How to Successfully Avoid Political Conversations at Work Holiday Parties

How to Successfully Avoid Political Conversations at Work Holiday Parties

With work holiday parties in full swing (and likely a few cocktails being served in celebration of another year in business), there are bound to be some conversations that stray a little too far into controversial topics—like politics.

It might be tempting to offer up your answer to the latest political scandal or piece of breaking news brought up by a colleague. But wandering into political conversations at a work party can be dangerous territory.

That’s because you never know who you’re going to offend with your political opinions—especially if they’re just acquaintances at work. Remember: it’s always best to never dip below neutral when in professional settings.

But what do you do when another colleague keeps bringing up controversial or political topics? Instead of taking the bait and getting roped into a less-than-favorable conversation, use these power phrases to successfully steer any chat to more positive territory.

  1. I haven’t given that much thought. What I have given thought to is [Karen’s] dip. It’s delicious. Have you tried it?
  2. I appreciate your viewpoint. However, my preference is for us to stick to neutral topics.  
  3. I wouldn’t say that. I prefer to keep an open mind about the [law/policy].
  4. My preference is for us to finish up our chat. In fact, I see [Karen] now and need to say hello.
  5. I prefer to think positively about [Republicans/Democrats].
  6. I can’t speak to all that. It is nice to be at such a positive event. So, tell me how you know [Karen].
  7. I’m good with my political afflictions. So, tell me how you know [Karen].

Have any questions about power phrases to use in awkward situations, or do you have a specific awkward work situation you need help with? Reach out on my TruPerception Facebook page, tweet me at @truperception, or write me an email at melissa@truperception.com.

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Melissa DeLayRead all author posts