people find a way to be successful regardless of the political party in power. They don’t allow themselves to believe that the outcome of an election can prevent them from succeeding.
The successful know that they make their own economy. Instead of arguing with your peers at work, make your own economy.
Your Clients Need Never Know
Your political opinions and beliefs alienate half of the people that come in contact with them. My personal political opinions frustrate a far greater percentage than half. But you don’t see my political opinions plastered on this blog. There is a reason for that.
If this blog were a vehicle for my political opinions, some people that disagree with my politics would dismiss the rest of my message here. My goals here have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with sales, sales management, business, leadership, and success. My goal here is to empower salespeople and business people with ideas.
Your goals, like mine, have nothing to do with politics. Your clients need never know your politics. You can assume that your clients have strong political opinions too, and there is no reason to have your message or motive questioned over your political opinions.
A Final Thought
None of this is to suggest that you shouldn’t participate in this experiment that is our great, messy, Democratic Republic.
If you and your co-worker’s disagree without being disagreeable, by all means, discuss your thoughts and ideas. But that means you have to be thoughtful and mature, and you have to prevent people who aren’t from engaging in your conversation. It’s your responsibility not to stir the pot.
If you want to make a difference, work for your candidates and your party. Get involved in the process. But don’t try to make that difference where you work.
Why shouldn’t you engage in vitriolic political arguments at work?
Why don’t you need your clients to know your strong political beliefs? What do you risk?
Have you ever really changed your co-worker’s political opinions or had yours changed?
How can you make your own economy? How can you run your own campaign to get the results you really need.
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