I know a thing or two about personal diplomacy, mostly because I can be very blunt if I don’t concentrate on my language and approach.
By personal diplomacy, I mean talking to people about something difficult in a way that does not wreck your relationship with them.
Like anyone I can be careless, and to be honest, I’m not always great at putting my knowledge into action. I could blame this a bit on my Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, but I hate it when other people do that. Really, it is just the way I am.
After a chat with one of my brothers the other day, I realized how little many people understand about the language (Or lack of language in some cases) they use. When approaching someone about something you think they should change or think about, it pays to use a bit of honey to open them up to your point of view.
Again, I’m not usually good at this. I don’t have any particular qualifications. I do know, however, that I react badly when I feel like I’m being accused, or criticized for something I did not think was a problem.
This issue readily arose in my writing groups both past and present when people either wanted more information or told me I was conveying the wrong information. They all may be right. Some of them were definitely better at conveying this in a way that encourages me to be perceptive than the reverse.
It’s useful on every level, from interpersonal to professional to international. Obviously, there are differences in technique as the scale and stakes change. However, I think starting from a place of generosity has real benefits at least on the smaller scales of interaction.
Anyway, I wish I could be more specific about the reason this is on my mind, but I’d rather keep my friends’ information private. Anyway, I hope this post can at least serve as a reminder to think about adding a bit of kindness to your interactions, especially the tense ones.
Thanks for reading.