Diplomatic People: 5 Common Traits
Oftentimes we think that being too impulsive or “telling it like it is” is negative. We think it makes us look disrespectful. But nothing could be further from the truth. Sincerity isn’t necessarily at odds with manners. It’s more about knowing how to transmit messages clearly and kindly, but assertively nonetheless. That’s what diplomatic people do.
Diplomatic people also tend to have a certain set of skills. These skills allow them to perform their jobs better and have healthier relationships. As you already know, skills can be practiced and trained! So if you want to develop these gifts, read on and take note.
The basic taxonomy of diplomatic people
In order to understand how diplomatic people work, we’re using as a reference personality traits that tend to be found in professionals who work in the field of diplomacy. For example, ambassadors. We’re going to describe, according to the Big Five model by Costa and McRae, common traits of a diplomatic personality.
Openness to experience
Someone who has been assigned to a foreign country and will serve as a mediator must be curious and open. They have to be willing to understand. To adapt to new surroundings, the world around them: the people, the culture, and their traditions. This goes hand-in-hand with things like tolerance and respect.
This open mentality is the foundation the rest of their abilities are built upon. It means knowing how to listen to opinions contrary to their own. Even more importantly, to know how to use these opinions in their own favor.
Taking into account the complaints, requests, and discomfort of others can make you a better person. It not only improves your relationships with clients or employees, but also your relationship with yourself. It helps you be more self-critical and understand how others are and think. So, don’t be closed-minded.
Costa and McRae define this trait as the opposite of being neurotic. For diplomatic people, their level of neuroticism has to be low or negligible. Let’s say there’s an institutional crisis. Imagine if the people in charge of solving it were easily overwhelmed by their emotions.
A task as delicate as mediation would be true chaos in the hands of someone so unpredictable. It’s advisable for a diplomat to have a calm temperament. Furthermore, this type of attitude is especially valuable in stressful situations and important decisions.
Staying calm in your everyday life enhances your analytical and strategic abilities. Being able to stay calm in situations of great pressure or responsibility makes a big difference. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be angry or frustrated in certain situations. But the key is that diplomatic people know how to keep their emotions in check.
Obviously, diplomatic people must possess a very powerful sense of duty. In order to see good results, it’s necessary to have self-discipline and order. However, this should not turn into rigidity or hard-hardheadedness. To be a good negotiator, many times we have to allow a lot of wiggle room.
The more conscientious and loyal you are, the greater your credibility and reliability will be. Think about your family members. Who would you assign a very important job to? Someone who has shown themselves to be responsible in their day-to-day lives or someone who isn’t very dependable?
In this profession, cordiality and treating others well is a basic personality trait. And not only because of the empathy and cooperation required in an intercultural environment, but also because of how essential contacts are for a diplomat.
Keeping everyone around them happy and feeling valued and understood is a crucial part of their job. A kind and friendly person tends to have a solid social circle based on trust and respect.
It’s one of the key character traits in any individual who wants to be a diplomat. That said, it’s not just about getting others to like you. It’s not about being false or always saying what the other person wants to hear.
It’s about attempting to be coherent between your thoughts/values and behaviors. That is, without harming the people around you who have differing opinions. In other words, you must be capable of making observations without harming sensibilities.
Extroversion or being outgoing
Although extroversion and being open to experience are similar, they cannot be considered the same thing. Extroversion refers more to the tendency one has to want to interact with others. In the case of a diplomat, this trait is crucial.
Someone with a diplomat’s responsibility must be assertive, talkative, sociable and energetic. They must have communicative talents and feel comfortable exchanging opinions with others. Many of their tasks will be harder if they are quiet or timid. The effort will end up wearing them down.
Therefore, diplomatic people must have a communicative, extroverted personality. They are charismatic, willing to get to know the world, emotionally stable, kind and very responsible. What about you? Do you fit this profile or know someone who does?