Magazine article Talent Development

Talking Politics: Politics Can Be a Thorny Subject, Especially in the Workplace

Magazine article Talent Development

Talking Politics: Politics Can Be a Thorny Subject, Especially in the Workplace

Article excerpt

The U.S. presidential election is a few months away, and you've almost definitely heard about the race on TV, online, and in the newspaper. But have you heard any political chat at work?

According to a survey from outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 94 percent of workers say they've witnessed a political discussion in the workplace. Of those, more than 18 percent say those discussions happen often.

Luckily for innocent bystanders, the survey found that political talk never turns sour, as common as it is. Nearly 64 percent of respondents categorized those interactions as "mostly congenial and respectful," and just north of 36 percent said it was "passionate, but still respectful." None of the respondents said the conversations were "heated, bordering on disrespectful" or "so heated that someone had to intervene."

It's good that employees seem to keep it civil, considering the majority of companies' attitudes toward political talk. According to the survey, just 3 percent of companies have formal policies for discussing politics at work, while 13 percent have discussed the possibility of creating guidelines. …

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