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Thursday, April 11, 2013
Wisdom and Humility: Allies of Diplomacy

by Korinne Pina

No matter how amicable your personality, the time will come when you may need to make a special request, voice a concern or share your opinion with someone in authority.  This is a healthy and necessary part of life. But there is a right and a wrong way to do it.  Wisdom and diplomacy are imperative to professional communication.

  • Before beginning the process, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”Proverbs 16: 2 says, “All of the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.” So check your motivation; God does! 
  • Before addressing a concern, have the facts, dates and any pertinent information available so your request is structured in an orderly manner.If submitting forms, do so within the time specified to prevent an automatic denial for missing deadlines.
  • Show humility in your approach… even if you believe you are not at fault.The Bible advises in James 4:6, “God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud.”We need God’s grace more than we need to be right! If being objective proves difficult, try viewing the situation from the other person’s point of view for a change in perspective.
  • Be concise.Summarizing a scenario from beginning to end with enough information to write a novel will not make an argument more persuasive.It conveys a lack of respect for the other person’s time and may even delay the processing if it makes the situation more confusing.
  • Invest time in thinking of possible solutions and pray for God’s guidance.If you’re not set on a specific solution, contemplate the types of solutions you may be willing to agree to.Examples include mediation, a second chance, financial compensation, or changes in protocol. These are all noteworthy considerations. If a solution is offered, you will be ready to determine if it is agreeable.
  • Most importantly, speak with a respectful tone of voice.Biblical wisdom says, “A soft answer turns away wrath.”Though most people don’t usually mean to falter in this area, if not careful, tense situations can cause even the most self-controlled individual to err.Don’t sacrifice your integrity by raising your voice, using profanity, crude language, or a cynical demeanor.It’s acceptable to express the gravity of a situation.But it is never acceptable to do it in a disrespectful manner. Maintain a professional composure. Otherwise, you are only distracting the hearer from focusing on the request at hand and thwarting your chances of success.

God places an expectation of respect being shown to all.  But it becomes absolutely essential when speaking to those in authority.  May God bless us to all make wisdom and humility our allies of diplomacy!

Posted by Gregory Hartnett at 7:42 PM | Comments (0)