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© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

Today’s article is about the importance – for negotiators – of having an analyst’s mind to observe, analyse and understand what happens around them, grasping all meanings behind words and gestures.

The world of sales and marketing is made up of choices. 

As Mick notes, “the macromarketing system is, to a large extent, the function of many micro marketing decisions made every day.” 

And, for every micro-decision, our mind must be prepared to carry out quick, sometimes even immediate, analyses. 

Complex selling can be considered as the function of many micro and macro behavioural and strategic skills (such as the ability to conduct a conversation, observe non-verbal details, doing scenario analysis, planning and creating projects and reports, etc.). 

The analyst’s mind does not stop at deskwork, but can be found in every contact, in every handshake, in every meeting and in every analysis. 

Nothing is overlooked. 

It also includes macro skills, such as the ability to carry out socio-economic analyses, to design complex plans, to process data, to carry out an entire scenario analysis and to set up a strategy. 

No one can expect to conclude deals or create complex projects without having, or developing, a deep analytical attitude or an “analyst’s mind“. 

An analyst always asks himself “why”. He notices signs and symptoms, develops hypotheses, looks for more information, researches, wants to understand. 

This attitude, called strategic empathy, includes different levels of understanding, a strategic attention to the client

  1. behavioural empathy (understanding all behaviours of the company/client, with whom we want to work and interact), 
  1. cognitive empathy (understanding how other people think), 
  1. emotional empathy (understanding other people’s emotional state),  
  1. relational empathy (understanding others’ relationships network). 

Let’s think about the opposite: 

  • we do not understand others’ behaviours and we cannot grasp their meaning, 
  • we do not understand the reasons of what is happening,  
  • we do not understand what role the other party is playing, 
  • we do not understand how other people think and we believe that they think exactly as we want them to think according to our logic. 

Let’s also imagine what it means to carry the burden of emotional insensitivity, the inability to grasp emotional nuances or to understand if the person we are dealing with is sad or happy.  

Let’s imagine what it means to be indifferent to how and why the person in front of us reacts to a choice – or to some aspects of the project we are developing – in a certain way, instead of another, without being able to understand what worries him/her, or what interests him/her. 

And again, let’s think about the problem of cultural gaffes that can offend a foreign executive, whose position is extremely important for the success of the deal. 

Another major issue concerns the insensitivity towards the decision-making framework, the power relationships, the power matrix, the risk of not understanding whether we are dealing with a real decision maker or with a simple emissary, an influencer, or with someone who has no power. Wasting time is not pleasant for anyone. 

the lack of an analyst’s mind can lead us to lose sight of people and corporate roles that we should involve in projects, even though we are completely neglecting them, and, even worse, to take inter-relationships for granted, for example we do not understand that there is a gravity centre (key concepts and people) in every purchase, in every decision. 

A large part of complex negotiations consists in “attracting” decision-making gravity centres, and in the ability to manage personal meetings and develop human relationships. 

In this difficult world, only knowledgeable people and people who have an “analyst’s mind” can penetrate hostile systems, identifying priorities and the “moves sequence” that can help them shift the decision-making balance in their favour. 

People who have an analyst’s mind ask the following questions:  “Why are you saying this?”, “Why are you saying this now?”, “What lies behind this question?”, “Why is Dr. X… not present at this meeting, while he was present at the other one? “,” For what reasons could they say no to us? “,” What unique products can we offer? “. Obviously, there are many other questions, but they are never stereotyped, never the same. 

For complex projects, an overview ability is needed to understand all relationship systems. 

grasping the meaning of a macro-project, understanding when it’s time to have a meeting, identifying what critical information are needed (Info-Gap) and examining negotiation’s micro-details are all part of the overview skills. 

Micro-analysis skills are equally essential (e.g. understanding how a phone call, a meeting, a handshake, a glance or a gesture is managed). After that, we can focus again on macro-details and, when needed, rethink an entire strategy. 

In other words, business successes depend not only on great strategies, but also on the ability to achieve results in every single sale and become proficient in every single conversation that is part of the sales line. 

The sales action line, as well as the action line of negotiations, require specific sensitivity: we must be sensitive to “holistic” communication, where every action, behaviour, or non-action has a meaning. 

We must develop and improve this sensitivity through daily practice, contact after contact, negotiations after negotiations, meeting after meeting, phone call after phone call, etc. 

This ability is useful in any situation and can help us understand the place where we must park near the client company, if we must open the door to someone or not, if we must offer a coffee or a gift, etc. 

Strategic sales and complex negotiation professionals have a way of working that is also a way of being. 

Corporate titans and small businesses must continuously face “moments of truth” in their Business-to-Business negotiations with distributors, suppliers, sales networks, corporate buyers, such as face-to-face meetings, discussions, emails, presentations, answers to questions, etc. 

For each of them taking care of their relationship skills and of their personal skills of analysis and communication is essential and can help them develop large projects and important sales. 

"Strategic Selling" by Daniele Trevisani

© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

For further information see:

TAGS:

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  • behavioural empathy
  • cognitive empathy
  • emotional empathy
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  • power matrix
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© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

Today, I would like to talk about the increasing importance of face-to face communication and the supremacy of the human factor in negotiations, that force us to analyse our interlocutor’s mental framework and to create helping and winning relationships with our clients.

The mental approach of professional communicators and negotiators is completely focused on the objectives that must be achieved through the evaluation of the interlocutors’ mental framework

Nobody can talk to a wall. Professional communicators, salespeople and negotiators talk “with” someone, they have to deal or negotiate “with” someone. They must understand how the other person thinks. 

As an expert in Senior Sales Coaching, Antonio Greci, argues: 

  1. Strategic Selling is a way of being. 
  2. Strategic Selling is not a procedure. 
  3. Strategic Selling professionals can be recognized by the fact that they listen deeply. 
  4. The main talent of those who practice Strategic Selling is to be naturally empathetic. 

The presence of “other people” therefore forces us to become analysts and to understand: 

  1. if we are dealing with a person or company who has a strong propensity to plan or not;
  2. if our interlocutor is looking for a quick and immediate remedy, moved by urgencies, or if he/she is in no hurry; 
  3. if we are dealing with materialistic or narrow-minded people or with deeply humane people; 
  4. if we are working with someone looking for a pure personal advantage or with someone who’s looking for his/her company advantage, or a mix of both;
  5. which benefits our counterpart seeks for himself/herself and which benefits he/she seeks for his/her company. 

It is equally essential to understand if there is only the possibility to sell a single product or if – on the contrary – we will be able to create the conditions to become a continuous and trusted supplier, the multi-year partner of a customer with whom we are going to create long-term projects. 

Some clients act instinctively, even irrationally, other clients think with cold logic. 

Concerning all these variables, we cannot take the buyer’s psychology for granted. Each buyer possesses a psychological profile to frame. 

In fact, we can deal with non-planning-oriented people, whose time perspective is limited to the day after, or with long-term oriented people, who work not only for themselves, but also for those who will follow them in the company and in life. 

