There’s nothing like a spicy political debate to liven up the workday, right? Just the thought is enough to induce a few heart palpitations, am I right? The mixing of politics and business is like adding jalapenos to your morning coffee. What could go wrong, indeed?
Today on ‘Do Not Listen to This Podcast’ – and no, you’re not supposed to take the title literally, folks! – we strolled into the beautiful, sunshine-filled field of ‘handling divisiveness’. It’s a field that looks pretty at first but wait until you step in a cow pie or two. We focused specifically on politics, because, well, what could possibly be more divisive?
Ever heard the saying, “Don’t talk about politics or religion at work”? It’s there for a good reason. When your office buddy is a staunch supporter of Candidate X, and you would rather eat a stapler than vote for X, things can get heated. That office plant between you and your buddy? Yeah, that’s not a buffer zone.
As people, we tend to be super attached to our political beliefs. Makes sense, right? We’re passionate about what we stand for. But when your personal beliefs clash with your boss’s ‘candidate Y or bust’ bumper sticker, you’re walking on eggshells on a floor made of dynamite.
So, how do businesses juggle this hot potato of politics? Well, it’s kind of like playing Twister while balancing a plate of meatballs on your head. You need to maneuver carefully, and some meatballs will probably fall. Many businesses will extend their support to multiple candidates to ensure they’re on the winning side, no matter who takes the office. It’s a bit like dating two people at the same time, hoping one of them turns out to be ‘The One’.
So, what’s a person to do? You can either go all in, stand by your political beliefs and face the consequences – and possibly limit your audience to only those who agree with you. Or, you can choose to play it safe and keep your political views private. But be warned, in the era of social media, privacy is as rare as a unicorn. People might think you’re hiding something, and we all know how well that worked out for Harry Potter when he kept his scar hidden.
Personally, I like to practice what I call political tolerance. This means I can work with anyone, even if their political beliefs aren’t in line with mine. Of course, there are some personal red lines – like being a bully. Bullying is a big no-no in my books. Bullies are like Internet trolls – no one likes them, and they ruin the fun for everyone.
Navigating politics in business is like tiptoeing through a minefield – with clown shoes. It’s a tricky dance but understanding other perspectives and engaging in dialogue is the secret to keeping your shoes (and your business) intact.
So, let’s open our minds, folks! If we’re going to mix jalapenos with coffee, we might as well understand why some people like it hot. Until then, remember to handle those political meatballs with care.
Until next time, keep listening to ‘Do Not Listen to This Podcast’. The irony in that sentence was totally intended. Thanks for the challenge, and keep thinking deeper, folks!