Maintaining Civility in an Uncivil World

Remember the good old days when you disagreed with someone politically, but could still see other good attributes in them? These days it seems we are often defined totally by our political and philosophical views. And the rancor is becoming more pervasive. So, how do we keep this from affecting our business relationships? I offer the following for consideration:


1. Start with social media. Some business associates may be your friends or followers on your Facebook page and other platforms that you use personally outside of work. When you feel strongly about something political, try to frame it in a positive way. For example, rather than pointing out all the negative things about the "other guy," advocate for your candidate and why you think they will do the best job.


2. Understand that, like it or not, we have to do business with people with whom we disagree philosophically. Realize that while you firmly believe that your position is correct and the other person is wrong, they can feel the same way about their position and you. We don't have to be their friend, but we do have to have a cordial business relationship. You may be polar opposites politically, but you may actually complement each other's business talents. Keeping in mind that it is "just business" and that this person is not part of your social circle can help keep things in perspective.


3. Maintain your outside-of-work friendships. These are your like-minded peers with whom you can freely and openly share your political and philosophical opinions and frustrations. These are the people you who will keep you sane.


4. Finally, remember that taking the high road is not always easy. In fact, there are times when it's downright hard and challenging. But in the long run, it's the right thing to do. Civility. It's worth "not fighting" for.