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In the Divided States of America

For the nearly 55 million Americans who voted for John Kerry, the last couple of days have not been easy in the office. After months of digging in on opposite sides of the Iraq war, the economy, the environment, stem-cell research and gay rights, the two Americas have to share the workplace and cope with some very raw emotions.

For the nearly 55 million Americans who voted for John Kerry, the last couple of days have not been easy in the office. After months of digging in on opposite sides of the Iraq war, the economy, the environment, stem-cell research and gay rights, the two Americas have to share the workplace and cope with some very raw emotions.

As FC‘s Corporate Shrink Kerry Sulkowicz pointed out during the campaign, this is touchy territory. Co-workers who discover shared political views can form strong bonds that boost morale, but political disagreements can just as easily damage relations. Which is why some offices insist that politics is off-limits. Others adopt a lighter touch, such as decorating the left and right doors of an office fridge to reflect the blue and red camps.

Clearly, we need some ground rules this week: For starters, no rioting and no gloating. Any others you’d recommend? How does your office handle this?

About the author

Chuck Salter is a senior editor at Fast Company and a longtime award-winning feature writer for the magazine. In addition to his print, online and video stories, he performs live reported narratives at various conferences, and he edited the Fast Company anthologies Breakthrough Leadership, Hacking Hollywood, and #Unplug.

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