The former do not ask themselves what the long-term consequences of their choices will be. The latter do. 

Negotiation can be considered as a meeting with human variety. 

We need to get into the right mindset to deal with any kind of mentality, to meet any kind of attitude, culture and values. Otherwise, we would be able to negotiate only with a certain type of customers and not with others. This concept of “communicational stretching” helps us being effective with different types of customers. Here lies the flexibility of professional communicators and negotiators. 

A gear manufacturer who wants to sell products to a machine manufacturer certainly cannot think of resorting to television advertising in prime time, “aiming” at 10 million viewers, hoping to find among them 3 or 4 important decision makers, like purchasing managers and executives of that company.  

Every business can take two main paths:   

  1. advertising communications, which is often expensive, conformed and based on enormous budgets. It is the result of a mirage made of useless senseless sparkles; and   
  1. – especially in Business to Business – the choice to train as professionals in the field of interpersonal negotiations and human meetings, made of real people.  

For most companies and organizations, it makes no sense to invest in a large-scale advertising. We need to learn how to get the attention of decision makers. A more focused approach is needed.  

Advertising is not useless, it is a tool used in very specific cases, but it should not be confused with communication in a broad sense. They are two legs with which companies run: the leg of advertising is often beautiful and massaged, while the leg of human communication and negotiation is usually amputated.  

We are surrounded and pestered by advertisements, by messaging technologies, to the point of nausea. We have been filled with lies and empty promises, and we do not trust anything and anyone anymore, but we have good reason to be tired.  

For this reason, the importance of the human factor and the human encounter started growing again: looking into each other’s eyes, wanting to understand who we are dealing with, has become essential to build projects that really matter. 

The business of the future is the result of projects that companies carry out together with other companies, through people in flesh and blood. This is the return of human supremacy. 

Working in partnership with customers is a challenge. It means building tailor-made projects for customers from the beginning, having the ability to offer uniqueness, specific advice, quality and, above all, “added relational value” that makes the difference between us and others. 

The world of face-to-face business human meetings is more “real” than advertising and much more frequent for small, medium and large companies. Since it is a daily occurrence, it is essential for companies to train on this topic. 

The fate of projects destined to change entire companies and the future of their staff and families is decided by the skills of a few people in a few hours of negotiation. 

There, on the “stage” of sales and negotiations, the fate of companies is at stake, but, whatever happens, we want to remain on this “stage”.  

"Strategic Selling" by Daniele Trevisani

© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

For further information see:

TAGS:

  • ALM business method
  • acting like professionals
  • active training
  • achieving results
  • awareness of one’s role in negotiation
  • Best coach in intercultural communication in the world
  • Best coach in intercultural facilitation in the world
  • Best coach in intercultural negotiation in the world
  • Best world consultant in intercultural communication
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  • book on intercultural negotiation
  • book on strategic selling
  • breaking the barriers of incommunicability
  • building relationships
  • communication difficulties
  • communication skills
  • communication skills acquisition
  • Communication techniques intercultural communication
  • Communication techniques intercultural negotiation
  • communication training
  • conversational skills
  • creative strategies
  • cross cultural communication
  • cross cultural misunderstanding
  • cross-cultural adaptation
  • cultural systems
  • dialogue between companies
  • different cultural approach
  • different cultural context
  • direct line of communication
  • disagreements
  • Effective intercultural negotiation techniques
  • face-to-face communication
  • fighting spirit
  • front-line communication
  • Get-Ready Mind Set
  • helping relationships
  • high-context cultures
  • How cultural differences affect negotiations?
  • How does culture influence negotiation?
  • Human Potential
  • intercultural communication
  • intercultural communication book
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  • know-how
  • leadership
  • low-context cultures
  • negotiating rules
  • negotiation preparation
  • negotiator’s emotional awareness
  • negotiator’s growth
  • open communication
  • physical and mental energies
  • Strategic Selling
  • strategic spirit
  • strategic negotiations
  • thinking like professionals
  • transparent communication
  • What are the 5 stages of negotiation?
  • What is effective intercultural negotiation?
  • What is intercultural negotiation?
  • winning relationships
  • working on attitudes
  • working on skills
  • World’s most famous expert in intercultural communication
  • World’s most famous expert in intercultural negotiation
  • interlocutor’s mental framework
  • human value
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  • focused approach
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  • offering uniqueness
  • offering quality
  • offering advice
  • offering added relational value
  • advertising
  • creating the conditions to become a long trusted supplier
  • different mindset
  • different mentality

© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

In the following article I would like to introduce the concept of the “Get-Ready Mindset”, explaining the importance of an adequate preparation both on self-analysis and on the analysis of other people’s way of thinking and behaviours.

It is not easy explaining in a few words what the Get-Ready Mindset is, but I will try to do so by using a metaphor: it is the preparation work that boxers, karateka, or kickboxers do before facing an important match. 

This preparation consists of studying the opponent’s moves, analysing the videos of his/her fights and any possible material concerning him/her, such as what fighting styles he/she may know, his/her masters, his/her preferences, his/her previous defeats , who defeated him/her and how, what are his/her winning strokes, with whom he/she trains, etc.. It includes studying his/her resume, his/her history and the way he/she moves, searching for his/her strengths and weaknesses. 

After having analysed the “other”, it’s time to analyse ourselves:  

  • what are my strengths?  
  • What can I do to improve myself?  
  • Is improving a certain aspect of myself useful or useless?  
  • On what specific development should I focus for that meeting? And how do I convert all this into a training plan? 

We then proceed with building specific combat strategies and techniques. We create a road map, test the progresses made and the state of preparation on the ring with sparring partners. 

This training is related both to fundamental skills (strength, endurance, speed) and to specific techniques. No detail must be overlooked. 

This preparation combines strategy with hard daily gym training, made up of sweat and fatigue, so as to automate the techniques that are going to be used in the match. The best schools do not disregard athletes’ mental training, but they work on focusing and relaxation techniques and on the search for the most profitable mental state, which keeps away the “background mental noises” allowing athletes to be at their best. 

In fact, in every meeting, as I have been able to highlight in the intercultural negotiation field, it is important to know how to keep the background mental noises out of the arena, the retro-thoughts that can weaken us, making us lose tactical clarity of mind and situational awareness (Mental Noise Theory). 

In companies, as well as in sports, one must not rely on destiny or on the hope of being lucky, but on preparation, because that is the only way to strengthen ourselves, to rise to the challenge and to be able to face it. 

And again, a lot of sparring, simulation and training activities must be combined with the indispensable courage that facing challenges that can be lost takes.  

Sales and negotiation in complex environments require specific trainable skills: strategic analysis and communication psychology. In other words, high-level skills. Nothing that can be stereotyped or memorized. 

Just as the fighter prepares himself/herself in the gym, the negotiator can prepare himself/herself through role-playing and simulations. Just as the fighter analyses his/her opponent, mapping his/her strengths and weaknesses, companies can do the same to be ready for strategic meetings. 

