Practicing Professionalism in Polarizing Times

Those who know me know all too well that I have been a very active and engaged participant on social media almost since Facebook’s inception. So, it was shocking to some to discover that I abarepublican-versus-democratndoned Facebook back in September because I found much of the content that I was reading to be more of an irritant than a joy. Yes, I’m referring to the polarizing forces in our current political environment. I am definitely a sufferer of election anxiety and many of my friends and family share my pain. “So what?”, you say? This current dilemma has me asking myself, my family, friends and agents: How exactly do we continue to behave in a professional manner and do our jobs while maintaining and holding true to our personal convictions? Is it possible to maintain a level of professionalism and support a business or person who is so diabolically opposed to your fundamental beliefs?

I have worked with countless people over the last quarter of a century. Most of the people I have helped have been interesting, intelligent, sophisticated and pleasant. Some, not so much. But I never chose not to work with someone based on their personal views or beliefs. In fact, some years back, I was the real estate agent for a very prominent campaign manager who is currently front and center in the news. We definitely did not see eye-to-eye but in the many months in which I worked with this person, we shared a mutual respect and sometimes heated yet comical banter over significant political issues. Our inability to see ey
e-to-eye did not cause either of us to waiver from our convictions. Unfortunately, despite having a contract in hand for a gorgeous Manhattan home, a mansion in the suburbs trumped city living (see what I did there?). That said, there is a very fine line that determines the ability to tolerate the person whose views are so diametrically opposed to your own. For some, it is simply business and anything goes in the name of making a buck. For others, differing opinions on topics like abortion, immigration, and women’s and minority’s rights, make the prospect of working with someone absolutely unpalatable.

The one thing I think we can all agree upon is that, while difficult at times, rising above is the only way forward.

 

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