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.