Political Discourse in the Office | Keeping it Civil

01 Nov Political Discourse in the Office | Keeping it Civil

According to the American Psychological Association, US employees are finding themselves stressed out by political rhetoric at work. As professionals, we know that political talk in the office is commonly frowned upon; but as the election approaches, many employees in the US find that it cannot be completely avoided.

According to David Ballard, Director of American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence:

“While employers may not be able to limit political discussions in the workplace, they can take steps to ensure those conversations take place in a civil, respectful environment,” Ballard said. “A psychologically healthy workplace is particularly critical during challenging and polarizing times, and these survey results highlight the fact that despite conventional wisdom, people are often more alike than they are different.”

Here is some great advice from CareerBuilder on how to make political discourse a little friendlier around the office.

Promote a culture of respect. Remind your employees to keep conversations respectful and stay open-minded. Make it clear that everyone’s opinions and ideas are welcomed and accepted, no matter how different they may be from another person’s.

Find things to agree on. Encourage employees to discussing facts and values they can agree upon, which will help ensure the conversation remains respectful.

Deal only with the facts. Remind your employees to stick to the facts when discussing the candidates. Exaggerating and spinning facts are common ways to start an argument.

Step in. While you may not want to hinder your employees from stating their opinions, if you find that political talk has gotten so negative that it is hurting productivity and/or overall morale, you are well within your rights to step in and change the topic to something more neutral or put an end to the discussion altogether.

Set an example. Adhere to these guidelines yourself, and your employees likely will follow suit.

How do you handle differing political views in a professional manner? Does your office have protocols or standards for political conversations? Join the conversation! Tag your post with #AccuroTalks and let us know what you think!

Kelly Norman
kelly@accurogroup.com