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Tips for discussing politics at work

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

The sage advice to avoid political discussions at work has proven tough for many people to follow this year, writes Lynze Wardle Lenio at the Daily Muse. Keep the tone civil by remembering a few ground rules:

•  Don’t get confrontational. There’s a right way and a wrong way to phrase your comments. “Remember that it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to convince your office mates to switch political parties—or even their position on an issue—in a 30-minute conversation over lunch, so avoid launching into anything that could resemble a lecture or debate,” Lenio writes.

•  Don’t step over the line. You may get in trouble at work for expressing your political opinion on your shirt or wallpapering your cubicle with campaign stickers. Even outside of the office, it’s wise to be discreet, because a careless statement could offend your colleagues or customers.

•  Don’t broach sensitive topics. Certain topics, such as same-sex marriage and abortion, are often connected to religious beliefs and should never be discussed in the workplace.

•  Don’t let it get heated. If the conversation gets tense, change the subject or disengage completely.

— Adapted from “The Do’s and Don’ts of Talking Poli­­tics in the Office,” Lynze Wardle Lenio, the Daily Muse.

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