4 Ways to Remain Respectful During an Office Debate

While getting along with everyone is a nice concept, the world very rarely works that way. Therefore, you will likely encounter debates, arguments, and mega disagreements from your office coworkers and staff. This just means that everyone is human with their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions—which can clash. The trick is in how you deal with these office debates in a respectful manner.

Withdraw Yourself When Discussion Takes a Negative Turn

Take this scenario into account. You are on your lunch, in the breakroom, when a group of employees get into a heated debate about the latest political stances. Just before you throw in your two cents, the debate becomes a hate-fueled, negative argument, complete with personal insults. What do you do? Withdraw yourself from the conversation and the room. Then, if you deem it necessary, let a manager know what is going on.

Understand That Opinions Are Just That

Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs. However, there is a big difference between voicing your opinions and shouting at someone to try to change theirs. Sure, some opinions can be irritating and irrational, but you need to realize and understand that opinions are as simple as that.

Aim to Inform

During a lighthearted, good-spirited office debate, you should aim to inform and back up your opinions and thoughts. If you are discussing politics, bring your knowledge into play. The same goes for any topic, no matter how silly. Your opinion will be met well and with more respect if you have the research to back up your feelings on a subject.

Never, Ever Belittle or Insult Others of Different Belief

As stated above, everyone has the right to their opinion—regardless of whether you share that opinion. You should never, ever belittle or insult someone based on their beliefs, as you would hate for someone to react in a hateful way towards your own beliefs. Instead, if someone’s opinion irks you, change the subject. Or, bow out gracefully with a courteous nod and smile.

Office debates are more common than you can imagine because there are so many different people employed by companies. Not everyone is going to share your opinions and beliefs, so remain good-hearted and mild-mannered when engaging in a conversation about important, opinion-fueled topics. If you feel that you get too overheated in debates of any kind, then simply avoid talking about trigger topics, like religion and politics. Refrain from those subjects, unwind with soothing puzzles and brain teasers, and direct your focus elsewhere.

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