How To Handle Political Posts From A Colleague

We’ve all seen it. Political posts that say if you are a part of this party, then I’ll unfriend you. What? What if I don’t share your faith? Do you like me less because I’m not a mom? You get the picture. 

When so many work so hard to fight labels, when did it become okay to create labels in other lanes? 

I know that some will say, so what? Keep on scrolling. It’s not so easy. What if this is a colleague with whom you collaborate on various projects? Or what if this colleague is someone you consider a mentor? Then what happens when you label a colleague who connects to another colleague and another and another? From what I’ve seen on social media, women struggle more emotionally with these posts than men. 

So, how do you handle posts that make you anxious, sad, or stressed?

  1. Pause! I bet you thought I was going to say breathe! I feel that pausing leads us to breathe. Now inhale, exhale, and release the urge to respond. Even if your intentions are good, move on. It may look like you are setting out to prove this colleague wrong with this kind of post. When has that ever been productive? 
  2. See the BIG picture. Ask yourself the following questions. Is this the person that you know? Do you believe they think you are who they refer to in their post? How would they treat you if they ran into you on the street or at a conference? Friendly? Have you collaborated with them in the past? How was that experience for you? What impact may their posts have on future collaborations with you? With this information, you now get to decide if you will sit out a few and collaborate at another time. 
  3. Words matter. Know the risks of posting political opinions. It creates division, labels, judgment, and risks. A good colleague of mine, who was also a sponsor, once enlightened me about a little thing called optics. Optics are risks. What’s the risk with political posts? Losing existing or new clients, sponsors, and colleagues, you collaborate on projects with friends and family. 
  4. Set healthy boundaries for your energy. Seeing judgemental posts give off a bad vibe, and for many women, it can wreck your morning! Don’t match that energy! Stay focused, and harness your exuberance! 

That liveliness introduces you to your next comment, client call, zoom meeting, email, etc. Think of it as a part of your image! 

Your energy is your most significant currency, so spend it wisely! 

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It

Anastasia