Between 15 and 19 February a group of 21 Bhutanese diplomats were hosted digitally by the Clingendael Academy to join a specialized training course on diplomatic skills. As part of the larger and ongoing effort to expand the ties between Clingendael and Bhutan, this programme marked yet another important and successful milestone in the path towards more cooperation in the future. During the intensive 5-day course, the participants, located in Thimphu but also in Bhutanese embassies around the world, learned much about each other and improved their diplomatic skills through interactive online training. Overall, the programme celebrated the strengthening of the ties between the Netherlands and Bhutan.
Digital training of ‘soft skills’ for the real world of a modern diplomat
Throughout the training programme, the participants were able to hone their skills in a variety of fields which are highly relevant for the work of the modern diplomat. The following competences were trained by using a mix of self-study, e-learnings and live interactive sessions:
- Intercultural communication
- International negotiations
- Stakeholder analysis
- Presentation skills
- Effective influencing
At the end of the programme, all participants reported that this training challenged them to step outside of their comfort zones in a safe learning environment, thereby contributing significantly to their personal and professional growth. In that vein, one of the participants strikingly put it:
‘as the programme largely focused on interactive discussions, it showed the importance of breaking out of one's shell and openly expressing our thoughts during the discussions in order to help boost our self-esteem, improve communication skills and exchange ideas’.