Tag

negotiation

Browsing

© Article translated from the book “Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace“. copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available. If you are interested in publishing the book in any language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact Dr. Daniele Trevisani.

Use of vocalisations that show interest in the “story” and simplify expression – e.g. guttural speech sounds and whispery voice such as “Uhm”, “Oh”. Giving a written report of these expressions is not possible, but if we listened to a person that “listens well”, we would notice that they make careful and particular use of paralanguage and sounds during essential parts of the speech. Paralinguistic techniques – together with visual non-verbal techniques – aim to provide phatic signals (contact signals), so that the interlocutor understands that we are listening, we are understanding and we are focused and interested. 

Non-verbal active listening techniques 

Non-verbal active listening techniques use body language to express interest: 

  • Open and leaning forward posture to express willingness; relaxed body posture; 
  • Proxemic (approaching and moving away): reducing the distance from the interlocutor during moments of great interest, moving away in moments of loosening; 
  •  Facial expression: vigilant, careful and caring – not doubtful, ironic or aggressive; 
  • Vigilant and direct gaze; 
  • Eyebrow movement combined with key points of the interlocutor’s speech; 
  • Nods – approval or rejection; 
  • Soft, slow and rolling gestures to communicate a feeling of relaxation and to encourage moving forward; 
  • Non-verbal metaphors: use of body language to show comprehension of what the interlocutor is saying. 

In terms of non-verbal level, it is important to consider that many cultures restrain non-verbal expression of emotions (e.g. Asian culture), but this is also a communicative stereotype – it has a probabilistic value and does not provide certainty. 

In short, the main techniques for effective listening are: 

  • curiosity and interest; 
  • paraphrase: the listener repeats what they understood (that does not mean agreeing with what the person is saying); 
  • summary and recap: rephrasing what the interlocutor said in order to gather information; 
  • targeted questions (conversational refocusing) in order to clarify unclear parts of the speech; 
  • avoiding personal questions until a solid relationship has been established; 
  • offering the speaker the opportunity to figure out whether what they understood is correct, accurate or, on the other side, twisted and incomplete; 
  • listening not only words, but also feelings and non-verbal signals in order to assess feeling and moods; 
  • checking for correct understanding of both feelings and content and not ignoring the latter; 
  • do not tell people how they should feel or what they should think (during the listening phase, it is essential to just draw information, without teaching or judging). 

One must not judge men as we judge a painting or a statue, to a first and unique look; there is an interiority and a soul that must be deepened. 

(Jean de La Bruyère) 

 

These attitudes are essential and they determine the quality of the listening phase. Yet, regarding business listening phases, they should not be confused with the goals of a whole negotiation (that includes listening and propositional phases and statements – which sometimes are harsh or assertive). 

During a negotiation, modifying what other people think (cognitive and persuasive restructuring) or how they feel (emotional action) is possible – this is one of the strategic goals –, but this goal can be pursued only once the negotiator has succeeded in actively listening, using empathy in order to understand the situation in which they are working. 

Listening is not only a technique, but it is also expression and connotation of a state of attraction and love – that can also be just an idea, not necessarily a person. Stopping listening means that something between that idea and us broke and we have to choose between mending that relationship by listening again, or letting it go forever. 

“Love ends when listening does.” 

Enrico Maria Secci

© Article translated from the book “Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace“. copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available. If you are interested in publishing the book in any language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact Dr. Daniele Trevisani.

© Article translated from the book “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” (Intercultural Negotiation: Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available for any Publisher wishing to consider it for publication in English and other languages except for Italian and Arab whose rights are already sold and published. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com 

The Four Descriptive Filters

On the intercultural level, as we have noted, even relatively simple and taken-for-granted concepts (eg: “home”, “work”, “friendship”) are misunderstood. It is therefore advisable to carry out activities of setting the semantic boundaries (setting the meanings) that allow to specify the language. Building the common linguistic basis requires clarification on several levels. Each keyword, each word or concept in general, can be read through at least four descriptive filters. Let’s create an example on the Italian word “gondola”.

The possible attributes are:

  • Perceptive: it is long and narrow:
  • Functional: used to transport tourists;
  • Associatives: it makes me think of Venice;
  • Social-Symbolic: recalls a romantic experience, for classy people;
  • Encyclopedic: it is made of wood, it has been used since the year ….., it is built like this ….

The same problem occurs on the business level. Let’s imagine that we are carrying out a “marketing consultancy” on behalf of an Indian, Korean or Chinese client. We should first compare the two mental images of the word “marketing”, understand which of the two different concepts of marketing the customer is thinking about. For example:

Concept A (marketing as an operational tool). Analysis: Concept B (marketing as a strategic tool). Analysis
Perceptual: marketing is equivalent to advertising and promotion, sales, advertising Perceptual: Marketing is the search for new or better products to satisfy human needs
Functional: used to sell more Functional: used to better design products and services
Associative: it is an instrument of capitalism and consumerism Associative: it is a research tool
Socio-Symbolic: it is for advanced, large, technological or very managerial companies Socio-Symbolic: it requires respect for the customer and the will to satisfy him, it can be used by anyone
Encyclopedic: deals with concepts such as the marketing mix, customer satisfaction, promotion Encyclopedic: deals with concepts such as marketing mix, customer satisfaction, promotion, but above all market research, creativity, customer orientation

Starting an intercultural negotiation means first of all clarifying semantic concepts, the latent meanings of words, mental associations, and not taking them for granted. Through associative techniques, it is also possible to search for the “stereotypes” that people possess with respect to the concepts dealt with.

