No matter how comfortable you feel around your coworkers, there are just some types of conversations that should not be had in the workplace. And, with the recent presidential election, you may have learned the hard way that political discussions can easily lead to fractured professional relationships. To maintain proper decorum amongst your coworkers, it’s critical that you understand what conversation topics are inappropriate and can potentially cause problems in your workplace. Setting boundaries when conversing with coworkers and using discretion in the types of discussions you engage in will serve you well at your company and help you maintain positive and professional relationships with others. Whether you’re a new worker or simply need a refresher on workplace etiquette, here are three topics you should avoid at all costs at work:
When it comes to politics, people tend to be very close-minded and stuck on their own individual political views. Because of the many sensitivities associated with political discussions, it’s best to avoid bringing up things like your political party, whom you plan to vote for, or negative opinions about the opposition. Political conversations tend to stir up a wide range of emotions, often leading to arguments and tense disagreements that could have been completely avoided. And, if you get easily heated yourself, it’s always best to remove yourself from others who have a tendency to voice their political opinions.
Religion is highly personal and should be avoided in all professional situations. It’s important to respect others’ religions and avoid sharing or inflicting your own beliefs. This does not mean that you should hide your faith or religion or not be proud of it; however, you should remember that religion means different things for everybody. Talking about religion can easily instigate a debate, causing people to easily become hurt or offended. It’s best to keep your religion to yourself and steer clear of conversations that involve a religious context.
Sometimes it’s unavoidable to bring up a health issue or concern that’s been severely affecting your life. Talking excessively about health issues can detract from getting your work done and possibly give others the impression that you aren’t working to the best of your abilities. Make sure you are doing your best to manage your health so that it does not interfere with your performance. However, if you do need to take a sick leave, discuss it with your employer in private. You are not required to provide details to any coworkers about a medical condition.
If you’ve worked at the same company a long time, chances are you’ve developed close friendships with some of your coworkers. Once in a while, it’s OK to confide or share something personal with an employee. But as a rule of thumb, keeping conversations light and professional will serve you well throughout your career.
Are you unhappy with your current workplace?
Get in touch with the professional recruiters at FSS Staffing, a full-service staffing agency in Dover, NJ focused on helping clients deal with the ups and downs that create business challenges and candidates find the jobs that suit them best.