We will explore each of these topics in detail. Effective preparation for strategic sales and complex negotiations concerns some very important points: 

  1. The inner will to adopt a consultative approach, with all its consequences: consultancy behaviours, an analytic attitude and a strong psychological and communicational training that can support one’s methods and actions; 
  1. the self-knowledge:  the knowledge of one’s strengths and weaknesses, combined with the full awareness of the value mix that a person, or a company, can create for customers or stakeholders, with whom they must deal; 
  1. the knowledge of others”: their vulnerabilities, their decision-making mechanisms, their balances and imbalances, their dissonances, the problems that can create a state of need or necessity in them, the drives and tensions capable of triggering them to purchase, while bringing us to the positive closing of a negotiation; 
  1. the spaces, options and ways of relating that lead to success, the traps that can cause our failure, the pitfalls, the lines of action and the sense of the “journey”, that must be undertaken to reach the goal by building the right path, step by step. 

"Strategic Selling" by Daniele Trevisani

© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

For further information see:

TAGS:

  • ALM business method
  • act like professionals
  • active training
  • achieving results
  • awareness of one’s role in negotiation
  • Best coach in intercultural communication in the world
  • Best coach in intercultural facilitation in the world
  • Best coach in intercultural negotiation in the world
  • Best world consultant in intercultural communication
  • Best world consultant in intercultural negotiation
  • Best world expert in intercultural communication
  • Best world expert in intercultural negotiation
  • Best world trainer in intercultural communication
  • Best world trainer in intercultural negotiation
  • book on intercultural communication
  • book on intercultural negotiation
  • book on strategic selling
  • breaking the barriers of incommunicability
  • communication difficulties
  • communication skills
  • communication skills acquisition
  • Communication techniques intercultural communication
  • Communication techniques intercultural negotiation
  • communication training
  • conversational skills
  • creative strategies
  • cross-cultural communication
  • cross-cultural misunderstandings
  • cross-cultural adaptation
  • cultural systems
  • dialogue between companies
  • different cultural approach
  • different cultural context
  • direct line of communication
  • disagreements
  • Effective intercultural negotiation techniques
  • face-to-face communication
  • fighting spirit
  • front-line communication
  • Get-Ready Mind Set
  • helping relationships
  • high-context cultures
  • How cultural differences affect negotiations?
  • How does culture influence negotiation?
  • Human Potential
  • intercultural communication
  • intercultural communication book
  • Intercultural communication books
  • Intercultural Communication Coaching
  • intercultural communication pdf
  • Intercultural Communication Trainers
  • Intercultural Communication Training
  • Intercultural conversation management techniques
  • Intercultural Negotiation
  • Intercultural negotiation books
  • Intercultural Negotiation Coach
  • Intercultural Negotiation Coaching
  • Intercultural Negotiation Communication
  • Intercultural Negotiation Consultant
  • Intercultural Negotiation Consulting
  • Intercultural Negotiation Counselling
  • intercultural negotiation definition
  • Intercultural negotiation exercises
  • Intercultural Negotiation in International Business
  • Intercultural Negotiation Mentoring
  • intercultural negotiation PDF
  • Intercultural Negotiation Process
  • Intercultural Negotiation Strategies
  • Intercultural Negotiation Timing
  • intercultural negotiation training
  • intercultural training
  • Intercultural Training Consultants
  • know-how
  • leadership
  • low-context cultures
  • negotiating rules
  • negotiation preparation
  • negotiator’s emotional awareness
  • negotiator’s growth
  • open communication
  • physical and mental energies
  • Strategic Selling
  • strategic spirit
  • strategic negotiations
  • think like professionals
  • transparent communication
  • What are the 5 stages of negotiation?
  • What is effective intercultural negotiation?
  • What is intercultural negotiation?
  • winning relationships
  • working on attitudes
  • working on skills
  • World’s most famous expert in intercultural communication
  • World’s most famous expert in intercultural negotiation
  • inner will
  • self-knowledge
  • knowledge of others
  • ways of relating

© 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. 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 Website on Intercultural Negotiation  

A three-level Listening Model: Listening to Data, Listening to Emotions, Listening to Beliefs.   

Listening to people we don’t really like is one of the professional challenges we face they have to learn in many professions, such as lawyer, doctor, trainer, psychologist, but also manager and leader. It is neither mandatory nor possible to always have the ideal people in front of us. Learn to also listening to people who do not please us is something that must be learned, even if we want to limit the time and space of this contact.  

Empathy, or the art and science of understanding the moods of others, is not something that is due. Theresympathy, or the liking of others, is not something due. Instead, we may experience the “need” to interact and listen to people who do not please us, and in this the advanced active listening mechanisms become a professional resource fundamental, and a life resource. Empathy, in psychology, includes identification with moods of another person, i.e. the ability to understand their thoughts and, above all, their emotions. It differs from sympathy for intention in wanting to understand the feelings experienced from another individual, not through a rational explanation, but through a sharing affective. In psychotherapy, the term refers to the therapist’s ability to think and feel himself in the inner life of the patient, to understand him in a deeper way 1. In a different way from what has already been explained, we can distinguish different levels of listening:  

1. The non-listening, the unwillingness to listen, due to a precise decision (“I don’t want that to listen to him “) or the inability for reasons of our tiredness (” I was so tiredthat I could not hear “).  

2. Listening in conditions of mutual appreciation, or sympathetic listening.  

3. A listening aimed at understanding the person in depth, and above all the emotional states of her, o empathic listening.  

4. Listening apathetic, passive, or even distorted, in cases where there is no listening but the person to listen to is unwelcome to the skin or for ideological and cultural reasons.  

  
Those who travel without meeting the other do not travel, they move.  

(Alexandra David-Néel)  

Human communication is an existential state, where people take action to try to step out of one’s sphere of limited energies and experiences and connect with other entities human.  

There are as many worlds as there are living people, for which to relate and practice listening it requires a great deal of humility and commitment. The positive message is that science, and a scientific approach, can help us a great deal in understanding the reasons for communication failures and the ingredients for increase the likelihood of communication successes. We are in a world where it is possible to create exceptional, epochal projects, and if we can do it converge our best energies, every advance in the future of humanity and the planet will be possible.  

Our “spheres”, who we are, how we think, how we are made, what and how we live, are living, plastic elements. Listening is very similar to “going to see” what is inside a sphere of others, and how  

this evolves. Listening can also do you good. There is a contagious aspect of affective conditions. Self we learn to listen with greater emotional closeness, we will probably become people best. And every better person infects the others around him, positively. The same happens in the negative when we meet people with weak and sick energies. Meet these too people, it’s a professional challenge.  

As Wallon 2 points out, “Kohler has noticed that a chimpanzee’s joyous excitement does it spread with the same gestures to all the other chimpanzees. The fear of a single ram changes in panic for the whole flock. The cry of a bird is reflected in a rising wave in the aviary”.  

We are in a human aviary, in a human herd of billions of elements housed on the surface of a small blue ball called Earth, scattered in space. For this reason, when we make an intervention aimed at improving listening in a single person, up to a company group or manager, we know that we are bringing humanity, competence and happiness to the system to the entire company and even to those who interact with it, from suppliers to customers. And having happy customers, or happy families, today, is a very serious desire and goal.  

