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Times are changing and entrepreneurs and business professionals have the opportunity and the platform to open communication around specific issues plaguing the political landscape. Where you stand politically isn’t something that necessarily needs to be kept private anymore. Social media has allowed people to post how they feel about everything that’s going on in the world instantly letting followers know where they stand on an issue. The political conversation that starts on social media can carry over to work.

The first thing to remember when engaging in political discussions whether it’s through social media or face-to-face is to make sure that the response is coming from a genuine place. It is easy for things to be taken out of context if you’re posting to social media or to misrepresent yourself through the words that you use in a conversation. People are looking for you to slip up during a political conversation as a way to prove that what you stand for is wrong and not what they believe.

When a controversial conversation comes up, it is important to take a second and collect your thoughts on your response. Keep in mind the speed of response to whatever is taking shape politically. Responding instantly could mean that some of the key facts and reasons behind your stance could be left out. Being the quickest isn’t always the best course of action! Take as much time as needed to make sure you are communicating what your business stands for. Sometimes the political issue will pit you against the opposing side, but making sure your response represents your values and the values of your business is important.

One of the biggest things to remember is the facts! The easiest way to lose your customer base is putting the wrong information out there. This alienates them and can skew their opinion of what you’re trying to say in the wrong light. Again, if it takes additional time for you to make sure the facts are correct, that’s okay.

It’s also important to remember when getting political not everyone is going to agree with the stance you are taking on the issue at hand. Be prepared to handle some pushback, but do not be afraid to stand up for your believes and values.

Remember, it’s not always best to not respond to political issues! Keeping quiet could mean losing customers or followers. There are always two sides to every single political conversation and you deserve the chance to share yours!