The subject we are discussing today is how to Fake Smart while talking about politics at your office or place of work. With all the buzz surrounding the on-going U.S. primary season, we feel it important to leave you with a few simple tactics and strategies to help you to avoid swimming blindly into the shark-infested waters of this innocent office chit-chat.
Now, when we say "politics" we are referring to "national politics" and not the "internal politics" that surfaces at your office on a daily basis. An example of internal workplace politics might be the talk you have with your cubicle neighbor over who the boss is dating and how this will effect the roster at next week's company kick-ball game. "Who are you voting for as president of the U.S.A. this fall?", on the other hand, is a question one might encounter that evokes non-internal or "national politics." This is the kind of question we are talking about today, and this is the kind of question you should be watching out for.
There one basic rule to Faking Smart while discussing politics at the workplace:
1. Never initiate a discussion about politics with anyone at your workplace.
Yes, this rule is easy to adhere to, and it will help you avoid many an awkward adventure upon a raft on the seas of human unpredictability. But what this rule doesn't do is eliminate, completely, the chance that YOU may drawn into a discussion about politics by someone else!
If you are drawn into a political conversation while at work, follow these four Faking Smart tips:
1. Never ally yourself with a candidate before you clearly know who the person you are talking to is backing.
2. Once you know which candidate the person you are talking to is backing, claim to back this candidate as well.
3. When the opposing candidate's name is mentioned, shiver and appear nauseated.
4. Never fall into the trap of calling political factions as, for example, "the conservatives" or "the liberals." Always refer to the counter faction as "them"; the allied faction as "us."
Again, you are attempting to learn these tactics and strategies to better you chances of Faking Smart at the workplace. Politics can be a touchy business. Unfortunately, many believe that having an active, working knowledge of our country's political landscape (especially during a busy primary season such as the one we are now in) is a sign of intelligence. That someone is up-to-date on current political developments might hint that this person maintains an elevated social acuity, that he or she has trained a discriminating eye at power-politics and that he or she holds an inherent interest in political movement and change in general. The truth could not be further from this.
People want to know if you are for their guy or gal. Your intelligence is judged by the simple choice you make deciding on a candidate. If you side with the candidate that the person you are talking to sides with, you reflect having made an intelligent, measured decision and you appear smarter!
Practice this: find out who your supervisor or team lead supports, then, whenever you see your supervisor, quickly put on a pin for the candidate he or she likes. When your supervisor or lead leaves, remove the pin. Do this with everybody in your office, if you can. The more people who see you supporting "their" candidate, the more people there will be who consider you smart!
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