Being diplomatic

Sometimes people with a diplomatic approach are considered to be pleasers and pushovers, yet that does not have to be the case. Keeping it calm in certain situations, especially in a working environment, may help avoid pointless escalation and aggravating conflict interaction either with a third party side or between two or more of your own employees or colleagues.

If you are present while some emotionally-charged discussion is being led, you can try to calm things down with a non confrontational and decisive language. In case this doesn’t help, you can always ask the present sides to stop the debate or call for a break until everyone cools off. Once they are a bit calmed down, you can jump in and try to regain the control over the situation.


You should never show any physical signs of nervousness. So while talking, keep your body and your muscles relaxed. Avoid exaggerated hand talking or pointing finger at anyone. Avoid any nervous eyebrow movements or any facial expressions. Look at the other party and focus on the facts. If the other party shows any signs of insecurity or frustration, ask them to take a step back and to think for a while. You can apply the same rule for yourself. If you find yourself in some situation that may lead you to bursting into anger, try to take a step back and think for a couple of seconds, eventually assuming a diplomatic approach. Take a breath for a couple of times and with a calm voice say what you have to say.

Try not to allow others to interrupt you. If they do, ask them politely to let you finish what you were saying and once you are done, remind them or let them say what they had in mind. By doing so, you will show the other party some respect while showing some personal integrity. Remember to keep your voice calm during this process and instead of saying something like “Do not interrupt me”, you can always say something like “Please, let me finish first what I was saying”.

Do not laugh and avoid smiling when you see that the other side is upset about something. Laughing may be a sign of disrespect and may cause them to become even more anxious. Again, with a calm non-confrontational voice state your facts and ask them to take this into consideration. Give them a couple of moments to calm down before providing you with an answer.

Always stand up for yourself and do not let anyone think that you are a pushover. Although you may sometimes appear indulging due to your diplomatic approach to emerged problems or issues, do not be afraid to be firm with your point of view and do not back down. Again, try avoiding some confrontational language and instead of saying “No, we will not do these things that way”, you can say something like “I believe that we should do things the way I described”. Try to use some positive words to say that you disagree with the other side.

While being diplomatic in certain situations may seem hard, especially if you are somehow personally affected, keeping things calm may be of a greater benefit and may produce better results in the long run, especially at the working place. Problems and issues come and go, but remember that you have to continue working with the same people tomorrow and the day after. So choosing the diplomatic way of handling things may be the smartest choice you will make.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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