Cleveland Business Connects

For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

Protocol for politics

By Colleen Harding

The political season is in full swing in Cleveland. While we are getting ready to host the RNC, many candidates and guests will be visiting our city. It is important to remember our basic good manners.

Today it is very tempting to express support or dislike for the candidates; however, it is not appropriate to be offensive. I am not entitled to your opinion unless solicited! We should not be asking people whom they are voting for, as a general rule. Political affiliation is private and personal and not to be shared unless one is comfortable doing so. If you are a person who is comfortable politely conveying your support for a particular candidate without offending anyone, you should be safe. It is when we cross over into an insulting volley of unpleasantness that we look discourteous. Don’t assume anyone supports your views or vigor.

If you are associated with someone that you feel comfortable discussing politics with, proceed with caution. Careful consideration should be taken to ensure a calm discussion. If you venture into the conversation, proceed politely. If you find that you have made a mistake, abandon the topic gracefully.

Today people are letting their passion for or against a candidate take over their sense of decency, and they are behaving badly. It is never acceptable to be rude or brash in the protocol world. You may not offend anyone to get your point across, and, honestly, its foolish! When was the last time someone offended you, so you changed your mind and converted to his or her way of thinking? People don’t change when they are offended. It’s ridiculous.

Going forward, lets use the upcoming events as opportunities to show off our city in a favorable manner, so that people will want to come back.

Colleen Harding is a protocol coach and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. She can be reached at (216) 970-5889 and


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