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Diplomacy is not just limited to politics—it’s an important skill to have in the business world as well. You can use diplomacy to handle sensitive workplace situations and navigate different customer, client, and internal relationships.

So, if you’re wondering how to improve your diplomacy skills, you’ve come to the right place. We asked our recruitment experts about how they use diplomacy in their interactions at the workplace and how you can handle yourself in different situations without losing your cool.

Here’s what you need to know about downward diplomacy and improve your diplomacy skills:

What Does Downward Diplomacy Mean?

Downward diplomacy means that as a C-Suite executive, you have to lead by example and should not make pre-judgments based on hierarchal position, gender, or race in the workplace. You need to appreciate the uniqueness of each person and treat them fairly.

So, if you’re skilled in diplomacy, you’ll be able to perceive the situation in an unbiased manner and reserve your personal opinions and judgment while reviewing the best course of action to resolve the situation. The idea is to bring the issue to a satisfactory end in which you do the right thing and satisfy all the parties involved in the conflict or situation.

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Diplomacy Can Prepare You To Work With Others Even In Tense Situations

It all comes down to whether you can cooperate with someone you don’t get along with and effectively work with them. Since we operate in an environment where we’re constantly connected with customers, clients, colleagues, and other individuals in the business value chain, diplomacy skills come in handy.

You can use your diplomacy skills to address a tense situation about negative customer reviews and present a solution that casts a positive light on the business to improve the service or product offerings and satisfy the disgruntled customer with free services or products and a formal apology to work on their suggestions.

You can also be diplomatic in the workplace. Since we’re connected with so many individuals and departments, we cannot use a one-size fits all approach and expect good results. You need to be aware of the personalities of the people you’re working with and how sensitive are the people you’re trying to influence. And you need to consider what you can offer them to improve their lives and resolve any conflict. Diplomacy skills can help you with all that.

So, as a diplomat, never forget that there’s always another side to a situation. Just because someone disagrees with someone doesn’t make the other person less intelligent or less right than them or you. Also, remember to treat each person with the respect and kindness they deserve.


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Diplomatic Leaders Can Motivate Their Teams In Challenging Times

All good team leaders know what motivates their team and what makes them tick. You’ll need to learn how to motivate them collectively and individually, guide them regarding the assigned work, and appoint them tasks based on their skills and expertise.

Diplomatic leaders empower their employees by harnessing the power of motivation. You’ll be able to analyze their opinions and mindset and motivate them to do their best even in the most challenging times for the business. If your employees are asked to stay back and work on a project, they’ll be sacrificing time they’d rather spend with their families. To compensate, you can choose to give them paid days off when the dust settles and the situation at the workplace stabilizes.

A Diplomatic Leader Can Foresee Potential Issues In Their Team

As a diplomatic leader, you can lay out the expectations for your team in the beginning and study their response to them. This can help you understand their behavior and forestall issues before they become noticeable. This can be anything from coming into the office on Mondays and Wednesdays and working from home for the rest of the week. However, some people may not agree with the appointed days.

In this case, you need to consult them and get them involved in the decision-making process so they’ll understand the guidelines and expectations. This also increases the chances that your guidelines will be more widely accepted.

Also, these guidelines may need to be revised from time to time as the situation changes. Moreover, employees may be working from home, will probably be juggling work, kids, and school, and may have trouble with availability. So, you’ll need to be flexible and work out a solution that works for everyone and accommodates the disruptions in the daily schedule.


a person talking to his colleagues

A Diplomatic Leader Is Fair And Firm

If there are lapses and issues in employee performance, you shouldn’t ignore them. You should engage with your employees immediately and determine the reasons behind the issues so that you can figure out a solution that works best for both of you.

Oftentimes, an employee may be unable to perform because of some drastic life event or trauma, while some individuals may be playing hooky on the job. So, in the case of legitimate obstacles that are preventing your team members from doing their job, hear them out and ask them about what they need to improve.

You can also counsel them and advise them about what could’ve been done differently. You can ask probing questions as well to invite them to reflect on why they feel differently about the job ever since the change in their performance.

This shows that you’re not ready to accept excuses and move on. Remind your team workers that if they don’t pull their weight, you and the other employees will lose respect for them as they’ll have to work harder to compensate for their mistakes or lack of contribution. It also shows that other team members know you’ve got your back in case a team member underperforms.

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