Bridging Divides at Work

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How can organizations quell political discord in the workplace? Here’s why edicts are not the answer.

Polarization is not just a problem for Congress and our political system, it’s also taking a toll in the workplace. Employees are falling out with each other over politics, Supreme Court decisions, and fiery issues in the culture wars. Colleagues who used to be friendly now barely talk to each other.

Organizations are trying to stem the discord. Some have banned political talk at the office. Others have taken a public stand on an issue of the day in an effort to ‘do the right thing’. But these and other ideas still can end up pleasing some employees and alienating others.

Our guest on today’s show says edicts like this won’t help, but more thoughtful approaches can.

In this, our second episode on polarization in business, we hear from Simon Greer. He’s the founder of Bridging the Gap, a group that helps college students develop the skills to communicate well across differences. He also consults with organizations who face these same challenges among their workforces.

Simon explains how he went from ‘bomb thrower’ to bridge builder over the course of his career, tells stories from his work with employers and employees, and outlines the very personal reason for his belief in the humanity of the other person.

All on this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground.

Read the Episode Transcript

Ep. 67 – Bridging Divides at Work

Simon Greer

Simon Greer has been involved in social change work for the past 25 years. He has worked at the local, national, and international levels to address issues of injustice through philanthropy, advocacy, and service. He has led organizations through periods of dramatic institutional growth, including high-profile campaigns, program innovation, increased philanthropic impact, and more. As the founder of Cambridge Heath Ventures, he works with private companies, organizations, and governments to overcome their most pressing challenges.

For the last five years, he has conducted research; designed listening sessions; trained leaders; and organized campaigns to identify common good values, policy ideas, messages, narratives and a coherent worldview that he believes have the power to engage a broad cross-section of Americans.

He is the founder of Bridging the Gap and host of Courageous Conversations at The Nantucket Project.

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