When every year is an election year, it’s hard to avoid “talking” politics—but business leaders need to try.

The problem is that talking politics changes relationships. You quickly go from business owner or salesperson to Democrat, Republican, etc.

Putting a political sign in front of your business is a clear sign (literally) of your views. Not only do you tell your clients your politics, you’re also influencing your employees. If they have opposing views, you may be damaging those relationships.

Sign Up for E-News

Our political positions may be quite polarizing, so it makes good business sense to never discuss politics at work.

People derive important aspects of our identity from the groups we belong to: our sports teams, our business associations and our local clubs. But bringing in your politics may create powerful dividing lines. Some people may actually vote for the leader of a group because of their politics and not their abilities.

It’s even more difficult to maintain purely business relationships when you’re personally vested in a political party. Then it’s your natural tendency to win over voters which will directly influence your relationships. And once your positions are learned, they can never be unlearned.

Some politicians may disagree with this suggestion as they are the ones that benefit from the free advertising and they are the ones likely applying pressure on the business community.