Having the skills to lead and effectively communicate in the work environment is a central tenant to business success. People who have the wisdom to think before acting and communicate diplomatically instead of off the cuff will reap the rewards of their patience.
If you are reading this, you’re probably asking yourself which category you fall into. Do you have the skills to lead?
Take our quiz below to find out:
Diplomatic Communication Quiz for Skills to Lead
A colleague of yours, in a fun way, gives your boss the impression that you spend too much time on personal business.
- You say nothing to your colleague.
- You tell your colleague that you know he was only kidding, but you would appreciate it if he would not do this again.
- You make a point to tell the boss that this colleague left early on Tuesday to play golf.
2. A customer tells you how disappointed she is that you did not return the message she left with your assistant. You realize you never got the message.
- You apologize to the customer and say nothing to your assistant.
- You let your assistant save face by telling him you spoke to the client. You understand how the message might have fallen through the cracks, given how busy he is.
- You tell your assistant that this is unacceptable and it better not happen again
3. Your manager/supervisor/boss gives you a less than average review that surprises you.
- You go home and vent to family and friends.
- You calmly discuss the review and ask for clarification. You come up with an action plan and incremental review times, so you are not caught off-guard again.
- You storm out of the office and tell your colleague how unfair your boss is.
4. One of your team members comes to work inappropriately dressed.
- You don’t say anything except behind his back.
- You hold a private conversation with this person and explain the office dress policy for the future, assuring him that you know he did not intend to make a bad impression.
- You tell this person, in front of everyone, that his appearance is unacceptable.
5. You are berated in a meeting for being late. The reason you are late is that your carpool ride did not show up on time.
- You take the blame.
- You apologize for the disruption, briefly explain the carpool situation, and commit to re-evaluating whether this is a good idea, particularly on days of important meetings.
- You insist this is not your fault and explain that you are just trying to save gas.
6. Your department of 10 people decide to order pizza for lunch, and you give the person getting it more than enough money. He does not give you any change.
- You assume it was very expensive pizza, and there was no change or he thought you were treating.
- You ask if he had enough money and if there was any change.
- You accuse this person of trying to rip you off,
7. The company has announced that bonuses will be given out today, and later that day that a colleague asks you how much yours was.
- You tell her even though you know you should not.
- You tell her you are uncomfortable sharing this because it is supposed to be kept confidential.
- You tell her that asking this question is very unprofessional.
8. You catch a typographical error on a letter that your assistant has prepared for you.
- You ignore it—it’s just a little one, and the customer probably won’t notice.
- You bring the mistake to your assistant’s attention and ask her to redo it.
- You tell the assistant that there is no excuse for these types of mistakes.
9. A vital member of your team has called in sick on the last day of the week for the past three weeks.
- You don’t say anything and continue to cover for him.
- You hold a private meeting with him, show concern for his pattern, and ask for input on a solution.
- You tell him that this looks very suspicious, and he better not do it again.
10. A person in your office tells an inappropriate joke in the lunchroom
- You walk away.
- You pull this person aside and tell her that you know she didn’t mean to offend anyone, but she should be more sensitive and professional in such a diverse environment.
- You tell this person, in front of everyone, that this was completely inappropriate.
What Your Score Means About Your Communication Style
After you’ve finished taking the quiz, add up the numbers that coincide with your answers to each question. Here’s what it means about your communication style:
If your sum is below 15, it means that you have a very timid communication style. While this may be good for avoiding confrontation, being too passive can also lead to new problems in the workplace.
Having a score that is over 22 likely correlates with an aggressive communication style. While you may enjoy being straight to the point with your reactions, it may not be the most diplomatic way to get your ideas across to your team.
Between 15 and 22
This can be considered the “sweet spot” when it comes to communication style. Having a score between 15 and 22 means that you are assertive, but don’t take things too far either. Great leaders understand when to put their foot on the gas pedal and when to slow down.
Learn More About Dale Carnegie Communication Workshops
Are you interested in learning how to communicate with diplomacy and tact? This latest Dale Carnegie program will help you influence outcomes and create cooperation through diplomatic and tactful communication. You’ll realize that standing up for yourself when done effectively, doesn’t offend others; rather, it strengthens your relationships and enables positive results through effective communication. If you are interested in learning more about communication training, Dale Carnegie can help.