If you run a business, then you will know more than anyone how important it is to make sure that everyone is happy and supported. If you don’t then you may end up with tension on your hands and this is the last thing that you need. Sometimes, office conversations tend to revolve around various subjects, politics being one of them. A lot of business owners are often faced with the dilemma, should they quell these kinds of conversations? Or let them continue in hopes that it will create a level of understanding and communication within the workplace? What about making political statements as a company- do business and politics really mix? If you’re wondering “can political opinions hurt my business?” The answer is yes and no. Take a look below to find out more.
Saying Something is Always Better than Saying Nothing
Speaking out from a political standpoint does come with some degree of risk, especially for smaller companies. If you operate a smaller company then you may not have the resources needed to defend yourself-should there be a backlash. Surveys have also shown that a lot of customers don’t often want the companies that they buy from to take a political stand. If you aren’t sure which approach you need to take, then you need to know when to speak up and when to stay quiet. Sometimes political opinion can go a long way, but it’s very easy for what you say to be misconstrued.
Sure, you may be tempted to come out with a statement that sums up who you are and even what you stand for and this is understandable. That being said, you do need to make sure that you listen to your customers and that you also ask members of the community what their feelings are as well. This will help you to decide what kind of issue you need to speak up about the most and it will also help you to prepare your statement if you know that it is going to be somewhat unpopular or even controversial.
Topics It doesn’t matter whether you are a Liberal, Conservative, Republican or Democrat because there’s a high chance that you won’t agree with every single decision that your party makes. If you want to help yourself here, then don’t restrict yourself by choosing to side with a single group. Your business doesn’t need to be latched to a single party, so talk topics instead.
Are the current tax cuts helping your company? What about immigration? Is growing crime making your team members feel somewhat unsafe when they travel to work? These are all issues that could directly impact your business so therefore, you need to try and take a stand on these if you can. You are far more likely to be taken seriously if you are able to talk about an issue that hits close to home.
Debates within your Team
Sometimes you might not be making a political statement to the world. You might be talking about politics within your team instead and this is a great way for you to enhance office communication in general. You do however need to remember that if you do talk about issues, you need to make sure that you show some deal of restraint when talking about sensitive issues. You never know when someone might have been affected and the last thing that you want to do is cause offence. If you sense that a political debate is getting out of hand in the office, ask your team to take a breather and cool down the situation. The last thing that you want is office tension, but on the flip side, a good debate can sometimes be a way to clear the air. This is especially the case when there are pending elections or large political changes that are underway. As always, you need to do your research beforehand so that you can back up your statement with data that is reputable and suited to the discussion at hand.
If you are discussing politics with other business owners or even with your customers, then you have to remember that they might disagree with what you have to say. You need to make sure that you have some kind of strategy in place so that you can respond to those who are supportive of your opinion, as well as to those who aren’t. If you don’t then you may struggle to explain what you have to say, and you may even find that you are not able to come across as the professional you are.
You are far better off choosing to say nothing as opposed to saying something that you just don’t believe in. You have to make sure that you are sincere and that you are 100% genuine as well. If you are a local business, then take a stand on the issues that face your city. When you do, you will then be able to grow much deeper routes and you may even be able to show everyone that you are a born leader in more ways than one. If you can show that you are entirely committed to your area, then this will help you to be more credible and you may even find that you can resonate with your audience much better too. This can all contribute to your bottom line, so make sure that you keep that in mind.
So, there are benefits to talking about politics in the office with your team, and there are also benefits to making public political statements as well. If you aren’t quite sure where you stand on an issue, then it’s far better for you to say nothing. By speaking from your own opinion and by following your heart on certain issues, you can gain more respect from your employees and your customers too. It is however important to understand that sometimes, there will be backlash and if you do not prepare for it then you may end up causing yourself more harm than good and this is the last thing that you need.