101 CDP: 10 Ways to Navigate Political Differences in the Workplace (or how not to cause a workplace war)

November 10, 2016


I’m tired.

I’m really tired. I bet you are too. This has been quite a week and although I’m in Canada, the world is a small place, and I truly believe we are all connected on this spinning globe…so what happens in one place has reverberations in other places…and I can safely say that these reverberations have left more than a few people spinning.

In this episode:

I want to talk today about navigating political differences in the workplace, because you might be dealing with that right now.

How can you stay professional and on topic when you find out you might be working with one or more colleagues who have fundamentally different political viewpoints?

What can you do to remain calm and still like the person you work with, even with such deep division going on?

Here are 10 ways to navigate political differences:

These can help you get through the politics and on to doing your work. Here they are in brief, but to hear more on each point, listen to the episode.

  1. Practice respect.
  2. Be kind.
  3. Find common ground.
  4. Get to know the other person a little better.
  5. Consider the cost.
  6. Practice deep listening.
  7. Be ready to focus back on your work.
  8. Try not to tell the other person they are wrong or to change their viewpoint.
  9. Avoid sharing what you think or what you think other people believe on social media...especially during work time.
  10. When you do disagree…and when you walk away and maybe agree to not talk politics and get back to work, are you able to remember what you appreciate about the other person, or what you are grateful for about them?

Enough with the divisions.

We’re so good at blaming, at focusing on what divides us, on labeling each other and judging and zeroing in on all sorts of our differences, not just our political differences.  (And don’t get me wrong, there are times to stand up and shriek with all your might about injustices…to stand strong in what you believe, to put your time and energy and passion into making this world a better place…absolutely. That’s how humanity progresses.)

But most of the time the workplace isn’t the place to do that.

Most of the time, what’s needed more than anything is a sense of collegiality, of unity, a peaceful and maybe even fun work environment, a good cup of coffee and a box of donuts…a pat on the back for a job well-done, an open heart and helping hand.

That’s what I wish for you, friends.

If you found this helpful I’d love you to rate the show on iTunes…go to the Communication Diva podcast and leave a review and leave a comment here or share this with a friend or better yet, a co-worker.

Until next time,

Peace be with you.







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