I admit that it would be unfair to fire the people working for us without giving them the tools for professional development, so here it goes. The main skill that would vastly improve political communication is cultural agility. Culturally agile leadership is the ability to create highly functioning relationships with anyone anywhere by quickly understanding and adeptly responding to differing cultural assumptions. The recipe is simple:
1. Be curious enough to understand the assumptions and contexts that other people are working from, without imposing your own personal judgment.
2. Be self-aware about your own cultural biases.
3. Adapt your communication to be relevant to the people you want to communicate with.
This doesn’t mean everyone suddenly agrees on everything. It does, however, infuse communication with a healthy dose of rational humility. This is desperately needed to successfully run an organization that’s the size of the U.S. government.