Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

CNHI/SE Iowa

October 4, 2012

Career Coach: You should veto talking politics at work

What a great time of the year to teach leadership. As it gets closer and closer to election time, leaders take center stage in the news, in debates and on the campaign trail.

Whether it's the presidential race or local races, there are many great (and not so great) examples of important leadership attributes on display, qualities such as charisma, inspiration, emotional intelligence, empathy and decisiveness. I love facilitating these discussions, whether at a corporate client site, with an executive I am coaching, or in a business classroom.

But talking politics can be awkward at times. This year at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, one of our executive MBA students is a close relative of a vice presidential candidate. Fellow students and faculty may be a little more guarded so as not to indicate whether they are Republican, Democrat or independent.

It can be particularly tricky in the workplace, where such conversations can lead to conflicts among colleagues, getting them distracted from their duties and leading to major rifts among co-workers. This is even true for co-workers who are voting for the same candidates. They still might disagree about specific ballot issues.

A recent CareerBuilder poll found that 42 percent of people said they don't talk about politics at the office, while 44 percent said they talk about it, but shut down the conversation when it gets heated. Only 14 percent said they enjoyed discussing politics and having a lively debate at work.

Generally, talking about politics at work is not a good idea. It is seen as problematic as talking about religion, money and sex. Such topics tend to be irrelevant to the work at hand, and the conversations can trigger major clashes and bad feelings. Being tactful and sensitive to others' views is a sign of good emotional intelligence, and is important to maintain morale and a respectful workplace that values everyone.

Text Only
CNHI/SE Iowa
  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Live entertainment slated for Tulip Time This year's line-up for Festhouden, which will begin at 7 p.m. each evening of Tulip Time, has been announced. Festhouden will take place on the Tulip Toren located on the south side of Pella's square. Grandstand tickets for Festhouden and the evenin

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Features
AP Video
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Which service of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce do you believe is most beneficial for its membership?

Events
Legislative lobbying
Promotional material publication
Educational programs for the community
Other
     View Results