Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

Good and Bad: Communication and Diplomacy

Posted in Bachelor in Media Studies, Prem Luitel, Blogging, My life by Shekhar on March 28, 2013

By: Shekhar KC, MDEVS

Abstract: This text[1] illustrates the two of my real-life experiences that involves the role of communication in maintaining diplomacy[2] with my senior professor.

Communication and diplomacy

Communication is to diplomacy as blood is to the human body (Jonsson & Hall, 2002). As the saying implies, it’s impossible to underestimate the decisive role of communication in maintaining relation between two or more parties and the fulfillment of their respective diplomacy. Good and bad communication directly leads to favorable or disaster consequences. Scholars acknowledge that Diplomacy still rests on the creative combination of verbal and non-verbal communication (Jonsson & Hall, 2002). In addition to that cultural understanding is very important while communicating with the partners, especially they happen to be a new one  (Slavik, 2004).

Caroline (2011) writes that diplomats don’t only talk with other diplomats but also engage wide pool of stakeholder in the relationship building process. To give example media publish news not only on the basis of the press release issue by the embassies after the diplomatic visits but also on the basis of the nonverbal traits of two parties. In other words, if diplomacy is understood in one way as the proper mechanism to building positive relationship so as to reap benefit and fulfill the objective of the interaction, then it’s crucial to communication properly.

There are various examples of good and bad communication leading to diverse nature of diplomatic consequences in the international scenario but here I would like to talk about my own student and professional life experiences to demonstrate how good or bad communication leads to good or bad incidents especially when it involves cultural perception of relationship between communicating parties.

Case 1: Good Diplomacy

Getting paid from the Boss

Global Foundation (name changed) is a non-for profit governmental organization working in research sector since 2008. I was involved in one research project for 3 month as a Research Assistant on contract basis. The research director Mr X was the PhD supervisor of Mr Y and Mr Y was my thesis supervisor. That is to say, Mr X was not only related to me as a professional colleague but a senior academician that involves some cultural obligations that includes proper greetings and humble communication from my side and more importantly no direct or harsh statement.

My objective of interaction with the organization was to get paid in time through and maintain my professional and academic relationship with the Mr X, the director of research.

My communication strategies

–          Since I can’t talk explicitly with the Research director about my payment, I had to talk to someone else who is near to hi. As the research director was far senior than me and he rarely know how important it was to for me to get paid, I had to talk to someone who can convey the message regarding how important money was for me at that particular time. So talk with Mr Y, who was my supervisor as well as the student of the research director Mr X. hence I was able to retain my image of a student with Mr Y and Mr X. Similarly I got money in time. Everyone was happy.

–          Another problem I faced was delay in my payment because I was just a student, aggressively working but not being acknowledged financially. Every staff who were senior and already established within the organization were paid but except me because I couldn’t assert my share to them as it was first time for me to claim money. I couldn’t take help of Mr Y this time because it would sound too dependable, something against my self reliance. So what I did was remain absent in home making some emergencies excuses. The impact was directly on the research project because the deadline was arriving and my portion of work was yet to be done (which I knew I could do it in 3 days and it was 17 days remaining for deadline). After 4-5 days, the research director called me and asked about my emergencies. I tactically said that I needed some money and I was busy with collecting money from some of my relative whom I have lent some months back. Through that call, he was convinced about my financial need. On the other hand, I had already done enough work to receive some 10 thousand rupees. The next day he ordered his accountant to give some amount to me. The way I was asked was also very tactical. The accountant telephoned me and said my check had already arrived some days back.

I understood this is the way payment system works in NGOs of Nepal where money matter is always diplomatic.

Hence this combination of verbal and non-verbal communication I was able to get money and there was no damage to our relationship.

Summary: Remaining diplomatic to the research direction was very important because maintaining relationship with him was as important as getting paid. Also I knew I had future opportunities to work with him and I wasn’t going to miss that at any cost. He was a renowned researcher and media personality, everyone like me would like to work with him.

 

Case 2: Bad diplomacy

Kathmandu University SWC and administration

KUSWC (Kathmandu University School Welfare Council) is a student body of Kathmandu University whose president is also a senate member of KU, so it can be considered an influential decision making body. Currently it is defunct as it was unable to convince the KU administration as the constructive body to lead student issues in proper manner. The relationship between KUSWC and KU Administration was never a good one. They communicated very badly with each other. More than that KUSWC which was relatively far weaker than KU should have dealt diplomatically so as to sustain its existence but failed to do so.

