People are passionate about politics in this country. Especially right now. Whether you're someone who is eager to discuss your political views with everyone you meet or if you're someone who keeps them close to your chest, this is and has always been a controversial subject.
We've all probably been in a position where we've either had to ask someone NOT to discuss politics in a certain setting or we've been the one asked NOT to discuss politics in that setting. For instance, if you're my dad, you like to get the fans on the sidelines of my 4 year-old son's soccer game all RILED UP at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning with talk of your fiscal view for the nation. Just NO, Dad. Read the room.
Talk about politics is one thing if you're in the presence of family and friends. Sure, there's a good chance it's going to go over like a fart in a space suit, but at least the relationship feathers your ruffling aren't going to lose you any income. Those people are most likely stuck with you, whichever way you lean. They're still going to have to pass you the mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving whether they like it or not.
But what about discussing your political views in the workplace, or even more risky, with your clients. ESPECIALLY RIGHT NOW. In 2020, we're in the midst of a massive polarization between political parties, so the odds point pretty clearly to the fact that a lot of people are on one side of the aisle or the other. There's about a 50/50 shot that just a casual mention of who you're rooting for will get you a side-eye.
Most experts strongly suggest that you DO NOT want to discuss politics with clients. If a client brings their own views up, it's fine to let them finish their thoughts and say what they'd like to say. Because insurance is a relationship-based business, of course getting to know one another is key. You never want to shut a client down when they're sharing insight into their life and their thoughts. However, never allow yourself to argue with them if it's a hot topic and you disagree.
The best move you can make in this situation is to find a thread of agreement OR simply say that even though you disagree with their thought, you're glad that they felt comfortable enough to share it with you and you're interested in how or why they feel that way. Find a creative way to turn the conversation into a constructive one. The worst thing you can do is come off as argumentative and hot-headed.
We always want our business relationships to be genuine, but these days there are some conversations better left for the Thanksgiving table, if they're even allowed there. Accepting that not everyone is going to share your ideology is imperative and knowing how to keep a potentially heated conversation from blowing up in your face is key.
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