Diplomacy 101

Respect confidences given freely.

Some of my biggest life lessons happened early particularly in regard to being diplomatic.  These lessons have always helped me especially in corporate roles. I originally shared this via Facebook and am sharing here with you just in case you missed it.

What lessons did you learn early and still apply today?

What happened?

When I was young (less than 10 I think), Mum told me how she had to give up studying at high-school at the end of Year 10 and shift to secretarial studies because she was a girl. Her brother was allowed to finish and become an engineer. I remember being MAD! Really MAD!

Shortly after, I remember walking beside my Poppa (Mum’s Dad). We were walking next to Frankston Tafe, opposite the train station. I remember it being a hot summers day. I seem to remember holding my Poppa’s hand, peering up with the sun in my eyes and saying ‘Poppa, why didn’t you let Mummy finish high-school?’

Afterwards (not sure how long afterwards), I remember Mum telling me never to repeat anything she told me to Poppa or too anyone else again. Mum was MAD, really MAD!

How did I feel?

Ashamed that I had embrassed my Mum and caused trouble.

Outraged that the issue was me speaking up, not the issue I perceived to be the ‘real issue’.

Taken aback, I thought I was helping.

What did I learn?

Don’t raise an objection on someone else’s behalf unless you have their permission.

Understand what is confidential and personal vs public knowledge.
Respect confidences given freely.

Epilogue : my Mum went back to school while I was in high school and completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Feminism studies and returned to the paid workforce until retirement.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

What lessons did you learn early and still apply today?


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