The protocol can be successfully applied to modern-day diplomacy because it determines and stipulates norms and procedures important for the profession. The protocol is used by a diplomat as a basis for determining what decision to make. These rules are a fundamental orientation toward life, what a diplomat sees as right and wrong, and his/her obligations towards others. The protocol is also closely connected with ethical responsibilities which means how its decisions and actions show concern for what the community considers fair and just. The main discipline policies proposed by Protocol include improved atmosphere, a personal example, strict code of ethics, dress code, and cultural values.
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The protocol can be seen as a way of diplomatic life because the qualities of conduct performed by diplomats depend as much on the durable values of their cultures as they once depended on the values of other people they deal with. To some extent, to improve behavior patterns and everyday conduct, the example should be based on the ‘act’. This challenge is especially difficult because standards for what constitutes right or wrong are not clearly defined where clear-cut right-or-wrong answers may not always exist. To make the correct choices, a diplomat simply has to understand what his duties are and what correct rules exist which regulate those duties. When a diplomat follows his responsibilities, he is behaving morally. When she fails to follow his duty, he is immoral. It has also been acknowledged that diplomats have important obligations to a variety of other people, and this is reflected in Protocol (Watson, p. 35). A successful diplomat is a person who respects human rights and creates an atmosphere of mutual respect and compassion. The protocol can be seen as an agreement between professionals. The main problem is that culture and traditions include both conscious and unconscious values, ideas, attitudes, and symbols that shape the behavior of people. Because of differences in traditions, customs, religions, and related cultural features of a society, extreme care should be taken in selecting gestures and behavior that can convey the intended message and offend the sensibilities of other people.
From my own experience, I know that protocol allows diplomats to avoid unpleasant situations and embarrassment that can be interpreted as ill manners and ill-breeding. The protocol is very important because it stipulates how to deal with different people from different countries and cultures. For instance, handshaking is the usual form of greeting for Chinese businessmen, but in contrast to European and American traditions, they prefer to shake hands very lightly. The protocol stipulates that a man cannot shake the woman’s hands if she did not start it. Protocol ‘teaches’ how to wear official clothes and how clothes wearing depend on the occasion. Because of differences in traditions, customs, religions, and related cultural features of a society, extreme care should be taken in selecting gestures that can convey the intended message and offend the sensibilities of other people. Of concern to diplomats are the influences of the religious, family, educational, and social systems of the society. Often these are manifested in the values, attitudes, and motivations of people and can affect customs such as personal manners, colors, pride, and status. The protocol is a guide to proper and culturally neutral behavior which helps to interact with other people and support the right behavior patterns during negotiations or special occasions.
Watson, A. Diplomacy: The Dialogue between States. Routledge, 1991.