As I was reading more lies about President Obama a few days ago regarding whether or not he's a Muslim or Christian and some of the other things people still believe about him proven or not, I came to a realization that I've always suspected I had, but finally was ready to articulate. There really isn't always a need to have to talk to each other, especially when we already know the outcome of that conversation.

I've often said that I don't like to talk about politics or religion. The reason is simple; I believe what I believe, and I'm not going to change what I believe just because someone has an opposing view. And it does me no good to talk about it either because those people believe what they believe, and thus my trying to convince someone that I'm right is pretty much a waste of time. That, plus I've found that instead of being able to discuss issues, things always get to a point where there's anger and/or name calling of some sort.

Will I comment on certain things here and there? Definitely. I once asked what would the issue be if President Obama was a Muslim. I asked the same question about Mitt Romney and why it was a big deal that he's a Mormon. I wasn't old enough to know about the brouhaha of John Kennedy being a Catholic, but I know that it was a big deal at the time. Someone said a non-Christian president will never be elected to office in this country. I tend to believe this, but then I always believed I'd never see someone with brown skin elected as president of this country either.

I've realized that I have almost no friends that have views that are opposite of mine. Why would I, unless I had a predisposition to arguing all the time, which I don't? As it is, it's hard enough sometimes being on the same page as those who I agree with most of the time. That's because we've all grown up differently, had different experiences, and thus set our beliefs based on those experiences.

Having said all this, the rules change when we get to talking about working with each other, at least if we work in businesses with others. When I was an every day employee, or whenever I'm on a long term consulting assignment, I have to know how to work with people to get things done. I've always gone out of my way to not let anyone else's personal beliefs get in the way of getting the job done. When you're either in a position of leadership or responsibility, you can't afford to allow personality or beliefs to get in the way. You have to be fair, and you have to get the job done.

Leaders do need to learn how to allow those who they have responsibility for to state their concerns and their opinions on how they believe things could be done better. Leaders also have to learn when it's time to end discussion, make a decision, and go through with it. Sometimes during that process emotions can get out of control and negative things can be said. The difference is that you can stop talking for a brief moment, but if the success or outcome is dependent upon you and someone you don't get along with you can't avoid talking to that person. There's nothing saying you have to be best friends, but you have to work together in some fashion to complete the task.

If there's an impasse that can't be broken, and communications break down, you're left with two options. One says to just leave things alone, then when asked say you couldn't work with the other person. Two, go ahead and get it done and then share credit later on. Neither one of these are great options, but sometimes it's the best you can do. it's better doing option one than option two; doing something is always better than doing nothing.

There are no cut and dry rules, unfortunately, but there are guidelines you can try to work by. These apply to both your personal and professional lives. I will admit that my personal guidelines are much easier to live with because I only surround myself with people I know I can work and get along with, even if we don't agree all the time. In the workplace, though, you don't always get to select who you have to work with. In those times, you have to do the best you can, but never forget the ultimate goal is to help your company and business succeed.