Are you are a political prattler?
Most people discuss politics in ineffective, counterproductive and illogical ways. How about you? Here’s a quick test to find out if you’re a political prattler.

You’re at a party, and someone makes a stupid political comment. Do you…
1) Call them an idiot and blame them for all the evils in the world?
2) Nod blankly, feign agreement and inwardly fall into despair about the futility of attempting sane political dialogue?
3) Fire back a sarcastic, clever comeback that they never saw coming?

If any of these approaches sound familiar to you, you probably haven’t changed many of people’s minds about politics.

You wouldn’t do this…would you?
Evaluate the appropriateness of a political argument by asking yourself if you would use the same type of argument in a sales setting. For example,

You’re at the same party. You sell factory-built homes. Someone who’s considering building makes an inaccurate, hostile and/or stupid comment about factory-built homes. Do you:
1) Call them an idiot and blame them for your low sales totals?
2) Nod blankly, feign agreement and inwardly fall into despair about the futility of making your sales quotas?
3) Fire back a sarcastic, clever comeback that they never saw coming?

If you would, you probably aren’t effective in sales.

Most people wouldn’t try to sell a product by attacking, shutting down or side-swiping. Yet most people choose one of these three approaches when the topic gets political.

Three ways NOT to talk about politics
In my Unite and Concur eBook and my Unite and Concur blog I advocate avoiding the following three approaches to political discussions.
1) Aggression
While a quick attack may intimidate your political opposite and stun them into silence, aggressive arguments come at a price.
A) Aggression can win compliance but not agreement
B) “For every action there is an equal opposite reaction.” People usually find a way to “even the score” if they feel bullied.
C) Aggressives miss an opportunity to learn from and about them.
2) Passiveness
Sure, if you stay silent, you will avoid stepping on a landmine; passiveness also comes at a price.
A) You miss an opportunity to set the record straight
B) You are likely to feel resentment
C) The person spreading misinformation takes your silence as agreement.
D) Your silence makes you complicit.
E) Your unvoiced objection might build and erupt into aggression.
3) Passive-aggression
Passive-aggressive behavior is still aggression. It has the same effect as aggression.

Did I just take away your entire communication repertoire? If I did, here’s a new one.

How TO talk about politics at a party, work or home
No matter where you are, your best approach to discuss politics is to speak assertively, which I define as “saying what you mean and meaning what you say without being mean when you say it.”

Most people assume that if you’re not speaking aggressively, you’re being passive. Most people are wrong. It is possible to be clear, direct AND kind.”

Here are some of political communication tips.
1) Unite and concur: think of yourselves as allies seeking truth together
2) Listen
3) Acknowledge
4) Ask about their sources
5) Ask their consent to differ
6) Say what you mean, and mean what you say, without being mean when you say it.

The key to effective political communication is respect. Respect them, respect yourself and respect the facts.

Sure, it would be tempting to roll your eyes and call them an idiot. And it would be easier to roll your eyes inwardly. It works much better to Unite and Concur. Learn more by getting the eBook and learn more about assertive communication at

Author's Bio: 

Meryl Runion is the author of five books on communication that have sold over 300,000 copies worldwide. She makes the case for reasonable dialogue in her Get Strategic video at: Read about Unite and Concur at: