The following model by the sinologist Monica Bakker has the rules on the left side, the symbols on the right side and the creation of trust and connection in the middle. The rules guarantee predictability and therefore offer the opportunity to create community. The symbolic side of the protocol is the story, so all of us participating in the event are able to understand the broader context of why we are here. Only if these two are applied in the right way, protocol is a facilitator of trust, connection and confirmation of the good relationship.
The challenge, however, is to balance between modernity and tradition. If the rules are applied too strictly, the event will become too formal and uncomfortable. Too casual and lacking focus is also not good and the use of too few rules will result in chaos. Also, too many symbols will make people laugh and when there is no symbolism, we will not be able to recognise the story and/or are able to relate to why we are attending the event.
Source: Protocol to Manage Relationships Today (Amsterdam University Press, 2020)