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The art of diplomacy and how to do it right

Sromona Bhattacharyya
7th Nov 2016
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Many of us think being diplomatic means turning into a people pleaser who does not speak his mind. On the contrary, diplomacy means assessing the situation in its entirety without jumping to conclusions and taking the best possible course of action without hurting the feelings of others. How to be diplomatic? It is indeed an art worth mastering, albeit a difficult one.

While the diplomatic path may be hard to follow, the alternative isn’t so pleasant. Often, being too outspoken without being considerate of others feelings can be looked down upon and you could be labelled as harsh or aggressive.

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If you’ve been wondering how to be diplomatic, here are a few tips and tricks for you. We won’t lie, this is a complex art that requires the 3 Ps – practise, perseverance and patience.

Choose your words carefully

As they say, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” that really matters. The words you choose are crucial to how you are perceived. Using aggressive terms such as “should”, “never”, or “cant” will not do you any good. Instead use more subtle words like “you may consider” or “it looks like”.

Synchronise your body language

What does body language have anything to do with understanding how to be diplomatic? When you are trying to be diplomatic while conducting business, your body language must be very calm even when everything is falling apart in your mind. Your body posture conveys a tremendous amount of information about the way you are really feeling on the inside. Practice maintaining eye contact while pitching ideas because that helps exude a lot of confidence. Make sure your body language is in sync with the message you’re trying to convey. If you’re angry and have found a bunch of sweet words to sugar coat your message, a clenched fist completely gives away how you’re really feeling on the inside.

Think before you act

How to be diplomatic is not something that can be learnt overnight. Many good diplomats have had years of practice.It is okay to slip up every now and then while trying to be diplomatic. Even if you feel a rush of anger coming your way or feel offended in the middle of a conversation, do not give up, instead take a minute to “breathe” and think on the matter

Stand your ground

Diplomacy is an art that stems from politics and politics is all about conflict resolution. Indeed, a lot of insight how to be diplomatic can be gleaned by observing popular political leaders! So, in any kind of business interaction where diplomacy is exercised, you need to stand your own ground and stick to it till the end. Try and be firm on your opinions and responses, irrespective of whether you get the desired result or not.

Diplomacy can be learnt and a little practice goes a long way. You can even practice diplomacy in your head!,Just take a situation that has occurred in the past and recreate the scene where you could have handled it better using diplomacy.

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