I had a rather unpleasant email exchange with one of my colleagues today. There were some concerns that my and my other coworkers wanted to raise with her and she didn’t take it lightly. I try to be understanding of situation (there was a lot of stress involved with regards to the project) and ‘feel’ the other person but I still feel like I often fail in passing my message and intentions the right way. I think my honesty and straightforwardness are one of my biggest straights, but they are also my weaknesses which often backfire at me. I am aware I need to work on my diplomatic and negotiation skills and but I’m not sure how can I reach the art of it to the level of House of Cards or Succession, without losing my principles, staying true to myself. I’m fascinated by people who mastered that art of ‘tactical empathy’ – as Christopher Voss calls it in his Never Split The Difference book, and I want to learn from them. When I shared this with my other friend, she noticed another important angle to it I often forget – cultural differences.
“Good for you for being self aware. I think it’s communication and culture though, not diplomacy. You know Americans give gold stars for everything, culturally. the Polish (generalizing from my Polish friends) and Europeans generally do not – we’re more direct too, except the Brits.”
That’s also true. When you ask any Pole “how are they doing” they can go deep into how are they really feeling – if they feel happy, sad, sick, tired… That honest moment, often filled with complains is what in a weird way .. bonds us. It’s part of our culture For Brits “How are you” is just a polite exchange, not an invitation to vent 🙂 Of course there are always exceptions. Anyway, I’m sharing this with you as I’d love to do something about my “big mouth”. Ha ha 🙂 If you know any good books or courses or becoming better in diplomacy – please share.
Thank you 🙂