Politics is one of those topics best left to friends you agree with. Or people you can have a respectful discussion with, even if you disagree. But when it comes to the workplace, what do you do if your boss pushes political views at everyone?
Unfortunately, more and more we are a divided country. And it’s not just the United States. This is happening all over the world. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty of so many things seemingly happening at once. Strong foundational views that you share with people like yourself can help provide a feeling of stability even when so much around you feels out of control.
Why does a boss push political views?
You’d think that a boss would want to keep their staff happy. And certainly shoving strong opinions at them … and, worse yet putting down those who disagree with them … is not the way to create workplace harmony and camaraderie.
So why do they do it?
- Power trip
- Sadistic pleasure
- Ferocity of belief
- Doesn’t understand (or care) about good management
Political bullying is not okay
I know it’s easy for me to say that a boss pushing political views at staff is bad management and just plain wrong. But odds are just being wrong won’t stop many of the very people who push hardest — and make employees most uncomfortable.
So what if your boss is making you crazy with their political views? Unfortunately in most cases there isn’t much you can do. If your boss is a bully, then pushing back is just going to give them a chance to wield power — and make you wrong, even just for arguing with them.
In most cases, your best choice is to let the person talk and just smile or say nothing. If they’re looking for someone to get into a political debate with, why feed their need to “be right”? Often with no pushback, they go on to something else.
So what are my other choices?
But if your boss is pushing hard on politics and it becomes impossible to avoid, you only have a few choices:
- Human Resources is supposed to help. This behavior is not ok. Unfortunately, even if they sympathize, if your boss has support from upper management there is little they can do. But occasionally they can help. It’s your call to see if it’s even worth the effort.
- If you think your boss is someone who will listen. then maybe mentioning how uncomfortable it makes you is worthwhile. But you need to be prepared in case they only see that as a green light to try to get under your skin.
- Again, silence and just ignoring the whole thing may be your best ally — if you aren’t being stressed to the point of it interfering with your work and health. And if you do need some help destressing or just helping aim your brain in a different direction, click here.
- You can start looking for a new job. It might take a while, but you need to take care of yourself above all. And if your boss is far to one side and you to the other and they won’t let up, it’s worth looking for an environment more in tune with you and your beliefs. Maybe even a non-profit whose mission you’d be energized by. Or at least a job where bosses don’t run wild.
NOTE: It pays to check out a company before you start working there. You can find employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor or Indeed, for instance. And if they aren’t listed or even if they are, scour the internet for any feedback you can find. Or use LinkedIn to see if you can find someone who works or worked there. Research upfront can save a lot of misery later. Though no guarantees, of course.