Political Tension is Seeping Through Work Walls


Has the unbridled language heard on our media devices been reflected in your breakrooms recently?   Unless your employees are clones, it is expected that extreme passions are exposed during unsettling times like these.  For leaders, walking this very tight rope requires a balance between acknowledging that people have a right to their convictions and affirming that individuals must still work together.  You probably need a strategy before you enter this battle of words armed only with more words.

Strategies for Rebuilding the Trust

Be the example: You must be the consistent example of building bridges and not walls if you expect anyone to hear your words – when you finally decide which words to use.

Remember core values: Explore the expectations your company has already set regarding conduct and values, but don’t just parrot the slogans Marketing put on the walls.  You’ll need to translate those mantras into the behaviors of cooperation and respect you’ve seen your employees show to each other in the past.

Listen patiently: Be genuine but willing to allow employees to vent to you in private without bullying them into your perspective – because that is exactly what it will feel like to them if you are not careful.  It is wiser to build their trust in you for the long term than to prove your point in the short term.

Show you care: Remember, you can empathize with their feelings without agreeing with their message or behavior.  Carefully learn why they feel the need to push against others’ views so aggressively at work.  You may find that, because these differences had never before surfaced between people they had daily depended on, they feel a sense of betrayal.

There is no one-solution-fits-all strategy for navigating complex human interaction and dependencies.  When the people working together suffer, the results suffer, so leaders must respond.  Pepperbox Solutions is about hearing your story and using our experiences to help bring teams together to perform – especially in uncertain times.  We’re here if you need us.