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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Second Reflection Paper of The Friday Morning Prayer: What It Takes To Be a Good Diplomat Part 2

We have come to the second month of the course of Diploma in Diplomacy 2016. For the second session of the Friday Morning Prayer which took place on 1 April 2016, we had our opportunity to listen from Tuan Syed Bakri Syed Abd Rahman , Deputy Director of the Centre for Political Studies and Economic Diplomacy. With various experiences in almost every departments & division, Tuan Syed Bakri really shared his own unique experiences while been serving the ministry since 1994.
Tuan Syed did mentioned that he has gained most of the experiences & learnt many lessons from many bosses which he thinks each & everyone has their own unique approaches that we can utilize them for our upbringing to the mission. When Tuan Syed Bakri required us to introduce ourselves for a short ice breaking session, again I felt a bit of nervousness as usual. The turn had come to mine & I introduced myself like any others but I never forget to tell that I was previously been working in the home sectors. Upon knowing that I actually being transferred from home sector, Tuan Syed Bakri later then asked me of how did I got to be transferred to Wisma Putra. He said that the rest of my friends including me who are so fortunate to be able to serve under the ministry is lucky as there are others who wished to serve here but didn’t get the opportunity.
When talking about being diplomat, Tuan Syed Bakri also emphasized on the readiness to be serve at mission. How actually we are the one who makes the posting interesting .the importance thing is to accept and embrace the task and responsibility with open heart. Being always ready on any circumstances is also the key for us to work and serve at the best. One of the matter that I am agree the most is how Tuan Syed Bakri reminds us about the skills of writing the report or brief when we are required to. It has to be accurate & precise. But being able to master the English is also important and by using mediums like reading material, printed media, the news broadcast such as CNN and also any other social networks is also among many other ways to improve the reading and writing skills in polishing our language usage while producing the best quality briefing and reports. 
Among other things that has been shared are also how Tuan Syed Bakri mentioned the attitude of being the officer when at mission which are always do the simple thing at the best, having courtesy on the way we treat other colleagues regardless of their post and grade. Nevertheless the boss is always the main priority to serve and work with. What attract me the most is when Tuan Syed Bakri talked about the goodness of bringing down the ego and be more human when we are to be expected to serve for the country and dealing with many kinds of people’s behavior.
Personally I am so grateful for being able to be among these elite officers. Before the session ended, I looked at each faces of every people in the room & I thought maybe I meant to be here. With their concerns and kindness on accepting me, I believe it is no more mission impossible!

7 April 2016

The first Reflection Paper of Friday Morning Prayer : What It Takes To Be a Good Diplomat.

The first Friday Morning Prayer (FMP) for this year session of Diploma in Diplomacy was held on 11 March 2016. It was held in the meeting room next to the Director General’s room, YBhg. Dato’ Salman bin Ahmad. The session will be one of the weekly program throughout the period of the 6 months while the participants are completing the training course.
Being called for the first FMP session was actually got me nervous. This is because that was my very first time meeting YBhg Dato’ Salman bin Ahmad a little closer. I realized that we would have our chances or I would rather say was my courage to even talk to YBhg. Dato’ Salman bin Ahmad personally. I took my seat a little further and sat calmly while waited for the arrival of the director general. After few minutes waited , YBhg Dato’ Salman bin Ahmad arrived and greeted everyone in the room. The emcee took position & all of the participants introduced themselves. One by one until my turn & I acted steadily introducing myself. Not only introducing ourselves we were also being asked on our expectation on what we are hoping to be after completing the 6 months training. My answer was always to equip myself with all the skills and knowledge especially in being accurate and precise in analysing the situation relevant and later how to produce the best report that fits all the requirement when it is needed.
After we introduced ourselves , YBhg Dato’ Salman bin Ahmad welcomed us & initiated the opening remarks. Dato’ had mentioned on how lucky we are of being selected for the course.  However according to Dato’ the 6 months is actually never enough in learning the whole skills & knowledge in preparing ourselves  to be the best diplomats. He stressed that the actual and the best learning process is always being in the real situation and it goes continuously. People will always look up for us to fit in the expectation of the best diplomat simply because it’s what we are meant to be when we are joining the service.
The first tips that Dato’ shared was how to present ourselves. This may be a little thing but actually plays a big role. In this aspect, Dato’ meant that the importance of being presentable is always a big advantage. A diplomat must know how to carry themselves as well as being flexible and adaptable when we are socialising in such event related to the embassy or even ministry. Being smart by not only in dressing properly and neat as well as being presentable but also preparing ourselves with knowledge especially information about Malaysia and current issues. This is becoming more crucial nowadays. Reacting accordingly to variety behavior of many people is also a good skill. The level of people’s reaction is variety, so as a diplomat, being aware on every people interest is an advantage in presenting ourselves at the very best.
The next tips by Dato’ was the essential of writing a good report. Indeed this is what I need the most. He stressed that by writing the notes immediately will make the good report as we still have the information updated and recent. This also will gives us the ample time upon checking all the information and structure as well as to verify it with the superior before the submission. Upon sharing about the posting, Dato’ shared that every officer must always be ready to be posted abroad. Upon receiving the posting order, officers are expected to be open minded & to embrace the task for the sake of to serve the nation. The best way to accept the call of the posting order with open heart is to enjoy the place that you get for posting and try to make friend with the local as many as we can.
Dato’ also has shared on how important it is to always answer or making a statement cautiously. He emphasized on the needs to answer all query or questions from any other party with relevant and visible information and to check with the superior before releasing any statement regards. This is to avoid mistakes and misunderstanding which may cause a serious implication on the diplomatic relation. However, being one step ahead from your boss is a bonus as we will always need to provide all information which can complete the bosses’ assignments or requirement in time.
While serving in mission, Dato’ also said that it is important to work as a team which I think this is true. I am somehow agreed because when we are working abroad, the staff of the mission will be closer and everyone will need each other in surviving the odd of being in the strange place. This reminds me then of how important is the family. No matter what we are doing, where we are going and what is our life’s purpose eventually family is everything. For me this is the ultimate reason of why we can serve the nation in the best way. Both types of family which are the blood related family as well as the work related family is playing a big role in making ourselves performing our best.

In conclusion, YBhg Dato’ Salman bin Ahmad has enlightened everyone and inspired me personally in his sharing on the preparation of being a good diplomat. As I realized that I am the still new in this profession, I somehow promising myself that I will take the extra effort with the helps and guidance of an important person who had been through almost everything in this noble profession like YBhg. Dato’ Salman bin Ahmad bin Ahmad.