How to navigate controversial topics in the workplace

No matter where you go—school, sports, restaurants, parks—there’s likely someone that’s going to show up and have lots of opinions—many of them loud—about the current state of the world. They may dislike the policies of an elected official. They may think their choices should be everyone’s choices. They may disapprove of news, or people, or a country, or even a color. In short, the world is full of people with very vocal opinions.

The problem, of course, is what happens when those people bring their opinions to work, where you have a multi-cultural, multi-age, multi-dimensional gathering of people who may or may not hold the same viewpoints. Then, those controversial things can do more than disrupt the kids’ soccer game. They may disrupt a workplace and lead to hurt feelings or worse. So what strategies should you use to approach these situations? This graphic offers some guidance.