Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m W i n t e r 2 0 1 9 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 9 ISTOCKPHOTO Upfront > The Office productivity or a more negative view of coworkers. So you're right to be concerned. It used to be a no-no to talk politics in the workplace, says Angie P. Kirk, director of pro- fessional development at Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a leadership devel- opment organization based in Bethesda, Maryland. But today, with explosive headlines and a 24-hour news cycle, politics have made their way to the watercooler. "If you can't keep an open mind and a respectful conversation, you probably shouldn't engage in talking about politics," Kirk advises. If you get frustrated, name- How to Talk (or Not Talk) Politics in the Office Shortcuts Creating a Winning To-Do List Think short and sweet. There is no virtue in putting something on a to-do list only to lack the time to complete it. Be honest with yourself, Vanderkam says. "Keep your list short—only a few items for any given day—and don't put anything on the list that you don't actually intend to do." Dear DW, My coworker is always broad- casting his political views, and let's just say his worldview is different from mine. I'm just as passionate about my politics, and I'm tempted to tell him so, but I'm worried it could cause tension in the workplace. What should I do? Signed, Passionate About Politics Dear Passionate About Politics, A 2017 survey by the American Psycho- logical Association found that roughly 40 percent of employees said office political chatter had led to at least one nega- tive outcome at work, such as reduced call, or want to make sweep- ing generalizations, steer clear of the topic. If someone else brings it up, "change the subject, maybe saying 'I didn't hear that news story, but did you see is Is Us last night?'" Kirk suggests. If you decide to engage with someone who has different political opinions from yours, "don't debate," Kirk says. Instead, use this as an opportunity to learn about different viewpoints. However, if the discussion becomes a matter of proving who's right and who's wrong, call it quits. A final point: Even if you and your co- worker are enjoying the discussion, pay attention to those around you. Other colleagues might be uncomfortable with political talk in the office. If that's the case, invite your politically-minded pal out for drinks and have a conversation. You can get as passionate as you want when you're not in the workplace. A new year means it's time to get organized. We've all said that before, right? But how can we make sure this year we follow through? A to-do list can go a long way toward helping you stay on track, but it has to be effective, says Laura Vanderkam, productivity expert and author of Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done. She shares these tips for creating lists that will keep you productive all year long. Keep it low-tech. "Yes, I know every- thing is electronic these days, but I personally get a lot of satisfaction in crossing off items—and see- ing them crossed off," Vanderkam explains. Categorize your to-dos. Separate your to-do lists into categories, such as "career," "relationships," and "self." Doing so forces you to take a big-picture view and "will nudge you to create a more bal- anced life," Vanderkam says. Don't forget the fun. Some people avoid planning because they view it as a negative activity— lists of all the stuff they have to do, Vanderkam says. "So why not include lots of stuff you want to do as well? This can make the process much more enjoyable."

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