I was reminded recently about a book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. By the title alone, you can surmise that it seeks to grant us clarity about things that we get ourselves into as adults. No doubt the book was written after a life full of lessons learned.

Just like with Fulghum’s life lessons, I learned a lot about publishing here in Cincinnati at Cincy Magazine. I wish I had a book to guide me when we started 10 years ago. One chapter could’ve been dedicated to figuring out my own political opinions and positions, and then balancing the results with how they came up in business management.

Sharing politics seems to be a murky proposition at best with friends. In business, it now seems to be somewhat of a minefield. Often, those with strong beliefs seem to not be open to accept the positions of others with countering views. I most likely was, and am, a part of this group that has established beliefs. Go ahead and fill in the blank here about my past interest in dissenting views. And since politics comes into much of my conversation as a publisher for a community magazine, I have quite a few observations. Some observations most likely won’t get me on the bestseller list, but I’ll share them as lessons learned:

Your personal political views in business discriminate 48 percent of your audience right from the start. Stay away from the conversation unless asked. Employees should be spared also. Know the difference between politics as either your business or your passion. And here’s why:

• If they agree with your professed beliefs, then it’s my experience that it only demonstrates that they understand and you are at best reaffirmed. If they disagree, they can see you as a combatant in the “fight or flight” response. Both, in my opinion, don’t work in growing your relationship.

• When asked for your opinion on something political, I would go for it and respect your own judgment. They trust your intellect, and you, and that is why they asked.

• Respect the position of elected office, locally and nationally. Frankly, I’m tired of name-calling and so are your customers and employees.

• Receive someone else’s political views with an open ear. It provides you an opportunity to participate in their desires and journey, and it creates a culture within our city and region of acceptance of a person’s right to share their beliefs. Your agreement with them is not required but respect should be.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a community built upon civility will lead to many great things, far outpacing the most beautiful new streetcar and outshining any new bridge. Oops, stop me now.