- September 15, 2008
As a journalist who spent more than 25 years in Corporate America, one of the topics that drew some of the most heated discussions and debates was politics. Sure, we were supposed to be objective when we hit the airwaves but behind the scenes we were highly opinionated.
This is the season where political views are hot and heavy all over the place—especially in the workplace. Everyone feels they have a stake in this election and some people are doing their best to persuade others to their political side. According to the American Management Association, nearly 40 percent of companies have written policies prohibiting workers from handing out literature endorsing political parties or candidates. But that certainly doesn’t stop folks from huddling together in their cubbies or gathering around the water cooler to express their opinions.
As a business woman who is active in online business and social networking, I have seen many comments of late about the upcoming presidential election. Some people I have had the utmost respect for in the social and business community have suddenly turned into vicious supporters of one candidate over another.
Now I’ll admit that I have added my own two cents on the subject of Sarah Palin and her pregnant teenage daughter. Why? Because she and I share that fact in common.
Bringing your political thoughts into the business arena can be risky, especially if others have strong opposing views. Certainly no one can stop you from making your political thoughts known, but you could lose friends and valuable business contacts because of your beliefs.
How many times have you heard someone say they want to network with “like-minded people?” So now what does that really mean? Is it important for you to know the politics of a fellow business networker? If you say no, then what happens when you find out and discover their views are radically opposed to yours? Do you stop socializing with them? Can you do business with someone who doesn’t share your political views?
Just where do you draw the line?