Leadership Tip

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 colleagues. Here are some strategies for having a tactful, diplomatic dialogue.

  1. Focus on learning. Chances are, you’re not going to change your colleague's mind, so frame your conversation as a chance to learn about their viewpoint instead. Ask questions. Be curious and open-minded.
     
  2. 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.”
     
  3. Seek common ground. To prevent the conversation from getting overheated, look for areas where you and your colleague are aligned. Don’t demonise the other person just because you disagree.
     
  4. 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.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our acclaimed 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from Should You Talk About Politics at Work? by Rebecca Knight. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.


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