They say that diplomacy is a gentle art. That its finest practitioners are subtle, sophisticated individuals for whom nuance and subtext are meat and drink. And that mastering it is a lifetime¿s work. But you do need a certain inclination in that direction. It¿s not something you can just pick up on the job.
Which is a shame if you find yourself dropped unaccountably into a position of some significant diplomatic responsibility. If you don¿t really do diplomacy or haven¿t been to school with the right foreign bigwigs or aren¿t even sure whether a nod is as good as a wink to anyone, sighted or otherwise, then things are likely to go wrong. It¿s just a question of how badly¿