One of my favorite leaders I’ve worked with over my career is Jay Skibinski. Jay taught me many lessons over the years, but one of the best was understanding the keys to the art of diplomacy.
Before Passion Struck was ever a blip on the radar, I was recruited to join Lowe’s Home Improvement, where I became the youngest Vice President in the company. Along the way, I was progressing swiftly and was on the cusp of a huge promotion. However, the global search firm Korn Ferry was brought in by the CEO and head of HR to evaluate all of the senior leadership of Lowe’s Information Technology function.
I remember undergoing an evaluation process that culminated in an interview with their lead consultant Brigitte Morel-Curran. I had more than my share of confidence at that time, and I was sure I was going to knock the interview out of the park. What she told me, though, forever changed my future outlook.
- Brigette registered my hard work ethic, servant leadership style, and why being a visionary had allowed me to progress swiftly.
- She told me that what got me to where I was currently would not get me to where I wanted to go in the future.
She was talking about the need to practice and perfect the art of diplomacy.
What is the Art of Diplomacy
The art of diplomacy moves forward an idea, proposal, or initiative without unnecessarily igniting passions or creating a catastrophe. It involves an understanding of the many facets of human nature that can undermine agreement and stoke conflict. It also is about having a commitment to analyzing these with foresight and grace.
I know when most of us hear the word diplomacy, we think of a diplomat. Someone in politics, a world leader, or a person in an embassy doing diplomatic work on behalf of world relations.
However, being diplomatic is just as important in our career and in our personal life. It can make the difference between staying at the status quo or moving to the next level in our profession and relationships.
The 5 Keys to Being Diplomatic
There are five strategies that you can use to deploy diplomacy in your career and in your life.
- First, and probably the most important, is to think before you speak.
- The second is to make sure you choose your words wisely. Words can cut in so many ways. And you must use them and think about what you’re going to say before you use them.
- How we use our body language. Just as you’re watching their body language.
- Never react emotionally. Instead of going on the offensive, which we are so inclined to do, pull back and think about the deeper issue.
- Think about it for a small loss today, and look at the bigger victory over time.
The Art of Diplomacy Show Notes
- Jay Skibinski’s request
- Honing my skills in the art of diplomacy
- What is the art of diplomacy
- Four Steps to practice the art of diplomacy
- Five strategies to deploy diplomacy in your life
Quotes from John R. Miles
“The art of diplomacy moves forward an idea, proposal, or initiative without unnecessarily igniting passions or creating a catastrophe. It involves an understanding of the many facets of human nature that can undermine agreement and stoke conflict. It also is about having a commitment to analyzing these with foresight and grace.”
“True Kindness does not mean seeming kind. It means helping those people who we’re likely to confront by administering a sharp clean blow of reality to kill off all hope.”
“The art of diplomacy has become one of the most important skills that we can have as a leader.”Quotes by John R. Miles
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