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Posted on May 17, 2010 by Laura

Is there such thing as being too politically correct in the workforce? Well, I would say when being politically correct hinders yours or others success, efficiency, or progress, the answer is yes. Co-workers need to be respectful of each other both professionally and personally. This means don’t talk about other people’s public speaking abilities and or religion without a filter. In fact, avoid generalizing and speaking openly about politically divided subjects amongst co-workers altogether because you will create a negative image of yourself. However, in a situation where a deadline has to be met, or progress is being slowed down, you need to change the situation in a timely manner, either by intervening or giving alternative directions to other people, which might not be “politically correct” but still is respectful.


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Author: taylorfaw

Hi Laura,

I see what you mean by using a filter in the office. Loudly and frequently announcing your political affiliation, religion, favorite candy bar, etc. can not only make your coworkers annoyed; it can make them feel flat out uncomfortable.

A personal example that comes to mind happened while I was doing fundraiser work in high school. I was working as a cashier at a free concert in Charlotte (fairly straightforward). At one point, the person with the microphone asked everyone to bow their heads and join him in prayer. One of my coworkers noticed that I didn’t bow my head and hounded me about it for the rest of the evening. There are a number of reasons that I didn’t do it, chief among them the fact that I was helping a customer at the time.

I feel confident that this is an isolated example. At least, I hope it is. I’ve worked with a Democratic Buddhist, a Libertarian Muslim, and a Republican atheist (figure that one out), all of whom were very outspoken about their beliefs. I learned from being around them that it does nobody any good to fixate on someone’s set of values (or supposed “lack thereof”) and try to change them, particularly in the workplace.

Author: Laura

I completely agree with you. I would like to think that what happened to you is an isolated incident, however, I think this happens more often then not. People sometimes don’t even take into consideration that what they maybe doing as “offensive” because certain traditions (like bowing for prayer) are so ingrained in our culture. But, as the workforce becomes more and more diverse, people need to think about these things.

Author: amanda.sapala

Hi Laura,

Having interned this summer, I observed first hand what a lack of a “filter” can do to a team in the work place. One of the projects I spearheaded was evaluating the sense of unity among my team members. After interviewing each team member, it became apparent that a huge factor in the lack of trust that had developed in the team was related to the blatantness with which members spoke about each other, both on professional and personal levels. This only affirmed my opinion that the office is really not the most appropriate place to publicize one’s beliefs.

I think that if people took the time to evaluate what they were saying before they said it, then this idea of “corporate politics” could be avoided. It really all boils down to conscientiousness and consideration of others and the situation.

Author: armil

Two subject matter have created more gap between people than any other human endeavor: politics and religion.
Arguments pro and con have the characteristic of going on, and on, and on…