How to Navigate Political Discussions at Work
Talking about politics at work can be tricky: However strong your views are, you don’t want to alienate your coworkers. Here are some strategies for having a tactful, diplomatic dialogue.
- Focus on learning. Chances are, you’re not going to change your coworker’s mind, so frame your conversation as a chance to learn about their viewpoint instead. Ask questions. Be curious and open-minded.
- Show respect. Validate the content of your colleague’s argument with phrases like, “I can see you care about this a lot” or “It sounds like you’ve thought this through.”
- Seek common ground. To prevent the conversation from getting overheated, look for areas where you and your colleague are aligned. Don’t demonize the other person just because you disagree.
- Deflect if necessary. If your colleague brings up politics, you don’t have to join the conversation. You’re not obligated to be candid about your thoughts and feelings.