Streetwise — Diplomacy

October 21, 2019

From our friends at Eure Consulting:

This is the thirteenth installment in our 25 week series exploring the 25 competencies, or soft skills, that our assessments measure. Each week we’ll give you the definition of that competency, explain its value, and give you tips to help you develop it. This week: Diplomacy.

Diplomacy is not just used in politics. It is an important skill in the business world as well. We define Diplomacy as the ability to effectively and tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues. It is being able to navigate relationships, conflicts, and workplace issues and knowing how to handle yourself in a variety of situations and not lose your cool.

Those skilled in Diplomacy are able to reserve their judgments about people or issues and look at the facts of the situation. This helps them to be objective and keep the situation at an arm’s length. From this distance they are better able to see all possible solutions and options giving them a higher likelihood of bringing the issue to a satisfactory close. I say satisfactory because those skilled in Diplomacy aren’t looking for just any solution, they are searching for the solution that will be beneficial to all parties involved.

Diplomacy is vitally important in our ever more diverse and global economy. Being able to effectively work with and navigate relationships with those that may have a different background is paramount to continued success. Being skilled in Diplomacy brings the ability to influence many different parties to make sure that interactions are always productive and fruitful.

To work on your Diplomacy you can work to overcome any implicit biases you may have. Implicit biases are biases that we aren’t consciously aware of. They are the gut reactions we have to people or situations and are generally based on stereotypes. To start overcoming your implicit biases, find time to connect with someone of a different background than yourself. By opening yourself to learning about new perspectives and experiences, you’ll tear down those stereotypes and be better able to see people as individuals.