How to Navigate Controversial Topics at Work

A Guest Post

My thanks to Jessica Pyykkonen for this guest post.

Picture this: you’re on your lunch break and have been invited to sit with a group of coworkers who appear to be deep in passionate discussion. When you sit down and ask what’s new, two colleagues on opposing sides of the table begin disparaging each other. You quickly learn that their opposing political views are the source of their disagreement, and you begin to feel uncomfortable.

Have you been there? Or perhaps you have been in the seat of one of the debaters at that table, and didn’t realize that you may have made a coworker feel uncomfortable?

Controversial topics seem to be everywhere in the workplace these days. If conducted with respect, they have the potential to bring coworkers together, but they’re also ripe for sticky social situations. This article and infographic can help you navigate these delicate situations, no matter what your role in them, so you stay professional and avoid creating difficult moments for those around you.

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Beth Beutler is the Executive Director of H.O.P.E. Unlimited, a small business offering collaborative virtual assistance and business soft skill education to Help Overwhelmed Professionals Excel. She has over 25 years experience in administrative assistance and office management, soft skills training, and writing.