“Emotions Revealed” by Paul Ekman

If you ever wanted to know if someone was being dishonest, or trying to deceive you with a friendly smile, putting emotions under the microscope and understanding where these emotions come from can be a critical bargaining tool at the diplomat’s arsenal. To help us recognise emotions and how to connect more effectively with others, we recommend the book “Emotions Revealed: Recognising faces and feelings to improve communication and emotional life” by Paul Ekman.

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“I'm OK, You're OK” by Thomas A. Harris

As part of your diplomacy training, it is important for you to see how your past links with how you think in your day-to-day life so that you can make decisions that are not filtered by your past experiences. To help you get to grips with this psychological understanding of yourself, we recommend the book “I’m OK, You’re OK” by Thomas A. Harris, in support of Chapter 3 - “Enhancing Emotional Intelligence” of the Diplomatic Planner.

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“The Power Paradox” by Dacher Keltner

There is no doubt that many think of diplomats as power possessors. Diplomats have an opportunity to grow investments for their country and influence foreign policy based on their assessments and analyses. Head of Missions are given great titles and are referred to as “Your Excellency” in formal occassions. But what is the meaning of power? How can diplomats use power to gain and lose influence?

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“The Discomfort Zone” by Marcia Reynolds

Diplomats are respected and sought-after interlocutors, negotiators, translators and bridge buildings for their country. As an official representative of broad business and investment relationship, it is the job of a diplomat to grease the clogs and keep two countries in good stead with one another. But diplomats are often put in positions of difficulty when there are disagreements and conflict of interest. How do you better handle discomfort when avoidance is not an option? How do you keep the conversation going when the subject is clearly embarrassing or painful? How do you create safe zones when the person you are speaking with clearly does not trust you or value your leadership position? 

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“Humble Inquiry" by Edgar H. Schein

When we think about diplomacy in layman’s term, we think about communication and the art of politeness. To be ‘diplomatic’ means having the skills to deal with people in a sensitive and tactful way so as to not offend or reproach. Therefore, how we use language also must be used diplomatically to ensure that our tone, intonation, emphasis and more importantly, our meaning does not misconstrued or cause unintentional upset.

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“Backstabbing for Beginners” by Michael Soussan

Michael Soussan worked at the United Nations, who blew the whistle about his experience working in the Food for Oil Programme. His account is damning to the systematic corruption of international relations, and that is why we highly recommend you read “Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy” by Michael Soussan, for the purposes of Chapter 2 of the Diplomatic Planner,

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Managing Difficult Relationships During Brexit

Dealing with difficult people is something widespread in the field of international relations and diplomacy. Yet, managing contemporary challenges requires a good mix of people with various abilities, personalities, and temperament. One of the most complex negotiations to date is the case of Brexit, where the British government and the European Union are forced to settle on a deal as a result of Britain’s decision to leave its EU membership.

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Your Privilege Is Showing

Whether we acknowledge it or not, race, sex, gender, class, and privilege are all part of our daily lives no matter who we are, what we look like, or where we’re from. But too often we don't talk about these issues for fear of saying the wrong thing, or that the conversations will be difficult, bitter, and even painful. Does it have to be that way? Artist and activist Lillian Medville has designed a surprising—and surprisingly effective—alternative.

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How do you define yourself?

In a time when beauty is defined by supermodels, success is defined by wealth, and fame is deified by how many followers you have on social media, Lizzie Velasquez asks the question how do you define yourself? Once labeled, "The Worlds Ugliest Woman," Lizzie decided to turn things around and create her own definitions of what she defines as beauty and happiness.

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What makes you special?

NBC News journalist Mariana Atencio has traveled the world from Haiti to Hong Kong. In her TEDx talk, Mariana tells us how the people she's met along the way and her own immigrant experience have taught her that the only thing we all have in common is being human. Get ready to 'get human' and embrace what makes you different! Take a stand to defend your race: the human race!

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