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

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

Definition


Diplomacy is the skill of navigating difficult and sensitive issues with others. It comprises the ability to reach enough of one’s own goals while taking into account the interests of others and maintaining working relationships.


What characterises mastery of this skill?


Diplomatic employees handle conflicts well. They are able to identify the interests of different parties and are open to negotiate and compromise their own interests in order to find a solution for everyone. They express openness and 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 have negative and aggressive conflicts and huge disagreements with others. Their discussions with others might often include inappropriate expression of anger like yelling, screaming, or passive aggressive behaviour. The result can be unsolvable conflicts and dissatisfaction with discussion outcomes. Alternatively, they may find themselves too passive, working around problems instead of addressing them head on. Additionally, they may find it difficult to compromise and to let go of their own interest. Because they often do not prepare alternative solutions they might feel unable to compromise. Showing empathy and identifying the needs and interests of their colleagues is a challenge for them.

Testimonials

‘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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