How to Navigate Political Discussions at Work


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

* * *

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.

o 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.

o 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.”

o 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.

o 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.

This Tip was adapted from “Should You Talk About Politics at Work?” by Rebecca Knight.

To check out that HBR article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out an anthology, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.

Posted in

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.