Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video An introduction to diplomacy and tact, part of Communicating with Diplomacy and Tact.
- A few months ago, I was asked to have a meeting with a workplace professional we will call Karen. Karen and I share a mutual colleague, let's call him Pat. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss future plans for a program we're all involved with. Soon after we started talking, I was caught off guard when Karen shared her rather negative perception of Pat's skills and potential contribution. She said she didn't trust him or his skills. And she was not holding back.
In fact, she was asking for my support. On a side note, I work with Pat. I work well with Pat. And I recognize how different he and Karen are. They have different backgrounds and they bring unique experiences to the table. Karen is a content expert. And Pat is a masterful builder of projects that he brings together. They both bring value but in different ways. As I sat in Karens' office, surprised and taken aback, I quickly tried to summarize how I should respond to the situation.
Should I show emotion? Should I defend Pat and tell Karen how wrong I thought her opinion was? Should I ask why she was so negative and try to understand? What would you do? This scenario reminded me that tact and diplomacy in the workplace is a skill we can learn and a mindset we can adopt. Join me as we deconstruct the model that made me the most diplomatic and tactful communicator in my situation and will help you with yours.
- The tact–diplomacy model
- In the workplace: email, face to face, text, and phone
- Timing the message
- Saying no tactfully
- Delivering bad news