By Issa Napon
Diplomacy is according to many experts “the subtile skillful handling of a situation”. To me it is clearly the art of not saying neither yes, nor no but be in the middle playing some tightrope walker game. It is because the core value of Diplomacy is to say “no” without pronouncing that word , a king of “catch and dismiss” according to coach Dian Anderson.
However to be good at acting with tact and diplomacy needs some basic steps to observe and to work out. Among those stpes and from what I have learned so far it is important for on’es to take care of the following:
1- The image you cast to your audience : you have to work to really know yourself, your core value, your reel character, it’s the needed basis to move forward
2-Draft a self assesment that will help you know more about yourself
3-Work on your body language to avoid casting a different message than what your words convey, as well as your voice tone to be able to go gradually according to the challenge could be facing.
4-To pay attention to the nature of your audience and adjust your speech accordingly.
5-Avoid to give offense to people your are talking to, what means do your best to bring him to what you want by giving him that impression that you take his concerns in account. The technique ” cathc and redirect” from coach Dian Anderson is stunning about that. Here is an example:
In your team somebody comes to you claiming his experience in his job position about a way you want to go throught to solve an issue.
-“I have a PhD, and been working for 20 years here and I know what I am talking about, who are you to think this could work that way?”
And you go by
-“OK I agree you are truly here a long time ago and very skilled, so let’s work this out and then come to your idea separately”
The problem is solved without getting anyone frustrated or hurt.
6-Be aware of what you are saying because great communicators every time know how to create positive impression, to improve their strenghts.
7-Avoid pressing or holding on “hot button”; be far from getting people angry after you about a delicate subject.
8-Give the space and provide the needed environement to achieve goals.
We are not pretending here that it is easy to act through tact and diplomacy and credibility. The results may take time to show up, but when you act on true, sooner or later you will meet the result.
A case to embody what I have been explaining is on the Crimea “landgrab” on Ukraine crisis with this arm wrestling between Russia and Western countries. The president of the U.S and his allies went gradually on their warnings on putin to back up his forces from Crimea risking severe sanctions. They leaders of the two sides keep on speaking and discussing the problem, however to me putin damaged his image and sticking on that standoff may bring, even his close trade partners to split from him in order to avoid getting exposed and assimilated to him. Most difficult, Putin did not work out deeply on his strenghs: the great part of Russia’s economy relies on Gaz and oil export and foreign investments. Lacking those support might quickly get him in a bad economic situation. Even though acting with tact and diplomacy at the end wins, even if we can still acknowledge some jerks, mostly to make noise than anything else. The secretary of State John Kerry canceled a meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow regarding the fact that Russia was still casting the same unliked behavior towards Ukraine; the environement was not ideal to hold important talks. How ever gradual steps of imposing sanctions is a way to offer an exit door to one’s counterpart to get out, breath and give opportunity to back up.