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5 Topics You Should Never Discuss at Work

Sep 8, 2021

In a politically correct world, it can be confusing to navigate around what you can and can't say.

At work, even more so, there are some things you should avoid discussing as they could influence people's opinions of you and your ability to do your job.

Things not to discuss in the workplace - business advice and tips - technology

Here are some subjects to keep off the table:

1. Politics

politics

The number one rule of being politically correct is... not to discuss politics.

Politics is a topic that can cause tempers to flare and has ended relationships, even between close friends and family.

Given the amount of time you spend at work, and the need to get along and work side-by-side with your colleagues, having conversations about it is not worth it.

While you may feel very strongly about your party, a candidate you support, or the opposition, there's no point in trying to win your colleagues over to your side.

 

2. Religion

religion at work

In an office, you may get people from all different backgrounds and faiths.

Religion can be a personal and sensitive subject, one which you should treat lightly in the workplace.

Of course, there's no need to be secretive about your faith - if that's your choice - but you need to be aware of your surroundings and understand not everyone may feel the same way.

There's no need to discuss religious beliefs in depth, voice any negative opinions about other people's beliefs, or try to convert someone to your faith. This will bring unnecessary tension in the workplace and do more harm than good.


3. Personal problems

personal problems at work

Discussing problems you are having with family members may cause others, including your boss, to wonder if these difficulties will distract you from doing your job? Even if you know these issues won't affect your work, they don't.

When supervisors or managers are candid about their problems, their subordinates may see this as a weak spot they can exploit. This can undermine your authority. In addition, highlighting your problems will feed the rumor mill and make you become the subject of workplace gossip.
 
 

4. Your career aspirations

career progression success in workplace

There isn't anything wrong with seeing your current job as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, but keep those sentiments to yourself.

Talking about your ambitions will, for good reason, make your boss question your loyalty and causes some co-workers to resent you.

If you are interested in advancing within your current organisation, do your job exceptionally well, and of course, let your boss know you want to move up through the company's ranks. Your actions will speak for you.
 

5. Your Health Problems

health concerns in workplace advice and business tips

Even though health issues - mental or physical - are nothing to be ashamed of, don't dwell on them too much at work.

You may choose not to talk about them at all or to be very open, but regardless of how much, or how little, you disclose, avoid sharing every last detail of your condition.

When deciding how much to share with your colleagues, keep this in mind: when your colleagues know you are sick, they may question your ability to do your job well, just as they could if they knew about your family problems.

Although their concerns may be unfounded, it will put doubt in their minds and affect their perceptions of you.
 

Great, so what CAN I talk about?

If you want to have a chat about things not related to work, try discussing less controversial topics like TV/movies, music, travel, and food.

 

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