The School of Life for Business

The School of Life is a global organisation helping people lead more fulfilled lives.

We teach 20 emotional skills to help businesses thrive in the modern economy.

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Diplomacy - Available Virtually or In-person

A workshop which offers techniques for handling sensitive discussions and tough negotiations. Diplomacy is the art of navigating around difficult and sensitive issues without causing catastrophe or unnecessary distress. Studies show that poor diplomatic skills are responsible for dramatic drops in the productivity of employees.

In this two-hour session, we will:

• Learn to identify different conflict styles in others and in ourselves.

• Consider the value of politeness – a vital skill in any organisation – and how to apply it in difficult situations.

• Practise empathy towards those we find difficult.

• Consider when to press our point, when to compromise, when to let things go and when to find a genuinely collaborative solution.

What characterises mastery of this skill?

Diplomatic employees are good at  handling conflict. They can identify the interests of different parties and enjoy solution-focused negotiation which leads  to mutual compromise. They express an interest in others, show empathy, and are  at the same time equipped with excellent communication skills, persuasion and assertiveness.

What characterises a lack of this skill?

Employees with a lack of diplomacy tend to create conflict and prolong disagreements. They might be prone to inappropriate expressions of anger or passive-aggressive behaviour. Alternatively, they may find themselves too passive, working around problems instead of addressing them head on. Showing empathy and identifying the needs and interests of their colleagues is often a challenge for them.

‘Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.’ – Winston Churchill


‘I analysed how I might be bringing too much 'baggage' into discussions’

‘I now have a framework to use to manage conflict’

‘I've learned to try and avoid the pleasure of self-righteousness’

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