For example, dealing with the training of a salesperson means first of all clarifying what the mental image of our interlocutor is, understanding what is behind the word “salesman”.

Tab. 1 – Different conception of two sales cultures: the seller …

– He has to talk a lot
– He has to be a bit stupid and work hard, no matter he is a graduate
he doesn’t have to do strategy, we make the strategy
– He have to be around all day
– He has to bring us results
– He has to listen a lot he has to be intelligent and creative
– He has to be a strategist of his territory, respecting the guidelines
– He has to act with targeted appointments
– We have to put him in a position to give the best results

Without clarifying these points, any action risks being based on wrong and misunderstood concepts.

negoziazione interculturale
Intercultural Negotiation Arab Edition

© Article translated from the book “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” (Intercultural Negotiation: Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available for any Publisher wishing to consider it for publication in English and other languages except for Italian and Arab whose rights are already sold and published. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com 

For further information see:

© Article translated from the book “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” (Intercultural Negotiation: Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available for any Publisher wishing to consider it for publication in English and other languages except for Italian and Arab whose rights are already sold and published. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com or www.danieletrevisani.it 

Negotiating requires the ability to seduce.

A seduction not at all sexual, but in fact comparable to courtship: the proposal must contain “appeal“, must respond to the impulses and needs of the interlocutor. A forced proposal is not negotiation in the strict sense but imposition. A poorly digested condition, moreover, lends itself much more to being refused a posteriori, disregarded, or not applied.

For thousands of years, theorists of each discipline have encouraged people to adapt their art to the different situations in which they will have to operate, recognizing the need to calibrate the strategy towards the interlocutor, creating a communication centered on the recipients. Aristotle, in Rhetoric, deals with public seduction and persuasion. He invites the politician to dynamically use ethos (credibility), logos (dialectical art) and pathos (ability to arouse emotions), centering the audience in being more intimate than him.

There is a seduction component in every negotiation In the Kamasutra of Vatsyayana – a classic Indian treatise on seduction – a sequence of different types of bite is listed, designed to cause pleasure: the hidden bite, the swollen bite, the point, the line of points, the coral and the jewel, the of jewels, the unbroken cloud, and finally the bite of the wild boar. The good seducer will have to adapt the type of bite to the situation. Western managers often use the “boar bite” (whatever action it is) a priori, perhaps receiving sound slaps in response, where perhaps the “hidden bite” would have given the desired effects. We are using a joking metaphor to express a message that is nevertheless strong: the communication strategy must take into account the cultural traits of the counterpart.

Let’s see an example of a micro-conversation between the Italian area manager and a possible Russian importer:

Area Manager: What guarantees can you give us?

Importer: What guarantees do you need?

Area Manager: Well, you need to learn how to sell our products, however don’t worry because we will give you courses, if you can’t pay them we discount them from commissions.

The Russian interlocutor perceives a latent message (“you are incapable”, “you are poor”, “you need”) linked to the course offer. The sentence touches the interlocutor’s entire cultic system, stirs a wounded “Russian pride” and the memories of suffering of an entire people. The Italian area manager has been able to destroy the corporate ethos in a few moves (giving the image of a company completely unprepared to negotiate with foreign interlocutors), using a dialectic based on “a priori” conflict (humiliate them), thus arousing emotions of revenge and revenge (at a minimum) in the interlocutor. A strategy of total ineffectiveness, based on wrong assumptions.

The offer of a course, presented in this way, does not create added value and aims solely at the disqualification of the interlocutor. Both Aristotle and Vatsyayana would have rejected this area manager. In this micro-negotiation there have been several “judgment biases” or errors of judgment, and neither of them have achieved any results. As research on the accuracy of intercultural assessments shows, the error of judgment (misunderstanding who you are dealing with, or badly decoding a message) – an error already present at an intra-cultural level – is enhanced by cultural distances, and it is one of the most destructive factors in negotiation.

To overcome the judgment biases it is necessary to take action, to prepare. Intercultural communication requires commitment, at the level of:

  • understanding of the cultural system with which one interacts;
  • knowledge of the underlying values ​​and beliefs of the interlocutor;
  • social identification: what status does the interlocutor have in his membership system;
  • methods of non-verbal communication;
  • analysis and resolution of conflicts. Every intercultural negotiator should have strong expertise on these matters in their curriculum.

Principle 9 – Training in intercultural communication

The success of negotiation communication depends on:

  • from the depth of communication training;
  • the ability to put into practice communicative skills of trans-cultural value;
  • the ability to identify communicative characteristics and specific cultural traits of the interlocutor to pay attention to.

© Article translated from the book “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” (Intercultural Negotiation: Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available for any Publisher wishing to consider it for publication in English and other languages except for Italian and Arab whose rights are already sold and published. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com 

For further information see: