We hear so much about the need for diplomacy these days in everything from international relations to bi-partisan relations, but the art of diplomacy isn't just for national leaders and members of Congress. Diplomacy, the employment of tact to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, can be employed by everyday people in everyday situations to the benefit of all.
Think of the many challenges we face: Your daughter, a freshman in high school, wants to date a senior. Your five-year-old son doesn't want to share his new Play-Doh set with his cousin who is in for a holiday visit. Your coworker speaks so loudly on phone calls that you can't focus and he's tired of your dirty looks. Your Aunt Rose doesn't speak to your Aunt Mary, but is the sister of Mary's husband, Bob who rarely gets to see Rose. How are you going to please everyone with the seating plan at your wedding reception?
Situations like these pop up all the time and they can really push our buttons if we let them. The result? Anger, arguments, hurt feelings, crying and worse. So how can the art of diplomacy make a difference and what's in it for us?
Well, diplomacy is a way of handling sticky situations that leads to consensus and compromise. In other words, it is a way of finding a solution that everyone can live with which, admittedly, is often easier said than done. Happily though, diplomacy involves certain skills that, given some practice and patience,