Wonder where to draw the line when talking about politics at the office? Here are some tips from Debra Fine, author of "The Fine Art of the Big Talk."
¢ Know your audience. If you are to engage in a political conversation with co-workers, make sure you have an idea of their position. If you aren't sure, try asking a more open-ended question that may elicit a defining response. Tailor your comments to not be permanently damaging.
¢ Know your stuff. Be prepared with accurate information about current political happenings so you project credibility.
¢ Debate facts, not feelings. Keep emotionally driven statements out of your political discussion and stick to hard facts. This way you don't hurt anyone's feelings, and your own feelings don't get harmed. You will be less vulnerable in the end.
¢ Respect! Respect yourself, your candidates, your co-workers, their opinions and your job. Always be thoughtful of what you say and how you say it.
¢ Remember you're on the same side. At the end of the day, you work for the same company with the same end goal, so don't let political conversations interfere with your productivity and work relationships.
¢ Know the company's policies. Know what is and isn't allowed in the way of political expressions (such as sending out political e-mails or hanging signs) and adhere to management requests.