It has always been important to be aware of the values and beliefs of the people we’re doing business with and they’re usually made clear from listening to what they say and observing how they behave. In doing business however, it used to be standard practice not to discuss politics or religion – the relationship might end on discovering that some strongly held values and beliefs are not shared.
In today’s heightened awareness of political issues and the surrounding social tensions, it has become important to know the political affiliation of business associates, employees, and customers. And they may demand to know yours. Significant differences in values and beliefs may impact the relationship seriously enough to end it.
So do we now refuse to identify our political affiliations and our values and beliefs to avoid ending the relationship? Or do we simply terminate the relationships with employees, customers, friends, and business associates whose political views we find abhorrent. Can we still do business? Being aware of strongly held differences in political beliefs and social values can be a distraction that is hard to ignore.
Difficult and uncomfortable as it may be, we should seek to understand and accept our differences and continue doing business together, unless you feel strongly that you are compromising your integrity and cannot reconcile the business relationship with your values and beliefs.
We can hope that time will heal the current political enmity and allow us to demonstrate the empathy and understanding of the social issues that will allow us to arrive at better political decisions for the common good. Faint hope in the current climate of divisive campaign rhetoric, I know.
Maybe we should go back to not talking about it.
Be better. Do Better. Be an Enlightened Entrepreneur.
Del Chatterson, your Uncle Ralph
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