There are many things in life that catch the eye, but only a few catch yours heart: follow those.  

(Winston Churchill)  

Listening can be examined with different zoom levels.  

As with a zoom we can first notice a forest, then zoom in on a single plant and notice the large number of leaves, then focus on a single leaf and notice the veins there flow, insects walking on it, and so on. The same is true in listening. We can examine it as a general phenomenon, see it from above, or enter with different degrees of detail. The degree of detail depends on how many variables we want to use to “examine” the listening and the communicative flow. Listening to multiple tracks requires commitment, requires listening quality, but we must be convinced that this commitment to listening will be rewarded by a quality of absolutely greater understanding.  

Quality is like a wave. That quality work that you thought no one would notice he is noticed, and whoever sees him feels a little better: he will probably transfer in the others this feeling of his and in this way the Quality will continue to spread.  

(Robert M. Pirsig)  

In the next step we will see a fairly simple model, with three main variables, listening to data, listening to emotions, listening to beliefs.  

Listening in depth enters into more subtle themes than mere words. Knowing how to repeat a memory what has been heard is not an indication of true listening, but of pure memorization. A good coach, a good counselor, a good psychotherapist, a good leader, while they listen, they are actually listening to multiple tracks at the same time. Example, listen to the vocal stress that accompanies the words. The degree of vocal stress, the clear voice or the broken and shaky voice, are a fundamental indicator of the speaker’s state of mind. They could therefore say: “as you speak, while I listen to you, I notice that there is some fear in you, would you like to tell me about it? ”   

By listening to the flow of communication that emerges in the speech, we can focus on both words (the people mentioned, verbs, adjectives, each verbal element), on the tonality facial expression, which gives us information on which emotional states the person associates with various stages of his spoken, and on more general elements, unspoken background elements, which we call “beliefs” or “Beliefs” and emerge as implicit rules that the person is using in her reasoning. Eg:  

Words Emotions associated Unexpressed or latent active beliefs 
Self-Esteem I want to work in a place where things 
My father  Anger, discomfort, expectation  My father doesn’t realize when he will miss he will leave me alone with all existing problems if we don’t something  
Course  Wait, anticipation, hope  More than a course, it must be a moment strong alignment, on values, e especially about how you work in the Direction, avoiding that everyone goes to the his way and have a different view of the our future  
Passage generational  Difficulty, hope  Whether you like it or not, time goes by and I have to be ready to take the relay first or then she’ll be up to me  
Agree or less  Repressed Anger  Managers are mercenaries, not them interested in this, indeed the less power I have e the better for them  
CEO  Distance, disgust  The less you know what it does, the more free it can be to do what they like, if we align, a little less  
Direttore 
Finanziario 
Distanza, disgusto  Meno si sa cosa fa, e più può essere libero 
di fare quello che gli pare, se ci allineiamo, 
un pò meno  
Other managers  Distance, disgust  There is a risk of forming a “tribe” that takes control of the company and this it doesn’t have to happen  
Respond to me Pride  The company’s command must pass through one generation to the next  
Love Company expectation, anxiety  We are a company, a group, a team, no matter what you call it, we have to work as a team  
Functioning well Desire  Everyone must be clear about who we are and what we want, we must be aligned  

So in every message, there are objects – words, people, things, object relations (thing I try towards that object) – and belief systems, often unspoken, that feed the background. From this we can derive both: 1. a summary of the data 2. a synthesis of emotional backgrounds (general) and emotional details (particular) 3. a synthesis of the belief systems (Belief System) that operate in the person. Those who are able to make a truly empathic listening will be able to rephrase both i data, that the emotions he has grasped, that the underlying beliefs. An extremely technical work, ed extremely powerful. And if you need to take notes to help yourself on the “data”, just ask for the permission, and if still needed, have the speaker repeat some passages that we want to deepen, even better. Nobody gets tired of talking when they feel that we are listening with all of ourselves, and what he says we really care.  

For further information see: 

© 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation.

A three-level Listening Model: Listening to Data, Listening to Emotions, Listening to Beliefs.   

Listening to people we don’t really like is one of the professional challenges we face they have to learn in many professions, such as lawyer, doctor, trainer, psychologist, but also manager and leader. It is neither mandatory nor possible to always have the ideal people in front of us. Learn to also listening to people who do not please us is something that must be learned, even if we want to limit the time and space of this contact.  

Empathy, or the art and science of understanding the moods of others, is not something that is due. Theresympathy, or the liking of others, is not something due. Instead, we may experience the “need” to interact and listen to people who do not please us, and in this the advanced active listening mechanisms become a professional resource fundamental, and a life resource. Empathy, in psychology, includes identification with moods of another person, i.e. the ability to understand their thoughts and, above all, their emotions. It differs from sympathy for intention in wanting to understand the feelings experienced from another individual, not through a rational explanation, but through a sharing affective. In psychotherapy, the term refers to the therapist’s ability to think and feel himself in the inner life of the patient, to understand him in a deeper way 1. In a different way from what has already been explained, we can distinguish different levels of listening:  

1. The non-listening, the unwillingness to listen, due to a precise decision (“I don’t want that to listen to him “) or the inability for reasons of our tiredness (” I was so tiredthat I could not hear “).  

2. Listening in conditions of mutual appreciation, or sympathetic listening.  

3. A listening aimed at understanding the person in depth, and above all the emotional states of her, o empathic listening.  

4. Listening apathetic, passive, or even distorted, in cases where there is no listening but the person to listen to is unwelcome to the skin or for ideological and cultural reasons.  

  
Those who travel without meeting the other do not travel, they move.  

(Alexandra David-Néel)  

Human communication is an existential state, where people take action to try to step out of one’s sphere of limited energies and experiences and connect with other entities human.  

There are as many worlds as there are living people, for which to relate and practice listening it requires a great deal of humility and commitment. The positive message is that science, and a scientific approach, can help us a great deal in understanding the reasons for communication failures and the ingredients for increase the likelihood of communication successes. We are in a world where it is possible to create exceptional, epochal projects, and if we can do it converge our best energies, every advance in the future of humanity and the planet will be possible.  

Our “spheres”, who we are, how we think, how we are made, what and how we live, are living, plastic elements. Listening is very similar to “going to see” what is inside a sphere of others, and how  

this evolves. Listening can also do you good. There is a contagious aspect of affective conditions. Self we learn to listen with greater emotional closeness, we will probably become people best. And every better person infects the others around him, positively. The same happens in the negative when we meet people with weak and sick energies. Meet these too people, it’s a professional challenge.  

As Wallon 2 points out, “Kohler has noticed that a chimpanzee’s joyous excitement does it spread with the same gestures to all the other chimpanzees. The fear of a single ram changes in panic for the whole flock. The cry of a bird is reflected in a rising wave in the aviary”.  

