The Making of a Good Diplomat

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Unlike other departments, the Diplomatic Corps doesn't use any specific tools, (beyond means of communication). There are, however, two important devices that a Diplomat often resorts to: word power, and signalling.

Word Power

Because diplomacy requires effective habits of cooperation, a diplomat must be open minded, well read and well spoken. It is also important to note that diplomats with whom everyone wants to talk are the ones who are interesting to chat with. You can't afford to be dull and boring, merely stating the points you need to make. You must be precise obviously, but also lively. This is where adding a touch of humor to your speeches can go a long way. You must, after all, persuade your interlocutors that the solution you propose is the best option.

Plain Speaking

It can often be an advantage, as it clarifies what your goals are. Articulateness in explaining, reporting, defending and discussing information on the Fleet's position and other matters is essential. On the other hand, being too cautious can be detrimental. A good diplomat knows that you cannot obtain solid information without giving something in return.

Being a good orator

It can never be repeated enough, as a diplomat you need to have good and clear thoughts. Use analogies, generalizations, assumptions, deductive/inductive reasoning, famous quotes etc. Don't forget, the aim of your game is to capture attention, and make it easy for your audience to comprehend/memorize your message. Your audience should be catalyzed by new ideas, galvanized by calls of action, hooked by your enthusiasm.


Negotiating is the essence of your activity. Before you sit at a table for a negotiation you must know everything about your opponent. Once this information is secured, you also need to be open minded. A diplomat who gives in to provincialism, ethnocentricity, or believe that the Federation is the best in everything isn't likely to achieve much.


Persuasion often involves manipulating other people. It is not to be mistaken with propaganda, which often omits pertinent facts and distorts them. Besides, trying to impose your own views and ignoring the fundamental interests of the other side only amounts to pressure and is a sure recipe for disaster.

Instead, identify which of your arguments maybe acceptable to the other side and which also serve the public good. Also whenever possible, use arguments that are neutral but still serve your purpose.

No matter how good you are, there will often be times where you will need to make a few concessions. Do so with fair play. The ground you've allowed today will probably be to your advantage at a latter date.

When things go your way, though, always minimize your victory. Always look at the larger picture and how the concessions that have been accepted will be favorable to the whole of the community.

During negotiations, you may sometimes get the impression that you are failing, however, never forget that the main objective of diplomatic communication is persuasion through non-violent means. It is only when weapons are fired that you really taste defeat.


No matter how skilled you are with words, there is no certitude that direct communication will always be understood as intended. This is why subtle signals are often used to transmit messages.

Methods of signalling range from physical gestures and facial expressions to choices such as the order in which topics in a conversation are raised. What other people are present to overhear a conversation, and the tone or volume of voice used when talking about a certain subject.

Diplomatic signalling and strategy

Know who is likely to listen to your speeches, and use those moments wisely to broadcast subtle messages to all your audiences. What one person has overheard during a meeting, might be repeated later on to another person who plays a crucial part elsewhere on the diplomatic scene.

Likewise, the way diplomats dress during meetings, the way they receive their guess, it's all about sending signals of respect or dominance.

No matter the situation, you must never upset your audience. Use precision, good use of language and truthfulness. And when those approach seem to be inappropriate, turn to signalling. A strategic smile, a handshake or a judicious toast can sometimes achieve miracles.

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