No, this is not political commentary! But I did get your attention, didn’t I.
Here we are, right in the middle of a political season that promises to be as nasty and partisan as any in recent history. How can you insure that arguments and partisan politics do not interfere with your organization? Look no further than the face in the mirror.
How are you conducting yourself in the midst of this? Are you constantly talking up one candidate over another? Are you dominating the discussions and not listening? Is this behavior any different from the way you usually act? If the answer to that last question is “no,” and if the election is already impacting the way your staff interacts with one another, don’t blame the rancor and bad morale on the politics swirling around us. You’ve been modeling this behavior long before the candidates for this year’s election were decided.
If, on the other hand, you have been modeling and encouraging an atmosphere of emotional correctness within your organization you already have the antidote to counter the rancor and partisan politics. Continue to model for your staff the importance of remaining respectful and civil in all your interpersonal activities. Encourage them to focus on the business at hand and to try to leave the politics for after work. Do you have policies in place on whether “electioneering” can occur during business hours? If not, consider whether you want to implement something that is both reasonable and easy to implement. The key is to remain focused on your organization’s goals and the well being of your employees. People should not be afraid to voice an opinion but neither should they force their opinions on others, especially during work hours. Contrary to popular belief, tolerance really is a two-way street.