We are in a human aviary, in a human herd of billions of elements housed on the surface of a small blue ball called Earth, scattered in space. For this reason, when we make an intervention aimed at improving listening in a single person, up to a company group or manager, we know that we are bringing humanity, competence and happiness to the system to the entire company and even to those who interact with it, from suppliers to customers. And having happy customers, or happy families, today, is a very serious desire and goal.  

There are many things in life that catch the eye, but only a few catch yours heart: follow those.  

(Winston Churchill)  

Listening can be examined with different zoom levels.  

As with a zoom we can first notice a forest, then zoom in on a single plant and notice the large number of leaves, then focus on a single leaf and notice the veins there flow, insects walking on it, and so on. The same is true in listening. We can examine it as a general phenomenon, see it from above, or enter with different degrees of detail. The degree of detail depends on how many variables we want to use to “examine” the listening and the communicative flow. Listening to multiple tracks requires commitment, requires listening quality, but we must be convinced that this commitment to listening will be rewarded by a quality of absolutely greater understanding.  

Quality is like a wave. That quality work that you thought no one would notice he is noticed, and whoever sees him feels a little better: he will probably transfer in the others this feeling of his and in this way the Quality will continue to spread.  

(Robert M. Pirsig)  

In the next step we will see a fairly simple model, with three main variables, listening to data, listening to emotions, listening to beliefs.  

Listening in depth enters into more subtle themes than mere words. Knowing how to repeat a memory what has been heard is not an indication of true listening, but of pure memorization. A good coach, a good counselor, a good psychotherapist, a good leader, while they listen, they are actually listening to multiple tracks at the same time. Example, listen to the vocal stress that accompanies the words. The degree of vocal stress, the clear voice or the broken and shaky voice, are a fundamental indicator of the speaker’s state of mind. They could therefore say: “as you speak, while I listen to you, I notice that there is some fear in you, would you like to tell me about it? ”   

By listening to the flow of communication that emerges in the speech, we can focus on both words (the people mentioned, verbs, adjectives, each verbal element), on the tonality facial expression, which gives us information on which emotional states the person associates with various stages of his spoken, and on more general elements, unspoken background elements, which we call “beliefs” or “Beliefs” and emerge as implicit rules that the person is using in her reasoning. Eg:  

Words Emotions associated Unexpressed or latent active beliefs 
Self-Esteem I want to work in a place where things 
My father  Anger, discomfort, expectation  My father doesn’t realize when he will miss he will leave me alone with all existing problems if we don’t something  
Course  Wait, anticipation, hope  More than a course, it must be a moment strong alignment, on values, e especially about how you work in the Direction, avoiding that everyone goes to the his way and have a different view of the our future  
Passage generational  Difficulty, hope  Whether you like it or not, time goes by and I have to be ready to take the relay first or then she’ll be up to me  
Agree or less  Repressed Anger  Managers are mercenaries, not them interested in this, indeed the less power I have e the better for them  
CEO  Distance, disgust  The less you know what it does, the more free it can be to do what they like, if we align, a little less  
Direttore 
Finanziario 
Distanza, disgusto  Meno si sa cosa fa, e più può essere libero 
di fare quello che gli pare, se ci allineiamo, 
un pò meno  
Other managers  Distance, disgust  There is a risk of forming a “tribe” that takes control of the company and this it doesn’t have to happen  
Respond to me Pride  The company’s command must pass through one generation to the next  
Love Company expectation, anxiety  We are a company, a group, a team, no matter what you call it, we have to work as a team  
Functioning well Desire  Everyone must be clear about who we are and what we want, we must be aligned  

So in every message, there are objects – words, people, things, object relations (thing I try towards that object) – and belief systems, often unspoken, that feed the background. From this we can derive both: 1. a summary of the data 2. a synthesis of emotional backgrounds (general) and emotional details (particular) 3. a synthesis of the belief systems (Belief System) that operate in the person. Those who are able to make a truly empathic listening will be able to rephrase both i data, that the emotions he has grasped, that the underlying beliefs. An extremely technical work, ed extremely powerful. And if you need to take notes to help yourself on the “data”, just ask for the permission, and if still needed, have the speaker repeat some passages that we want to deepen, even better. Nobody gets tired of talking when they feel that we are listening with all of ourselves, and what he says we really care.  

For further information see: 

Article written by Ginevra Bighini, www.interculturalnegotiation.wordpress.com; mentoring by Dr. Daniele Trevisani, www.studiotrevisani.com

__________

Today’s article will focus on intercultural leadership. Starting from the definition of the term, we will then proceed with listing and describing the problems that may arise in an intercultural team and the skills that every leader must possess if he/she wants to work in a cross-cultural environment.

First of all, I would like to use the definition from the website 3blmedia.com to explain the differences between cross-cultural leadership, multicultural leadership and intercultural leadership:

“Cross-cultural, multicultural, intercultural…these terms are often used interchangeably yet have finely nuanced distinctions. For a leader, the cross-cultural context means literally crossing cultures to do business, provide service, or vacation in another culture. Multicultural refers to multiple cultures existing in a geographic place or organization, each separate and distinct. Intercultural refers to the act of understanding the values and beliefs of a culture and being able to communicate and collaborate with people across multiple cultures. Interculturalism has as its goal innovation, inclusion, and friendship. Intercultural ism implies interaction.”  (1)

 let’s now continue with Wikipedia’s explanation of intercultural leadership:

Intercultural leadership has been developed to understand leaders who work in the newly globalized market. Today’s international organizations require leaders who can adjust to different environments quickly and work with partners and employees of other cultures”. (2)

In other words, an intercultural leader must be able to:

  1. manage people from different cultures with cultural respect and an understanding attitude;
  2. achieve a common goal with his/her multicultural team.

Obviously, the problems that may arise in these cross-cultural contexts are numerous, for example:

  • intercultural differences in verbal and non-verbal communication;
  • communicative difficulties in the decision-making process, due to different cultural preferences for length of turns, pauses between turns, simultaneous talk, or discrete turns;
  • poor group cohesion;
  • etc.

Possible intercultural leadership challenges can be related to:

  • different cultural view of leaders’ behaviours: cultures accept different leadership behaviours and have different opinions about what can be considered appropriate and inappropriate.
  • Power paradox arousal: one part of the team questions the legitimacy and authority of the leader based on his leadership style.
  • Different culturally-based leadership expectations: members of multicultural team hold different culturally-based leadership expectations and prefer different leadership styles.
  • Team members’ culturally different reactions to leadership: team members from different cultures react differently towards the leader, based on the leader’s leadership style and on how a leader approaches them as team members. (3)

To overcome all this, intercultural communication skills are needed.

