Gartner Research

A CIO’s Guide to Dealing With Political Attacks Through Verbal Diplomacy

Published: 07 August 2019

ID: G00390090

Analyst(s): Cathleen Blanton , Tina Nunno


CIOs frequently find themselves on the receiving end of political attacks from stakeholders who may perceive them as service providers and easy targets. CIOs can become proficient at defending against verbal attacks and change enterprise perceptions by becoming verbal diplomats.

Table Of Contents


  • Master the Three Wave Patterns of Political Attacks
  • Learn to Identify the Signs of a Potential Political Attack
    • Initiate
  • Focus on the Desired Final Outcomes
  • Wave 1: De-escalate
    • Avoid: Escalation Triggers
    • Ask: Open-Ended Initiation Questions
    • Engage: Time and Place
    • Calm: Self and Others
  • Wave 2: Synchronize
    • Empathize
    • Agree
    • Redirect
    • Align
  • Wave 3: Neutralize
  • Optimize

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