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Keeping The Political Peace At Work

Nov 2, 2010

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Reported by

Scott Cameron

Election 2010 saw it's share of attack ads and general unpleasantness. Now that the polls are actually open, how do you keep the intensity from overwhelming your office? Sue Shellenbarger wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal last week subtitled, "How Bosses Can Keep the Peace When Reds, Blues (and Other Hues) Get Riled Up."

Many of the issues driving current races are deeply emotional, going "back to the family, to cultural loyalties and how you grew up," says Sylvia Lafair, a White Haven, Pa., leadership coach and psychologist. Some campaigns are arousing fears on both sides that basic values are at stake.

About 38% of people say they have been attacked, insulted or called names when discussing politics, says a 2008 survey of 712 people by VitalSmarts, a Provo, Utah, corporate-training company. And only 15% are confident they can express their personal views fully without getting upset.

The article includes tips from managers and HR reps on how to keep the political arguments at a low boil. You can read the whole thing at the WSJ

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