In fact, Intercultural management is more than just communicating, working and leading people across cultures. It is about interacting in a conscious and mindful way and it involves:

  • the readiness to recognize our own cultural conditionings and to discover how we came to believe and see things the way we do. This helps us to realize and accept that our own way to see and judge things is just one among many;
  • learning about the other person’s culture, including history, economy, political situation and all those aspects that help us understand the underlying reasons for someone’s behaviour, beyond our personal assumptions and values. This can provide a totally new perspective on a person or situation;
  • the ability to reflect on how our behaviour may be perceived, interpreted and judged by someone from a different culture, as well as the maturity to recognize how we may be unintentionally contributing to a problem (and how we can contribute to solving it);
  • the ability to adapt our behaviour in order to find a common ground with the people we work with, valuing cultural differences and co-creating new and better ways to do things. (4)

To conclude, in order to become global leaders, we cannot just learn how to manage a team or how to be charismatic, because that’s not sufficient. We are all living in a new globalized world, where everyone is forced to interact with many culturally different people, people with different opinions, values and beliefs, people that possess a different world view. All these people must work together to achieve greater results and only an intercultural leader, not a common manager, can help them do that.

Article written by Ginevra Bighini, www.interculturalnegotiation.wordpress.com; mentoring by Dr. Daniele Trevisani, www.studiotrevisani.com

__________

(1) https://www.3blmedia.com/News/Challenges-Intercultural-Leadership

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-cultural_leadership

(3) https://edepot.wur.nl/496325

(4) https://www.cuoaspace.it/2018/02/why-developing-intercultural-management-skills-is-essential-in-todays-complex-world.html

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© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

In the following article we are going to introduce the importance of negotiation preparation, focusing on professional training.

In the business field there is a lot of confusion about what training is. Some people think that it is possible to prepare negotiators and salespeople through a couple of hours of theoretical lessons based on abstract theories and concepts, relying on university professors who have never sold anything in their life. 

Others rely on people who make them walk on fire, telling them that this will lead them to dominate the universe, with the practical effect of burning their feet, or drag them into sales meetings where they will have to sing and dance like poor delusional morons. 

Others rely on renowned consulting firms to carry out their assignments, hoping to solve the problem (since they have got trained negotiators and salesmen) by turning to alleged Gurus who show sparkling slides, effective phrases, authors with exotic and famous names. Useful, but insufficient. 

Others focus on the “do-it-yourself” method, making young people flank with senior sellers, without filters, with the practical effect of propagating and disseminating all their mistakes for generations and generations. 

A strong “awareness” is more needed, than a classic training, something that goes beyond stereotyped rules, for example:

  • learning to observe how we react to other people’s communications and how our internal dialogue works; 
  • understanding how to examine a conversation and grasp its strategic moves;
  • preparing to be an analyst. 

Serious training is a very strong form of learning. It starts with a self-analysis that no PowerPoint can replace, and allows us to come to terms with who we really are. 

Unlike those seminars held by “training shops”, a good deep coaching (personal coaching or team coaching) can help the person and the team to pay attention to what previously eluded them, and this has nothing to do with a classic training. 

We need to help people to act like professionals, to “think” like professionals. The search for Human Potential, hidden in every person, is neither easy nor immediate, and we all know it very well. But, sometimes, we look for shortcuts that do not exist. 

There are many situations in which communication changes things. 

We can have a job interview, that can represent a turning point in life, where we have to show who we are and prove what we are worth. 

The effects of every word and every gesture will be decisive. 

Effective communication can also solve the problem of finding a financier for a project, or make a dream come true. 

Many situations, one common denominator: the result of communication and negotiation activities changes life. Facing this intriguing world requires the examination of many variables. But let’s first look for a common trait and reflect on the few certainties we have. 

A first basic awareness is the need for great seriousness in those who work in the world of communication and complex negotiation: being aware of the fact that professional changes – changing-life effects – depend on the results of strategic negotiations. 

If negotiations are well managed, they can lay the foundations for a better future. On the contrary, if they are badly managed, they can cause enormous damage. 

A second certainty is related to the fact that a specific training is needed to communicate well. As a matter of fact, negotiations require a mental preparation: we must use all our mental resources, managing negotiations as professional and strategic activities (mental approach of the Get-Ready Mind Set), without neglecting any detail. 

A third certainty is linked to the need of taking care of the seller’s (negotiator or communicator) “machine”, even before worrying about its external performance. A person who’s feeling well, full of physical and mental energies, will have an excellent chance of expressing his/her communicative potential as well. Conversely, a physically debilitated or exhausted person, who’s also psychologically tired or feels out of place, will only make continual mistakes. 

As an important Italian psychologist and advisor, coach of the Italian national freediving team and freediving world champion, points out: “when you “immerse yourself” in relationships and negotiations you come into contact with yourself and your own subconscious, as a free diver does. 

Reasonable or unreasonable fears, conscious or subconscious anxieties or inconsistencies may emerge. 

If they block us, slow us down, we will suffer many negative effects. 

On the contrary, a person who keeps working deeply on himself/herself can “dive” safely both in water and in the most difficult negotiation, keeping his/her composure, despite the difficult environment, without losing his/her emotional awareness. 

"Strategic Selling" by Daniele Trevisani

© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

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© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

Communication and negotiation are very delicate areas of human existence. Successes and failures, victories and falls, as well as the possibility of making dreams and ideals come true, depend on communication skills and that’s why the following articles will revolve around the tools for building our future: communication, strategic selling and complex negotiations.

Our desires, our human and professional aspirations – the ideas we would like to realize – our own life projects, etc. are all linked to this often-unexpressed ability to communicate, a latent skill, a flower to be made bloom. A skill that we rarely cultivate and study. 

It represents one of the most precious power of human nature: being able to express and share feelings, ideas, thoughts, visions, dreams, projects. 

Here below I would like to make a few examples related to the vital importance of communication skills: 

  • a diplomat or an officer have the lives of thousands of people on their shoulders when negotiating peace; peace and war have always been linked to misunderstandings, lack of communication, negotiation successes or failures; 
  • when an executive negotiates a decisive sale, he/she builds the company’s future; in fact, it also influences the future of the families of those who work in the company. His every move, his every action will have a consequence. 

The vital importance of these skills is not a metaphor, it is something tangible, real. We bumped into it in every job interview, where we were more or less good at presenting our strengths, more or less good at understanding who or what others were looking for, and why. 

The negotiation work is certainly not limited to the business level. 

The importance of communication skills can also alter (for better or for worse) the course of one’s love life; it can bring us closer to the people we love, or create distance, it can generate understanding or misunderstanding, passion or sadness, joy or pain. 

On one hand, good communication can give life to friendships and relationships that last a lifetime, but, on the other hand, bad communication determines the malfunction or irreparable breakdown of human and professional relationships. 

For every human being, the ability to communicate emotions, to open up to others, without letting these emotions being suffocated in an inner mental rumination, is a main factor of physical and mental health. 

Communication skills can even determine life and death, such as in military negotiations or for hostages’ release operations. 

In the business field, the abilities to analyse, present and listen are the core of every sales and partnership project and the heart of every complex negotiation. 

In this context, details also matter, for example: 

  • understanding who the real decision makers are, can change the life of a company; it may or may not let you win a competition, a tender, or the heart of a key customer; 
  • a typing error in an offer’s crucial point can produce a sense of carelessness and raise evaluation barriers, making the sale more difficult; but again… 
  • being distracted in the listening phase can make us lose important “signals” expressed by the interlocutor; 
  • catching or not catching a glance or a facial expression of approval or disapproval is also crucial. 

