How to Deal with People More Effectively

Learn what it means to be diplomatic.

Lisa B. Marshall
4-minute read

Diplomacy Rule #2: Be Appreciative

No one likes their work or their ideas to be rejected. However, sincere appreciation is always welcome and wanted. I’m not suggesting false flattery, only honest appreciation for a job well done. Appreciating someone is as simple as saying thanks.

Appreciation should be frequent. It should also be both public and private. I had a boss once, actually, he was my boss’s boss (Fred was his name). I considered (and still consider) Fred to be the king of appreciation. He would regularly send sincere, short, “way-to-go” emails expressing his appreciation for extra effort. He would be sure to include all the right people on the email. Those emails only cost him a minute of his time, but they had a major effect; consistent, frequent public and private appreciation is very powerful. He fueled my confidence, he gained my deepest respect, and his words motivated me to work even harder.

Everyone loved Fred. So if he asked someone to do something extra, do you think anyone ever said no? Or if he offered alternative solutions to challenges, do you think it was ever viewed as criticism? The bottom line is this, appreciation isn’t hard to give and it can go a long way toward helping you work effectively with people.

Remember rule 2 of diplomacy, be appreciative. 

Diplomacy Rule # 3: See the Other Person’s Point Of View

Henry Ford said, "If there's any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own." Interestingly my Dad preached his own version of this idea to me for many, many years. He’d say, “Everyone is entitled to their own misguided opinion.” His point was that he that every person has a unique point of view and that it’s important to try to figure out WHY they say what they say.

It turns out that if you are able to put yourself in the shoes of the other person, it will help you to gain perspective. You’ll understand the entire picture just a little better. It will also help you to show genuine concern, which will make the other person feel like you are making an effort to listen and understand their position. Sometimes that’s what other people need—they just need to feel they have been heard.

So rule number three of diplomacy: try to see it from the other person’s perspective.

How Can You Put These Tips to Work?

When I was first introduced to these concepts, although I understood them, I wasn’t exactly sure how to implement them on a practical level. How do you do this at work? How exactly do avoid criticism? How do you show appreciation? And finally, how do you see another’s person’s point of view? In part two of my discussion of diplomacy, I’ll share some practical tips to help you implement today’s three fundamental rules of diplomacy. In the meantime, I’ve included a link to book summary that I found of the classic best seller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Our intern, Emily, over at MarshallWolfe.com found an interesting blog post on Think Simple Now with some tips on how to deal with difficult people.

This is The Public Speaker, Lisa B. Marshall. Passionate about communication, your success is my business.

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The Public Speaker’s Guide To Ace Your Interview: 6 Steps To Get The Job You Want
Book Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People
Interesting blog post from Think Simple Now about Dealing with difficult people

Businesswomen image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.