Relationships

Taboo Topics: Talking Politics in the Office

Written by Jim Bouchard

SEX

POLITICS

RELIGION

Conventional wisdom says not to talk about sex, politics and religion in the office. The problem is that any office, workplace or organization is mostly made up of people and if the volume of blogs, internet sites, magazines and other media is any indication of popularity, people love to talk about: SEX, POLITICS AND RELIGION!

office_tabooWe’re in the middle of the most contentious political season anyone still alive can remember. Can we have respectful political conversations in the workplace?

I say yes; but we need to make a few AssUmptionsâ„¢. I know, once again I’m going against conventional wisdom which says when you assume you make an a#$ out of you, and me. I think you’ll find these AssUmptionsâ„¢ useful:

  1. Not everyone shares your point of view.
  2. The other guy is entitled to his or her opinion.
  3. The other guy has a rational reason for his or her opinion.
  4. Silence does not always confirm agreement.
  5. EVERYONE is entitled to at least two things: Thoughts & Feelings.

Carry these AssUmptionsâ„¢ with you into nearly any conversation and you can enjoy a respectful and perhaps even an informative exchange of ideas.

You don’t need a list of rules; in fact I only really observe one rule in life; the Rule of Respect. Talking to a group of first grade students on the subject of Respect I started by asking for a definition. Being the expert I was just about to launch into my pre-programmed script on the subject when one young man stood up, bowed and said, “Respect means taking care of one another!” I’m not easily moved to tears but I had to sit down and take a few minutes after that one! To this day I’ve adopted this definition of Respect and have tried to live my life by that Rule.

As we go through the political season I will, from time to time, interject some of my “Guidelines for Respectful Office Conversation” and items from my “Top 10 List of Stuff You Should AVOID Doing or Saying in Office Conversations.” These are fun, but if you stick to the Rule of Respect you’ve pretty well got things covered.

For now just remember two things:

  1. When it’s obvious that what you’re doing or saying is not “caring” for the other person, it’s probably time to let it go.
  2. While you’re at work, remember that you’re there above all: to WORK!

“Talking Religion in the Office” has to wait until football season starts!


About the author

jim bouchardJim is now a regular at ‘Change Your Thoughts’, if you haven’t already visited his site I would urge you to have a look. Jim is an author, businessman, personal development trainer, black belt Karate instructor, football coach….the list goes on. He is the creator of the Dynamic Components of Personal Power program. Visit Jim’s site at www.jimbouchard.org for more information on his self development program.

About the author

Jim Bouchard

Jim is now a regular at ‘Change Your Thoughts’, if you haven’t already visited his site I would urge you to have a look. Jim is an author, businessman, personal development trainer, black belt Karate instructor, football coach….the list goes on. He is the creator of the Dynamic Components of Personal Power program. Visit Jim’s site at www.jimbouchard.org for more information on his self development program.
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