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  • Turn Yourself Into An Office Diplomat

    Most leaders exemplify these traits. Poise, transparency, and tact will help any job seeker. Gain a serious edge in this difficult job market.


    Small gestures of courtesy and respect toward your reports can catapult your career upward

    At a formal brainstorming session I once attended, the team leader started by pointing emphatically to a sentence on the whiteboard: “The word ‘no’ is not allowed.” That simple rule helped to explain why innovation thrived at the company and also demonstrated the leader’s tactful and motivational style. By being open, listening to others with respect, and seeing the value in what they had to say—vs. shooting down ideas—she fashioned herself into a great leader and a true office diplomat.

    We’ve all observed managers with a knack for making people feel included, gently persuading others to cooperate, and generally inspiring others. Today’s most sought-after leaders never stopped displaying these qualities during the recession. Poise, transparency, and tact will also help any job seeker. Are you up for the challenge? Here are some suggestions.

    Keep an office diplomacy reminder. Place in plain sight something that makes you think kindly of your workers: perhaps a photo of you and your team at a company picnic. Or simply slap a sticky note that says “tact” on your desk or create an empty folder on your computer’s desktop and name it “Be Genuine”—whatever it takes to keep you mindful of the importance of interpersonal intelligence.

    Don’t focus on being right; focus on being receptive. Embrace differing opinions. Teachers often say they learn the most from their students. If you adopt this approach, you’ll likely expand your knowledge base, and people will in turn respect what you have to say.


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