Dear Roze:

I thought all the political rants would die down after the election, but as you know, that’s far from the case. I can get away from some of it by signing off of Facebook and logging off my computer or by turning off my TV and radio, but I have no way of getting away from it at work since it’s my boss, the owner of the store, constantly spewing about his political beliefs. He is such a fanatic; he can’t shut the heck up. He not only spouts off in the break room or in his office and outside our pods with whoever will engage with him, but he even has the audacity to bring stuff up in staff meetings. Even if we were on the same side of the political spectrum, I would still find him very offensive. I can’t believe he doesn’t know better and realize how inappropriate his behavior is. I know there’s no shutting him up, but I need to vent and hopefully get some sympathy from you. Do you think it’s okay for politics to be discussed at work?

Sick of boss’s political rants

Dear Sick of boss’s political rants:

Please know I am all for freedom of speech, but from my experience and research, more often than not, politics does not make for good workplace conversation unless everyone has the same or similar views.

By its very nature, politics can be divisive, so for your boss to incessantly talk about his political views is not only inappropriate but unprofessional. Such rants have the potential to threaten productivity by making some employees feel isolated or bullied if they do not share the boss’s beliefs. There have even been instances where political conversations have caused some employees to feel discriminated against.

There are, however, ways to talk about politics in a productive manner in the workplace. This involves a concerted effort by all participants to be respectful, open-minded and nonjudgmental.

Often, but not always, you can get a feel for individuals’ leanings and temperaments. Then you have to weigh the consequences of whether it is best for you to speak up or shut up.

I have to say let’s keep the workplace a politics-free zone.

© 2016 Rozanne R. Worrell

Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®

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