A good diplomat will always try to put himself in the position of the person with whom he is negotiating, to understand his objectives and needs, and try to imagine what he would wish, do, and say, under those circumstances.
— Satow’s Diplomatic Practice
Diplomatists are specialists in precise and accurate communication. They are more than mere couriers or heralds; they are experts in detecting and conveying nuances of international dialogue, are equipped not merely to deliver a message but to judge the language in which it should be couched, the audience to whom and the occasion at which it should be presented.
The diplomat possesses a dignitas, which derives from the state he or she represents. We speak of war diplomacy in awareness that the activity does not and arguably must not cease during wartime, which creates its own problems of diplomacy. It is usual, however, to think of diplomatic activity as a branch of politics in the service of peace and not war. Diplomats, at their best, are peacemakers and peace-preservers rather than warmongers. Classical diplomacy, Martin Wight’s phrase, is a civilized and civilizing activity. — Robert Jackson