Joshua Brown is yet another good writer from Ritholtz Wealth Management. Here he talks about what he learnt as a trainee bartender in a bartending school he had attended as a student. Whilst it wasn’t exactly a life changing experience, there was one thing he learnt from the bartending sensei that stayed with him: “There are two things a professional bartender never discusses with patrons: Politics and religion.
The way the bartender sensei running the class explained it, there’s no upside. Even if the customer agrees with 95% of your political or religious opinions, the 5% is enough to enrage them.”
Not only is it bad from a business perspective to discuss politics and religion with clients, there is no purpose that is being served from discussing politics and religion – in person and on social media – from doing so. “Are things going so well in any of our lives that we need to look for trouble deliberately? Does anyone ever actually win an argument that’s based on opinions? On a social media site? No one wins. No one changes their mind because of a Twitter exchange or a hashtag war.
So if we know we’re not winning any converts, and that the most likely result of debating these topics is winning new enemies for ourselves, why bother?”
Furthermore, the less one discusses religion and politics with clients or on social media, on the rare occasion that one chooses to pipe up, he/she is bound to get an audience: “One added benefit of adopting the bartender’s rule is that when there really is something that you feel absolutely compelled to speak out about, it carries more weight. “I rarely comment on things like this, but I just have to say…” Make it count.”