Some people seem to revel in taking part in political discourse. Others, however, avoid it like the plague. Do you ever initiate political discussion at the office? Do you avoid it? Do you have an office policy about it, either official or unofficial?
I was recently asked to troubleshoot a user’s printing issue, and while I was doing my thing, he was making a disparaging comment to another coworker about one of the four people running on the current presidential tickets. The comment was not only out of line, but it was downright wrong, at least in my opinion. Years ago, I would have jumped into the discussion. Today, however, I usually avoid them.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to discuss politics and issues. But I prefer to choose the time, the place, and the person with whom I’ll engage. In the case described above, the comment was so preposterous that I wouldn’t have wanted to engage him anyway. I could have challenged him to back up his assertion, but discretion being the better part of valor, I decided to say nothing. After all, who needs confrontations at the workplace, regardless of the subject?
Even though I will answer such questions when asked, I’ve made it an unspoken policy of mine to avoid political and ideological discussions with the users I support. At one time I would have welcomed the chance to try to change someone’s mind, which almost never happens, or treat it as a bout, seeing who can provide the best argument for the respective positions. But for some reason, I’ve learned to avoid such confrontations and/or discussions in the workplace.
In today’s heated political climate, it’s nearly impossible to avoid exposure to it. But are you a participant or a bystander? Are you aggressive about it or more passive?
In my case, it’s easy for me to avoid political discussions at the workplace — I have a great outlet for that very thing!