Politics Seeping into Office Conversations

It’s the season and the year for people’s conversations to trend toward politics, with a presidential election now almost five weeks away, and preferences are finding their way into conversations in offices across the country.

Is that appropriate and where do you draw the line?

“Hey listen, everybody has an opinion, everybody has a voice and a right to their opinion and their voice,” says workplace culture expert Jared Pope, and HR and Benefits attorney and CEO of Work Shield, a platform that helps employers address workplace issues before they escalate into expensive lawsuits.

Pope stresses fairness and respect in conversations.

“The number one rule is you can’t expect everyone to think what you think, and even though you may have an opinion, you have to be open to the fact that other people may disagree with you, and that’s okay,” he explains.

The safest route is to abstain from conversations that may offend co-workers, but recent surveys have found people 20-40 are more open about discussing their ideas of politics, and that men are more open to this discussion than women.

If you’re going to talk politics,” says Pope, “You have to be willing to listen to the other side, and be empathetic, and be objective.”

photo: Getty Images

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