Some of the wild activities of KUSWC that convey bad communication were

–          portray its students representatives as being affiliated to some powerful mainstream parties

–          stick the press release in a very cynical manner throwing direct criticism to KU administration

–          Use handwritten instead of typed words in the press release.

–          Be loyal to Non-KU stakeholders like mainstream political parties than to KU students.

Above activities convey very bad message that pose threat to the student friendly environment. KU SWC was unable to fulfill objectives of leading KU students and extracurricular activities like sports week and Annual KU Festival. It was the loss of students and the SWC due to bad communication. It didn’t consider the cultural perception of students and other KU stakeholders if SWC tried to inject political elements inside a private university. It can be considered as an example of a bad diplomacy because cultural perception was missing there (Slavik, 2004).

Inorder to maintain the relationship, KUSWC should have

–          convinced that they were loyal to KU students

–          organize student interaction activities

–          invite KU administrative officers in different student related programs

–          exchange of good will and commitment to work for the mission and vision of KU

Summary: the weaker party has to present itself as humble and non-aggressive party, not necessarily inferior, if it is to negotiate with stronger party. The general scenario of mixing politics in education scenario is not perceived positively because the culture of politics in Nepal is not good. So, cultural elements should be considered while design communication strategies.

Conclusion

It is so obvious that diplomacy directly relates to good and bad communication but it again depends upon cultural understanding of the particular issues. Whether it is relationship building or power sharing, it is necessary for communicating parties to communicate with cultural consideration so that relationship is balanced. Otherwise everyone knows –Good communication lead to benefits while bad leads to disaster.

References

Carolin. (2011, January 11). Diplomacy Revised. Retrieved March 29, 2013, from The New Diplomacy A: http://thenewdiplomacya.blogspot.com/search/label/new%20vs%20old%20diplomacy

Jonsson, C., & Hall, M. (2002). Communication: An Essential Aspect of Diplomacy. Department of political science, Lund University. LA: 43rd Annual ISA Convention.

Slavik, H. (2004). Intercultural Communication and Diplomacy. DiploFoundation.


[1] This text was the part of the assignment submitted to Dr Mahesh Banskota for the subject ‘India and China diplomacy with Nepal’ under Masters in Development Studies

[2] The question to be answered as the part of the assignment was – “Communication is the essence of diplomacy. There has never been a good diplomat who was a bad communicator.” Stearns, (cited in Jönsson and Hall, 2005 p. 67). Give one example each of two situations of good and bad communicators and give reasons for your selection.

14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. super real said, on October 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Like we said, the operation is super simple – calculate car
    loans at most of the you complete 2 forms, you then’re associated with lenders super real this is a
    thing everyone should do at least once year to eliminate any costs that may be labelled an impulse
    buy.

  2. skin whitening forever review said, on January 13, 2014 at 12:54 am

    We stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking at
    your web page repeatedly.

  3. the venus factor scam said, on February 2, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I used to be recommended this web site by means of my cousin.

    I’m now not sure whether this put up is written via him as nobody else recognise such
    targeted about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  4. turbulence training said, on February 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you write.

    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention
    how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  5. the truth about fat burning foods said, on February 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    If you are going for best contents like I do, simply
    pay a quick visit this site daily as it offers feature contents, thanks

  6. what men secretly want said, on February 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you in the future as well.

    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own
    blog now😉

  7. cold sore free forever pdf said, on April 2, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Thank you for every other informative web site.
    The place else may just I am getting that type of info written in such
    an ideal means? I’ve a mission that I am just now
    operating on, and I have been on the glance out for such info.

  8. find out more said, on April 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  9. the venus factor diet said, on April 12, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Hi there I am so glad I found your site, I really found you
    by error, while I was researching on Askjeeve for something else,
    Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for
    a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will
    be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the
    superb work.

  10. the venus factor review by me said, on April 18, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you
    would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward
    to your new updates.

  11. pregnancy journal ideas said, on August 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you
    will be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog
    and will eventually come back very soon. I want to encourage continue your great job, have
    a nice evening!

  12. getting pregnancy fast said, on August 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Hello there, I do think your blog might be having browser compatibility problems.
    When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E.,
    it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up!

    Other than that, great website!

  13. losing weight and getting pregnant said, on August 22, 2014 at 12:56 am

    I relish, cause I found exactly what I was looking for.
    You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.
    Bye

  14. venus weight loss program said, on September 24, 2014 at 9:39 am

    This text is invaluable. Hoow сan I find out more?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: