How to keep political and social discussions civil in the workplace

Johnny C Taylor Jr.

When it comes to political or social issues, the aim should be to promote understanding between colleagues.

US TODAY. Taylor is President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world’s largest human resource society, and the author of Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.

Questions are reader-submitted, and Taylor’s answers below have been edited for length and clarity.

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Question: I run a company with almost 200 employees. In recent years, many political and social debates have found their way into our workplace and impacted our morals. The murder of George Floyd, the recent repeal of Roe v. Wade, the 2020 election and school shootings have resulted in highly contentious interactions among our employees and even caused some work stoppages. Some companies have banned certain issues among their employees or tried to remain neutral. Is that even realistic? How can we address some of the divisive issues without necessarily taking sides? – Avila

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