Cultural intelligence

Diplomacy and sensitivity

Diplomats were born when ancient travellers -- such as Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama and Francis Drake - travelled to other continents without any accurate understanding of their route, neither the manner in which they would be received by the people they would meet in foreign countries. These diplomats played a key role in connecting different countries, to foster relations between the different people and their values with their main goal of opening trade between their countries through dialogue and good relations.


The beginnings of diplomacy was people bartering and exchanging discussion and viewpoints, the success of these activities was in all likelihood dependent upon the diplomat’s ability to respect different cultures, customs and values and then knowing how to skilfully achieve their trade objectives through diplomatic means. Moreover, these diplomatic skills -- which are as important and necessary today -- could not be offensive, meaning that a good diplomat throughout the ages still understands the art and importance of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way.


Similarly today, being a true diplomat in an organisation, whether in a business for profit or any other non-profit or governmental environment, requires that the person uphold various values, has specific communication skills with networking experience amongst others. Expectedly, in a modern and highly complex globalised economy, the art of diplomacy has become quite critical in order that trust and credibility be established with the aim of transacting at multiple levels, be this internally in the organisation, locally and or internationally. Needless to say, diplomacy includes the art of negotiation as a means of building consensus, concluding agreements or resolving disputes. The key principles which capture the essential, intrinsic nature of diplomacy are generally agreed to be the prevention of conflict, ethical conduct and cultural sensitivity.


'Diplomacy and sensitivity' is submitted by CGF Research Institute (Pty) Ltd

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