Feature

Workplace

Office politicking

With election 2008 now in full swing, some offices can resemble battlegrounds, said Marshall Loeb in Marketwatch.com. In a recent survey by Vault.com, 35 percent of bosses said they openly shared their political views. “But don’t let a campaign button or an offhand remark by the water cooler get you in the middle of a political maelstrom.” The safest tack is to simply avoid such discussion. “Politely excuse yourself by saying, with a smile: ‘Sorry, I’m staying out of this one. My mom/dad/grandma told me never to talk about politics at work.’”

Still, there’s something to be said for tactful political debate, said Matt Villano in The New York Times. If you do venture into such a discourse, talk about why you support your candidate, not why you despise the opposition, says Todd Dewett, associate professor of management at Wright State University. “A healthy democracy is only healthy to the degree that it has challenging and differing opinions,” Dewett says. Only workers who interact extensively with clients or serve as the public face of the company need to be particularly careful. Just try to keep things positive. “There’s a huge difference between supporting one candidate and bashing the other side.”

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