July 15, 2024

If you were ever caught in a situation where you need to negotiate your way out, here are some tips:

  • Leave your ego behind
  • Pay attention to timing
  • Ask questions…but
  • …ramp up your listening skills
  • Anticipate compromise
  • Offer and expect commitments
  • Do not absorb the opponent’s problems

These are some of the things shared by Her Excellency Ambassador Fenny Nuli in her special lecture for English for Global Communication (EGC) students at the Faculty of Education, Language and Communication (FELC).

Negotiation and Diplomacy is one of the courses that EGC students need to take in their second year of study. Fully believing that students benefit a lot from knowledge sharing sessions with real-life experts, Mr Dexter Sigan John, the lecturer for the course, invited H.E. Ambassador Fenny Nuli to UNIMAS.

“Back in 2020, the Ambassador gave a really inspiring online talk to our first EGC cohort,” Dexter recounted. “We are excited to meet her face-to-face this time. She has an extensive experience in the diplomatic field and in handling high-risk negotiations.”

H.E. Fenny Nuli charted a path in history as the first Iban woman ambassador, making her an ideal speaker to inspire the next generation of leaders. With a vast experience under her belt, her talk on “The Art of Diplomatic Negotiation: Strategies and Techniques” was a hit with both students and staff.

Agi idup agi ngelaban

H.E. Fenny Nuli, when asked about her work principle by Astro Awani in 2019

For two hours, the audience were regaled with stories of international diplomatic negotiation, including one about the repatriation of Malaysians who were stranded in Peru and Bolivia during the pandemic. The Ambassador also shared the fundamentals of negotiation steps and techniques as well as the basics of the Malaysian foreign policy.

The students were thrilled with meeting a real live ambassador.

“She shows what Iban women can achieve when they believe in their own potential. On top of that, she is humble and willing to sacrifice her free time to share her experience with us. Truly inspiring!” enthused Rosephine Tee, a Year 2 EGC student.

Her classmate, Aldrina Shelomith, was intrigued by the detailed explanation about negotiation. “It plays such an important role in politics. You really need a lot of knowledge to be a negotiator,” she mused.

Meanwhile, Nurayn Nazyhah binti Suhaime, another Year 2 EGC student, was interested in the advice that was shared by the Ambassador. “Bring your own water (drink) everywhere, do not show weaknesses when dealing with tricky situations, and say things like “I’ll check it first” when you don’t know something,” she recalled. “She channels confidence and professionalism. It is very admirable,” Nurayn added.

Perhaps one day, one of them will be our next international ambassador, who knows?

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