Be more diplomatic, with YouTube

Follow ex-President Clinton's diplomatic example in the office, with South Park, Fawlty Towers and Extras.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

This week ex-President Bill Clinton reminded us of the power of diplomacy, when he persuaded the North Koreans to free two of our journalistic brethren (albeit journalists who are much braver than us). In the modern workplace, you'll often find yourself working alongside people from a huge range of different cultures and backgrounds. Here are three ways to be a more sensitive manager.

Give everyone a fair hearing
A good boss will judge every case on its own merits, and allow people the opportunity to state their case. Unlike this scene from South Park, where the Canadian ambassadors' attempts to defend their country against US threats fall on deaf ears - because the rest of the UN are too busy laughing at their accents (warning: some fruity language)

Don't over-compensate
Trying to avoid offence is obviously recommended, but be careful not to go too far in the other direction. Sometimes obsessing about not saying something is more likely to make you say it. In this clip from Fawlty Towers, Basil's apparent determination not to insult the Germans has precisely the opposite effect.

Talk openly about any issues
If there are issues simmering away in the background, getting them out in the open is often the best way to break down barriers and challenge prejudices. In this scene from Extras, Andy tests a fellow extra to see whether she's a racist. And proves - well, absolutely nothing.


In today's bulletin:

RBS gloomy despite being back in the black
Are women directors bad for a company's bottom line?
Editor's blog: Murdoch declares end to online free-for-all
Bribe migrants to stay, says think-tank
Be more diplomatic, with YouTube

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