Thursday, October 18, 2012

Polite Politics

What The World Needs Now is 

Polite politics – could this be an oxymoron? It used to be that talking about religion or politics in a business or social situation was a huge faux pas. Why? Because our opinions can run rampant and our emotion can flair instantly. However, our culture has shifted and we find ourselves stepping over the previous cultural boundaries and adapting to new conversations with limits.
Note to self: We have 19 days before we elect the next President of the United States of America and “politics” is the ubiquitous topic of conversation in business gatherings and dinner parties.
With some fine-tuning, we can talk “the road to the White House” when the opportunity presents itself and feel confident and comfortable that we are not lunging into the deep dark abyss.
Here are tips to remember as we find ourselves in a political conversation:
Realize, political conversations have been avoided for years for good reason. Do not go into the conversation with the intent of converting someone to your way of thinking. Be reasonable and remember the conversation should be a stimulating one – not a debate! You might actually find out significant information about a candidate in the running.
Avoid hearsay and personal opinions. Talk about what has been established so far as facts about the candidate. Talk about basic stances, latest media information or ad campaigns. Refrain from asking who someone is going to vote for in the election and do not offer the name of your candidate of choice.
Recognize if the other person is getting heated-up over the conversation and immediately take a quick detour in your conversation. Revert to the basics, sports, weather, travel, and wait for the emotions to die down. If the other person insists on going back to the political conversation, be prepared with plan B: (perhaps a more firm but kind approach) “We will have to agree to disagree.”
Do not assume you know whom others will vote for in the election. Just because they live in a certain region or neighborhood is not a clear indicator of whom they plan to vote
Also, avoid starting a political conversation with those you just became acquainted – you do not yet know their personality and temperament.  You can step right in a trap that can go in the wrong direction before you know it. How devastating to have to talk yourself out of a bad situation when you are actually trying to make a good first impression; perhaps with a client, or with potential mate, or even their parents.
It is extremely important and it is your duty and responsibility to be well informed in order to make the best decision in the voting booth. We are blessed to live in a country where we have total freedom to vote as we please and on the candidate of our own personal choice. As we have already recognized, we all have the same freedoms, but not the same opinion. However, now we know how to have a “polite political” conversation—and now we can look forward to fascinating conversations without stress.

No comments: