17 Oct I Treat My Politics Like My Executive Coaching
Question: This is the political season. Do you ever discuss politics with clients?
Now there’s an interesting question. Personally, I have never found discussing politics in a business situation to be a good idea. For one thing, if you express your views and indicate your way is the way to think, you may alienate some clients. I’m pretty sure that if they think differently you will still take their money for your goods and services, right?
In my previous career as a newspaper publisher, discussing politics was part of the job. Like all news, politics was to be covered objectively in news columns and subjectively on the editorial page.
As an executive coach, I feel there can be similarities in the way coaching is handled and the way political discussions could be handled Here’s how I see it:
- Regardless of what your beliefs are, you are my client (or my co-worker or my friend) and I respect you, regardless of what you think.
- As I express some of what I feel, I may be passionate about it, but I will always make it clear that this is my opinion and it is not the only opinion. The world is gray, not black and white.
- I will encourage you to express how you feel more than how I feel. I will never tell you that you are right or wrong. I have respect for you. Your opinion matters. Believe what makes sense to you.
- I won’t utilize articles or videos that are slanted toward one way or another if they don’t have a factual foundation. Many wild cases have been presented that are simply not true, but if they are in print or on video and I present them to you, you may think they must be accurate. (Take a stroll through the grocery check-out aisle and look at what’s printed about famous people. Did you know tabloids only need a tiny grain of fact to weave a story that is not true, and chances are they can’t be sued?)
- My strategies will be a combination of time tested, conservative and liberal ideas necessary for today’s business world.
- I will never think less of you if you are a member of a particular group and I am a member of a different one.
- When I suggest a certain opinion to you I will never force it on you. After discussion, we will go with what I think, you think or a completely different way. At that point it becomes our way and we will both treat it with respect.