Editors' pick: Originally published Jan. 9.
Sharing political beliefs in the workplace nowadays often leads to discussing personal ideologies involving race, gender and even immigration, resulting in conversations which can resemble a minefield.
In the aftermath of the presidential election and as the Trump inauguration approaches, some people will feel they can be more verbose about their political and racial viewpoints, loudly voicing their often unwelcome opinions on colleagues or friends who are refugees, women or LGBTQ.
Many people have reported an uptick in conversations discussing these issues, making some co-workers uncomfortable hearing their colleagues discussing people in a disparaging manner such as "going back to where they came from."
Navigating situations where you are merely a by-stander trying to eat your lunch can be tricky when you hear offensive comments about another co-worker. While some employees will choose to ignore the person making a comment, others will not refrain from speaking up and engaging with that co-worker to explain why their statements were racist or sexist.
Determining when you need to report a rude comment to your manager or someone in human resources or bringing up the issue directly with the co-worker about a seemingly innocuous comment or joke shared in the hallway or the break room can be challenging.
The best way to handle an insensitive comment is swiftly and directly, said April Masini, a New York-based relationship and etiquette expert and author. Inform the person who made the comment that its offensive, but avoid denigrating the individual and stick to just the comment.