I had the pleasure of joining the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Network Lunch last week. Our panel discussion covered balancing business and politics: how can professionals balance personal political beliefs and advocacy with business demands?
As social and political issues and stances increasingly become part of our personal and public conversations, we need to think more deliberately of where and how we communicate our points of view. And much like the recent movement from work life ‘balance’ to work life ‘integration’, it’s getting harder and harder to keep the two separate. And frankly, keeping them separate would be inauthentic.
But integration brings risks both personal and professional, so how exactly can you navigate? Below are three key takeaways from the panel:
- Being intentional about where and how you are vocal is critical. Don’t be naïve to think your opinions, views or stances won’t affect your personal or professional relationships. No one is saying you should hide or quash your POV, but if you do take a stand, understand where and how it could affect you, your relationships or your company. And then decide how to proceed. Your voice matters and many issues may be worth the risk to speak out for or against.
- Choose to work for companies that share your values. It’s easier to be happier at work if you work for an organization that is aligned with your beliefs.
- If that’s not an option for various reasons, then find a way to make change within the organization. Many employee resource groups are changing the fabric of some of the biggest companies, and they are making change happen faster.