What You Need to Know About ‘Ceiling Diplomacy’

Navigating office politics is hard enough. But finding words to express the frustrations you feel about office politic can be even more challenging. The below terms, definitions and usage will help you communicate these frustrations more effectively.

  • Ceiling diplomacy (noun) – Undertaking the act of pretending you are unaware of something that you are very much aware of. (i.e., an outburst by a colleague or an exchange of inappropriate words between two teammates).

EXAMPLE: Since I undertook ceiling diplomacy, Jeff and Ted assumed I was unaware of tensions between them.

  • Bathroom zip (noun) – The act of quality giving yourself a pep talk before a really important business meeting

EXAMPLE: Joe felt comfortable that his bathroom zip for the job interview was private until he heard a toilet flush then saw the head of the interview panel walk out of the stall.

  • Story court (noun) – An attempt to woo a hostile, or otherwise skeptical audience by telling a moving, personal story.

EXAMPLE: Seeing that the budget negotiations were hopelessly stalled, Heidi surprised and delighted team members with a cleverly crafted story court.

  • Adios sleuth (noun) – A co-worker who slips into office celebrations (i.e., retirements, birthday celebrations ) for the food, then quickly slips out

EXAMPLE: Though Joe was retiring after 40 years of government service, several adios sleuths showed up for Godiva chocolates only to depart 30 seconds later.

  • Anonymous incognito (adjective) – Describes a person who seems to otherwise be in good health, but for some strange reason doesn’t return your phone calls or respond to your emails.

EXAMPLE: After a week of being anonymous incognito Eduardo apologized for the delayed in returning my calls: He had been slammed at work because his branch chief was on leave.

All opinions are my own and not those of my agency or the federal government as a whole. Follow me on Twitter: @JayKrasnow

Jay Krasnow is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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