You go to work and someone immediately questions your view on the current state of politics.
“If the election were held tomorrow, would you vote Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump for president, and why would you choose one over the other?”
Your palms sweating, legs shaking, and mind churning, as you search for the best words to explain your political preferences. You know that the wrong choice of words could land you a future pink slip at your current place of employment and the right words could gain you more allies in the office. You finally manage to muster up a sentence that gives you more time to organize your thoughts–although you are secretly wishing that you could just snap your fingers and disappear from the entire conversation.
If you think talking about politics will leave sweat pouring from your forehead at work, just think about those contestants in the Miss America pageant who had to share their political standings on a nationally televised event that was viewed by millions of people.
And all you get is 20 seconds. The pressure is on to sound politically aware, appear intellectually astute, and look like a polished pearl, while standing confidently in 5-inch heels that tightly squeeze the external layers of your baby toe.
Luckily for you, your political responses won’t be quoted in the newspaper tomorrow, and you don’t have to parade around in your swimwear before tackling a question that can cause half the world to torment you with political insults.
Although many don’t hesitate to categorize pageant contestants as “airheads” and make claims that the pageant lifestyle is outdated, there is a lot that you can learn from these brainy beauties that can boost your ratings in the workplace.
If you are ever faced with political question in the workplace, channel your inner beauty queen in order to avoid a political war. This is how you can do it.
1. Start With a Pageant Smile
Remember how that pageant contestant won you over with her dazzling smile? You might want to copy that action in order to avoid a heated discussion with your co-worker. Your goal is to set the mood for a positive, light-hearted and open-minded conversation during a time when people may be tempted to rip each other’s heads off. Believe it or not, your facial expressions set the tone for how a conversation is perceived and what direction it will go.
2. Focus on the Facts
As hard as it may be to hold back from the political insults, it will be in your best interest to focus on the issues at-hand. Have you done your research on the issues? A major rule of pageantry is to research the current events and facts now in order to avoid looking foolish later.
Don’t be influenced by popular media opinions; form your own conclusions by examining information that is one Google search away. So, if you want to talk about how tax plans will impact individuals who make under $250,000, research the plans before you speak. If you do get into this conversation, planning before ensures that you are armed with solid information that takes the focus off the candidates and puts the attention on the impact of various tax policies.
3. Exercise Facial Control When Discussing Politics
No matter what others say, you have to maintain your facial-grace. That’s exactly what Miss America or any other pageant queen would do when she is given a question that is designed to knock her off her toes. But a queen doesn’t let others see them sweat–she is aware of the power of her facial expressions and utilizes it to reduce tension with others.
So when others are saying something that you don’t agree with, don’t let your eyes bulge outside of your head, don’t roll your eye brows in a circle, and don’t turn your lips up. Just provide a neutral facial-tone and people will know that they can’t stir you up with their political nonsense.
You never know when your next political encounter can occur, but you want to be poised and prepared when your moment arrives. Michelle Obama says it best: “When they go low, we go high.” And a Queen never lets the negative words of others impact how she presents herself to the world.