Skill Level Intermediate
(upbeat music) - So what is it about politics that gets people so heated up I mean you've seen this right, you're at work, someone brings up something about politics and then emotions rise up quickly, you see passion, you see energy, you also see frustration and you even see anger. That's why generally speaking, politics is not a great topic for the workplace, your job as a leader, your job as a member of the team is to find ways to help people connect to build collaboration to build rapport.
Now as an organizational expert, I have to tell you we're in a search for positive chemistry, that's what your team needs. Unfortunately politics might not be that type of stimulant, it really tends to create unnecessary negativity. Hey when's the last time you actually looked at a map, check this out. Standard map of the United States, let me ask you what do you see. When I look at this the first thing I see are lines separating states, colors separating people, I mean division is a part of politics.
Now if you've been around the US at all in the last few years, you've seen some version of this, right. We've got red states, we have blue states. Now the red are supposed to be conservative, the blue somehow more liberal, again it's about how we're all different, not united. Just remember your goal is to not allow people to overindulge in the discussion of politics because it's too difficult, but you don't have to take my word for it. Let's go into the office for a minute and dig just a little deeper.
(light music) So how do you feel when you're at work and someone brings up a topic like national politics? - I just feel like it's not something for the workplace. - It's uncomfortable for sure. - You know actually I was a political science major so you might think I'd be into it, but personally when you talk politics at work you don't know how people feel around you it can be dicey. - I think I don't know I think you're really opening up (mumbles) box when you just, you do anything controversial at work, politics, religion.
- I'm curious have you ever worked with a colleague or a boss who didn't agree and often brought up politics? - Yeah I had a boss who would just go on and on and on about, I read the news and I couldn't believe, and it would go on from there. - When you're discussing those issues, passions just come up and some people have a hard time containing their passion. - It's just something in the room kind of builds a tension that doesn't need to be there. - So who did you vote for in the last election? (light music) (laughs) (upbeat music) Okay I think you can see how this really does grab people emotionally and not necessarily in a very productive fashion, now I'd like to give some simple sound advice.
You don't want politics to be a common and dominant deeply discussed topic at work, but yes you can tell people that civic engagement matters, voting matters, caring about politics matters, but you want to stop there. Detailed conversations really aren't productive, because don't forget, we're going to search for positive chemistry, things that help the team collaborate and build rapport, that's how we help productivity. Now I'm not naive, I know that division might always be a part of politics, but if you're smart it will not be a part of your team.