Communication Mistakes Cause Problems In International Diplomacy

In Mexico on vacation this week I’m reading a biography of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush (the 41st President).SkipInIslaHolbox022016

(I know I shouldn’t be working while away but, working in this environment is relaxing, inspiring and creative, so you benefit, too)

I was amazed to learn of an misunderstanding between Bush and Israel Prime Minister Yitzak Shamir in 1989 due to President Bush committing one of my communication sins.

Here’s the excerpt from Jon Meacham’s book, Destiny & Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush:

“…when Yitzak Shamir had come to the United States, Bush urged Israel to stop building settlements in the occupied territories, hoping that such concessions might improve relations with the Palestinians…Shamir gestured dismissively and said ‘no problem.’

From that Bush assumed that meant Shamir would not cause any problems with additional settlement activity and they would stop any further development.

In reality, “Shamir thought he was telling the president that the settlements should not cause any problems and that the debate was ‘much ado about nothing.’ Shamir thus continued authorizing the settlements.”

Thus, “Bush thought the Israeli leader had broken his word.”

And, thus trust was broken between two great and close allies.

It happens like this every day in the workplace.

You see…

A lack of specificity, leads to

A lack of clarity, which leads to

A lack of credibility, which leads to

A lack of trust.

It’s Communication Sin #1, A Lack of Specificity.

It can even happen between heads of state at the highest levels of international diplomacy.

It is definitely happening in your workplace.

Its costs are significant.

Where in the last week has a lack of specificity caused misunderstandings, which hurt productivity and caused you greater levels of stress?

Which, may be leading to an erosion of credibility and trust in your workplace?

That’s why I’ve created this new 4-part video training series on workplace and leadership communication.

It’s totally free and can help you avoid communication mistakes like our former president experienced.

To learn more and register for free – go to

’til next time Communicate With Power!

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One thought on “Communication Mistakes Cause Problems In International Diplomacy

  1. A. K. M. Suzaur Rahman says:

    Well, simple you should expand your short book on “31 common communication problems and solution” to a complete book of say around 60 – 70 page so that that can be regarded as must read for MBA program or leadership course everywhere on earth.

    Best wishes for vacation

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