Concerning negotiations and human relationships, It is an exceptional achievement to understand each other, break the barriers of incommunicability, find ways to achieve cooperative success, and grow together. 

In fact, communicators, professional negotiators, salespeople, represent an active part of society and “put many things into motion”. Without them, companies cannot live. 

A company, where there is no one capable of selling, is a company on the edge of the abyss. All salaries come from a single source: sales. 

We must therefore prepare ourselves: the key is to develop our communication skills and support others’ growth. 

Communication skills must become a real asset (strategic resource) and not a weakness to be covered by discounts, rebates, humiliations, concessions and losses. 

This is why we must act with a fighting and strategic spirit, with a ready and resolute mind – an analyst’s mind – and “legs” ready to meet people everywhere. 

An ancient phrase, expressed by a Japanese Samurai, offers us a beautiful representation, which explains this attitude in a few words: 

Kenshin said: “Fate is in heaven, the armour is on the chest, the result is in the feet” (from the work “Cleary, Thomas. The Mind of the Samurai” by Adachi Masahiro, written from 1780 to 1800) 

The words of Samurai Masahiro help us understand that there are many areas of life that we cannot dominate, and others that are in our hands and that we must manage both personally and as a team. 

Kenshin’s “paradise” refers to global scenarios, for example the choices of the competitors, our armour is our preparation, our feet are the actions we choose to adopt. 

To conclude, we must absorb the fighting spirit proposed by Masahiro and adapt it to our purposes and our profession. 

There is no doubt that operating in sales today means having courage.

The courage of someone who goes out with a suitcase to win over a customer. 

The courage of those who face the world, of those who enter different cultures, new and unknown companies, of those who fight against stronger, more funded or powerful competitors, the courage of those who move on the front line. 

And even greater courage is needed to direct people, standing beside those men and women who work in the front line, especially in times of difficulty and greater need. 

This is leadership. This is a way of life. 

Negotiation is certainly a difficult game, but not a gamble. Serious negotiation never aims to produce free damage to the counterpart, but it is based on building “helping relationships”, that create value for all, and “winning relationships“, that benefit both parties. 

This also applies to marriage, where two people succeed in setting their own spaces of freedom for personal interests (sports, culture, gardening, travel, etc.), without letting marriage become a cage, but rather a springboard that can give power to both. 

This also applies to companies, when, thanks to a good negotiation, a project emerges, that no one, alone, would have been able to create. 

No result, however, is achieved by magic. We need negotiation activities and painstaking work to clarify roles, and roles boundaries. Relationships must be cultivated if we want to reap the fruit of our labour. 

In our everyday life we can negotiate consciously or unconsciously: for example, deciding which film to watch with friends can be considered a negotiation. In projects between companies, negotiation takes on an amplified, enormous importance, and can last for months. Months during which we must never loose our focus on the result. 

These needs require adequate training. 

Communication starts from a main need: the need to enter a relationship, to get in contact with someone or something, and – for those who work with negotiation on a professional level – preparing as professionals is the least that can be done. 

We have been negotiating since we were born, and we will do so for our entire life. 

"Strategic Selling" by Daniele Trevisani

© Article translated from the book “Strategic Selling: Psicologia e Comunicazione per la Vendita Consulenziale e le Negoziazioni Complesse” (Strategic Selling: Psychology and Communication for Consulting Sales and Complex Negotiations) 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 English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

For further information see:

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Article written by Ginevra Bighini, www.interculturalnegotiation.wordpress.com; mentoring by Dr. Daniele Trevisani, www.studiotrevisani.com

__________

Today’s article will be about culture shock and its consequences. Since I experienced it too, I will start with a general description of this phenomena, presenting my personal experience at the end.  

What is culture shock?

Let’s use Wikipedia’s concise definition to explain the term:

“Culture shock is an experience a person may have when one moves to a cultural environment which is different from one’s own; it is also the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, a move between social environments, or simply transition to another type of life. One of the most common causes of culture shock involves individuals in a foreign environment. Common problems include: information overload, language barrier, generation gap, technology gap, skill interdependence, formulation dependency, homesickness (cultural), boredom (job dependency), response ability (cultural skill set).” (1)

In other words, when you move to a culturally different place, you may be overwhelmed by a multitude of feelings, such as anxiety, loneliness, confusion, etc., because this new place feels far away from what you normally experience in your daily life. Everything is strange and unfamiliar and dealing with this feeling of unfamiliarity brings you anguish and inner stress.

In some cases, this psychological disorder can turn into a physical problem: it is not uncommon that after some time you start to suffer from stomach pain, insomnia or, in my case, kidney pain, etc.

The process of culture shock is divided in 4 stages:

  • Honeymoon: in this first stage everything seems new and beautiful and you feel euphoric for very little detail in your new life, but unfortunately this initial happiness is bound to end.
  • Negotiation: this is the worst part, in which nothing seems right anymore. You are angry, because you begin to realize that things are not going as you thought, you are sad because you feel lonely and you miss your family and friends, you feel anxious and uncomfortable, because you start comparing your new life with the old one and you realize that your old life had good points too. Fortunately, this stage will also come to an end.
  • Adjustment: after 6 or more months you will finally adjust to the new routine, the difficulties no longer seem so difficult to overcome, as in the previous phase, and everything is going back to normal.
  • Adaptation: you have now adapted to your new life and are experiencing a sense of belonging, feeling at home in what was a new environment at first.

When you finally reach the 4th stage, a re-entry culture shock may arise when you go back to your old place, forcing you to reexperience the process of culture shock all over again.

Now, explaining what a culture shock is and experiencing it are two completely different things and I know what I’m talking about, because it happened to me too.

When I first arrived in Japan, I couldn’t believe how happy I was to be there. I was fascinated by every little thing, from road signs and buildings shapes, to restaurants and shops. I remember my first calls to family and friends, full of excitement and hope for a bright future in Japan. If I’m not mistaken, I also remember telling them that I wanted to live there forever, or something like that.

All that lasted only 2 months and my negotiation phase started when I came back to Japan after spending my Christmas holidays at home in Italy.

I was devastated: I continuously thought about Italy and all its positive aspects. I missed everyone back at home and I couldn’t believe I was so exited at first, because I couldn’t think about any pros of being in Japan anymore: people looked unfriendly, road signs were too strange, fruits and vegetables costed too much, the room I rented was too small, etc.

In brief, I felt like I was living in the wrong place, a place in which I could never belong even if I tried and that feeling of uneasiness didn’t help me sleep (yes, I also suffered from insomnia).

After a while, when my boyfriend came to Japan for a month, I started being happy again and I was trying to adjust to my new life, when my study and work experience came to an end and I had to return to Italy.

Since I didn’t have the time to adjust completely I didn’t have to suffer from a re-entry shock, but I couldn’t go through all the stages, so, right now, I feel like retrying that same experience to prove myself that I can finally find a new home.

