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Listen In -> Awkward Communication #5: The Diplomat

Some people are so nice that no difficult decisions ever get made.

Instead of focusing on the issue at hand, these people are concerned that everyone involved is happy. Nice but ineffective. Safe but exasperating.

There are important advantages to having strong diplomatic skills. One can communicate difficult news more effectively. One can keep dialogue going with impossible personalities. The list goes on.

There comes a point, though, when the diplomat’s need for smooth waters and happy people supercedes actual effectiveness.

For example, when it comes time to make an important decision that is going to upset some people, the diplomat will postpone the decision in hopes of creating an alternative with which everyone will beg happy. For time or opportunity sensitive decisions, such prevarication can be costly.

Is there a way to weigh the costs and benefits of choosing to be the diplomat? Are you diplomatic out of a professional conviction that such a course is the most constructive or out of a need to avoid conflict, disagreements and bargaining?

Listen in.

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