Wednesday, December 13

Taboo Topics of Conversation in The Office

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Navigating the environment of a constantly changing office culture can be tricky, and shifting social mores can make avoiding the taboo topics of conversation in the office. Even as professional standards may seem to become more relaxed and information, there still stand some truths behind conversational etiquette and effectiveness that have stood the test of time and will likely continue to do so for a while yet. In a competitive working world where every client counts and no networking opportunity should go without being investigated first, communications skills hold an ever-increasing importance when employees are able to talk to guests, customers, and co-worker peers in an instant from across the hall or around the globe.


In part because of such a globally, instantly, widely available stream of information almost all people now have at almost all times, opinions on any issues come in a broad variances and a great many areas of disagreement can be found very quickly with minimal effort. Within the complex realm of politics, the topic itself is generally best avoided altogether and considered one of the taboo topics of conversation in the office, simply because it is rare that two people (even two on the same side of the conversative-or-liberal spectrum) will agree on even a handful of political issues; thus, raising those items in the discussion will only likely lead to an argument.


As important as political affiliation can be, the opinion as to the eternal destination of the souls of human beings is often regarded as even more important and hotly contested, thus placing matters of faith and religion firmly within the range of taboo topics of conversation in the office. Even within seemingly specific systems of belief, even within certain denominations of the Christian faith for example, there can still be many sources of disagreement between two people. Considering that the importance of someone’s faith will often outweigh the importance of their job, co-workers should avoid the risk of offending or otherwise starting a disagreement over something that so many cherish so strongly or disagree with so vehemently.


Sex may seem like a fun subject to talk about, but remains one of the taboo topics of conversation in the office not only because it can potentially be offensive to sensitive listeners, but also considering the potential consequences in light of workplace sexual harassment policies and general conversational etiquette. Before speaking, workers should consider: Should we really be talking about the cute girl in Accounting like this?

Over time, the taboo topics of conversation in the office may change, but one conclusion should remain clear: Some subjects are safer to talk about than others, and a consummate professional should know the differences.


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