Situation 9: POLITICAL/RELIGIOUS DISCUSSION

Billy tries to engage Betsy in a heated political discussion. Betsy changes topic.

Situation9

A great leader:

  • Has integrity and is credible;
  • Is diplomatic and respectful to others’ opinions;
  • Encourages observance of values, behavioural standards and regulations in the company;
  • Acts as a role model.

How to best handle the situation:

We live in a world that is sensitive to politics and religion. Political talk and discussions on religion are the most controversial topics of conversation that exist. Voicing strong opinions can get you into serious trouble if you appear to be harassing or discriminating against someone based on religious beliefs.

It is difficult to have a healthy discussion about these topics without hurting someone’s feelings. Don’t make the workplace a playground for religious and political debates.

Learning suggestions:

  • Have a diversity or anti-harassment policy in place, that is also addressing the discussion on religion and politics, and to make sure that all employees are well trained on this policy;
  • Set the tone by making sure you respect the views of others;
  • If somebody tries to engage you in a political conversation or a discussion about religion politely decline, change the topic or walk away from the conversation. The important thing is don’t express your opinion. Your political and religious affiliations are a personal matter, not a professional one;
  • Religion is a deeply personal thing. Never make assumptions about how someone may or may not practice their religion. Again, it is a personal thing and people are often sensitive about it. Respect people’s privacy;

Femchallenge:

In today’s world the workplace is more diverse than ever. How comfortable are you in dealing with a highly diverse workforce?

Femcommunity tips:

We welcome your thoughts, experiences and comments on how you would deal with such a situation.

 

Read more about Co-Colours and Co-Colours Team.

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