You Voted? Great! So Talk to Me About the Results – Please!

Election Day – it’s done and over with. Maybe your guy won. Maybe your guy didn’t Regardless, we’re all winners because the races are over which means the commercials and robocalls are finally done and over with. Thank goodness!

But let’s talk ab

out the aftermath and how that played out in your office. Were people talking about the results? Did you actively talk about the results? What was the post-election climate like for you in your workplace?

For me? No one – NO ONE – brought up the results or offered up any reactions or commentary. And not because they were unhappy with the results. I knew with 98% certainty how a handful of my coworkers voted and should have felt about the results. (Hey, you too should go be Facebook friends with your coworkers!) But no one facilitated any kind of chatter or conversation about the results.

Except me.

I started by treading lightly. “How late did you stay up last night?” Or, “Did you watch the returns?” Or, “Did you see the speeches?” Which I thought would lead to some kind of reaction. Positive, negative. I didn’t really actually care. I just wanted to see some kind of emotion. I wanted to have some kind of dialog. I wanted to know how folks were feeling one way or another.

But the majority of people I spoke to were not budging or giving in to my prompts. Opinions or reactions – one way or another – weren’t seeping out. Much to my disappointment.

Which got me thinking. What’s going on with us? And what does this say about our work cultures that folks weren’t interested in talking about what had happened the previous night? Have politics and talk of it become that polarizing and alienating? Have we all become that scared and nervous about the potential of offending that we just won’t talk about a presidential election results? Is it that risky?

On Election Day, many, many, many of my coworkers had sported their “I voted” stickers. There was obviously some pride that came with wearing their sticker. I voted! I participated in the democratic process! I have a voice! But to then not be able to follow that up with a discussion the next day… I’m still just a little surprised by.

So what were things like in your neck of the woods? Share! I’d love to know what others experienced.

From where I’m sitting, win or lose for your guy, the path forward for our entire country still requires working together. We’re still going to be neighbors and have to live by and with each other. You gotta be able to talk through it ALL with each other. Get into a squabble in the office? Managing an employee relations issue that involves a major squabble? You know you gotta talk it all through. So why not talk to each other – with respect -about what just happened?

Leave a comment – let’s talk about it…

FOT Background Check

Jessica Lee
Jessica Lee is a VP of TA at Marriott International where she leads a team that enables the company to think big, broad and boldly about all things talent acquisition and in effect, keeps them relevant and ahead of the curve in how they attract and acquire top talent. Don't be fooled by that fancy pants title and description though, she's still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade and a half into trench HR life... she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat. Talk to Jessica via EmailLinkedInTwitter or Facebook... See Jessica's riffs and rants on Fistful of Talent here...


  1. Seth McColley says:

    Great post, Jessica! I too, am fascinated by the psychology of the whole thing. People have no problem talking about voting, how they are going to go vote (physically), waiting in line to vote, the benefits of early voting, and so on, but when it comes time to talk about how they voted, who they voted for and election results they just clam up. Unfortunately, I think have become too politically correct and most folks are afraid to talk politics with their coworkers, peers, employees and especially their boss. Too many stories get circulated about business leaders who threaten to reduce headcount if Candidate X wins. It makes people think twice about sharing their political opinions. I can tell you, from my own experience, that I was mocked (somewhat in good fun) during the 2008 election by my manager and a senior leader of the business after I expressed my opinions. I was reminded of an important lesson. The two things you should not discuss at work – politics and religion.

    In the spirit of transparency and encouraging discussion, I voted Republican (straight ticket). Who wants to talk about it?

  2. TM says:

    We talked about not only who we voted for but why. We receive federal and state funding so we are ALWAYS talking politics. My office has a great mix of both large parties (and a few green and independents as well) so we’ve learned to agree to disagree at times. Sure we have a few far right and far left employees that we all (including themselves) laugh at. But we also have a fundamental respect for each other so although we don’t agree 100% politically, we support each other professionally.

    I remember being an entry level employee and hearing the whole “don’t discuss: sex, race, age, salary, or politics” speech. I’m sure recent grads are still told this today. I’d be shocked to learn otherwise.

    To me the whole share/ don’t share your political views boils down to spoken and unspoken corporate policies. Social media especially comes to mind.

  3. julie says:

    We talked about it in great detail before the election, but afterwards, nothing. Not a word from either side. Interesting.

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