UNM professor: How to responsibly talk politics in the workplace


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the presidential race heats up, people are continuously bombarded by politics and political opinions, whether it be on TV, social media, or in the workplace.

A University of New Mexico professor talks about how to have political discussions without getting into arguments.

Associate Professor of Management, Nick Flor, doesn’t want people to completely avoid politics in the workplace. In fact, he says it’s important to discuss politics so we can make informed decisions about the politicians people elect. He just wants people to have responsible conversations and know who to have those conversations with.

“I was talking to someone about who I was going to vote for in the 2008 election and it wasn’t the candidate that they like. They said ‘You know what Nick, I thought you were a smarter person,’” said Flor.

That negative personal experience with a co-worker is what pushed Flor to want to understand why people act the way they do when discussing politics.

Flor says if you are aware of the risks and would like to talk politics, be sure you know who you can talk with before engaging in conversation.

First, he advises people to identify the type of person they’re arguing with out of these four categories: the sports fan, the virtue signaler, the feeler and the fellow truth seeker.

“The fellow truth seeker is who you really want to argue with because you are trying to get at what the truth is about any particular political issue,” said Flor.

Flor says if you find yourself in getting into an argument with a sports fan, virtue signaler, or feeler, and want to get out of it, thank them for their thoughts and say you’ll think seriously about the points they raised.

Professor Flor says the same goes with social media. Be wary of what you’re posting and whose post you’re commenting on.

For professor Flor’s “Talking Politics at Work” post, click here

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