insights on communication skills

Insights on Communication Skills and Relationship Building

Professional Communication Skills: Shut it Down!

Posted by Bridget Beirne on October 1, 2013

How to handle political talk should all of your professional communication skills fail....


When it comes to workplace etiquette, we advocate avoiding discussion of the big three "difficult topics"- politics, religion, and *ahem* the racy stuff. So, what to do when the topic of the day is something like the government shutdown? 

We've offered suggestions for dealing with politics in the office before, but what if you can't do it? What if, even despite your best gold-star-worthy-business etiquette efforts, your co-worker won't put away the soapbox? What can you do if you just need to shut it down? Here are a few other escapes you might try. (Don't judge- we've been there, too...)


1. Hold your wrist to your ear and start talking furiously. Mouth the word "smartwatch" to your co-worker and run away.


2. "I'd love to hear all about your politics! But first let me tell you about this great thing called Comic Con..."


3. Stand very still. If you don't move, no one can see you. professional communication skills 4


4."This is going to be a real mess if Frodo doesn't return the ring..."


5. Sing all of your responses- to the tune of "And I Am Telling You" from Dreamgirls: "I dissa- greeeeeee with you!..."


6. "Don't blame me, I voted for Ferris."


7. Order five meals a day for the duration of the political event. Keep your mouth full. (No one would talk with their mouth full, now would they??)


8. Pose as your own twin who doesn't know anyone in the office well enough to discuss such personal matters. Allow 80s sitcom hilarity to ensue.


9. "You know what? You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. I'm going to go call the government RIGHT NOW. Nope- not another word! I'm calling them! You just wait right here! I'll be back..."


10. "Government shutdown!? Was that today!? In the future this didn't happen for another week... I've said too much!" *run away*


In all seriousness, politics are important, but they can inevitably cause tensions in the workplace. Proceed with your best judgment.



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Topics: Building Relationships, Communication, Etiquette