I don’t know if I will do it, but be sure that, as soon as this pandemic end, I’ll be back to Japan.

To conclude, if you really want to move to a culturally different country, be aware that all the inner and outer things you will experience are normal and that if you are very determined to build a new like a completely new environment, you can do it, because you will always adjust to it in the end.

Article written by Ginevra Bighini, www.interculturalnegotiation.wordpress.com; mentoring by Dr. Daniele Trevisani, www.studiotrevisani.com

__________

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_shock

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© 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. 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 Website on Intercultural Negotiation

__________

Let’s continue talking about emotion management, this time by focusing on emotional dragging and on those techniques used to reduce emotional stress in negotiations.

The Risk of Emotional Dragging during Negotiations

By emotional dragging we mean a situation in which an emotion, apparently well managed and removed, reappears in other forms in subsequent moments and negatively affects the outcome of a negotiation.

This can happen (1) within the same negotiation session, affecting subjects other than those who have generated a negative emotional impact, but also (2) between different sessions, carrying those negative states from one meeting to another.

Intra-Session Dragging

The intra-session dragging occurs more frequently than it is thought on a conscious level. A classic case is that of withheld anger towards one of the interlocutors, which is then projected towards another interlocutor present, in a modified, attenuated or strengthened form. Let’s look at the following case, an uncensored original transcript about the emotional experience of a negotiation meeting:

We had been at the table for about twenty minutes and we had just gotten to the heart of the matter. After various pleasantries (chat about the weather, about the coffee from the machine, etc.) we began to discuss the merits and here he comes, he sat down, he remained silent for a little bit, but then he started talking about atomic bullshits. I asked if I could have the pleasure of knowing his role in the project, and he said that he had a role in all projects, and he always wanted to see who entered and left his company. Concerning the project, he said that he had nothing to do with it, but he was supervising it a little. Basically, he came to say that he “kept his boys at bay”, so that they did not mess things up badly. I’ll put it another way: he had come to mark his territory like a dog pissing on trees to say that that tree belonged to him. Practically, he entered the meeting and pissed on those present, on his collaborators and on outsiders, me included, to make clear that this was his territory. I had just entered, I didn’t know anyone, I was an outsider, and at first, I was disappointed. Then I thought that I had already seen a lot of assholes like these around the companies, and I shouldn’t get too caught up, I had to go straight on my way, which was to bring home the signed contract and nothing more. if I had met him on the street, I would have hit him with the car, but not there, otherwise I would have ruined everything.

I kept letting him piss on my head for a while, but then, at some point, I contradicted him not in a strong way, but vaguely, just to make him understand that I was an expert and that he could not say whatever he wanted about certain topics without knowing a shit. However, it is a fact that he entered and left the meeting, doing what he wanted, answering his cell phone, calling people during the meeting and working there, in short, he wanted to look cool, perhaps to show that, there, he could do everything. After a while he went out and did not come back. At that moment I thought “he is dead, he is gone, finally, he will never come back”. At the end of the meeting, he was not there yet. We tried to sum up what was said during the day and I said something like this: “yes, we can certainly carry out a good project, the important thing is to keep the cheap company policy out of it. I am a kind of person that is not afraid of saying if there is a problem and does not pretend that nothing has happened just because it is uncomfortable to let it out”. Let’s take one thing into account: I was in the worst place on planet to say something like that. I should have pulled it out after being their supplier, after finding some ally, not there, at the first meeting. And now I realize that, as I was telling them that, I was squinting, looking like Clint Eastwood ready to shoot someone. Now I’m aware that I still had a lot of anger inside me, letting that asshole piss on me had bothered me, and I was throwing this anger back on others, on his collaborators. Then I can tell you that, even during the evening, at home, I was irritated, I had a hard time falling asleep, I couldn’t bear the idea that an ignorant recommended asshole had pissed on my head like that.

Dragging between Sessions

The dragging between sessions is caused by negative experiences related to previous relationships with the same subject or with the same category of subjects. We may have had unpleasant experiences with some people of a specific category and associate these experiences to the entire category, entering the negotiation with a wrong disposition.

Already formed stereotypes must be used with caution. Above all, it is essential to learn how to clean one’s own mind from negative attitudes resulting from previous sessions, so as to enter the negotiation with a free and open mind.

Dragging between Emotional States of Personal Life and Professional Situations

Personal life inevitably generates emotional experiences.

Relationships with friends, family, relatives, as well as events experienced outside the work environment invariably have an impact on the person. Some individuals are good at masking what happens in their personal life (especially negative experiences), but disguising may not be the best strategy.

The most advanced techniques on a professional level provide – for those in need of a pressing negotiation and for those who negotiate at a high level – for the use of professional counselling and coaching tools, that can support the subject in elaborating the facts of personal and professional life, harmoniously integrating personal experience and managerial life.

We cannot pretend that a manager, who has just experienced a family or professional trauma, can go to work as nothing has happened and be equally productive. Illnesses, marriage problems, difficulties with children, etc., reduce concentration and the available mental energy.

At the same time, on the opposite level, it is possible to learn to feed on the positive emotions that private life can offer and absorb these energies to nourish the professional level.

It can be said that one of the most underestimated issues of today concerning management is the energetic and motivational condition of the subject; managers, as well as collaborators must be seen as “holistic beings” who live both a psychological and physical life.

Intercultural negotiation can create emotional turbulence and high emotional distress. Negotiation itself (intracultural negotiation too) is a phenomenon that has a deep impact on the person’s energy systems. The addition of the strong intercultural variable increases the cognitive cost of attention and processing, the likelihood of misunderstanding, break and repair.

It is therefore on the energy level that managers must be helped to find and maintain a high, positive condition, capable of providing them with the necessary support for intercultural negotiation challenges.

Techniques to Manage and Reduce Emotional Stress in Negotiation

Several strategies are used in the ALM method to manage emotional stress in negotiations.

Autogenic and meditative training techniques (passive techniques) and other relaxation techniques (physical dissipation, sports, active techniques) are extremely useful for generating a good emotional predisposition in the negotiator, especially if practiced the same day, before the negotiation session.

In the immediate future, the separation between personal emotional experiences and professional time can be helped by specific relaxation techniques, while at advanced levels and in the long term, turning to professional coaching and managerial counselling can be more productive, because they help managers learn to focus both on lifestyle elements (lifestyle training) and on emotional management techniques.

Usable techniques are:

  • conceptual preparation and desk-work strategies: cultural analysis, latent cultural objections analysis, objections management preparation;
  • experiential preparation strategies: situational role playing used to refine and activate motor and conversational patterns, to create readiness in conversational moves and to create self-confidence;
  • emotional preparation and emotional reorganization strategies: relaxation techniques, autogenic training, focusing and meditation;
  • physical techniques of bio-energetic recharge: doing physical work to remove stress through specific physical exercise;
  • disidentification techniques, such as those proposed by Assoagioli in Psychosynthesis, which can help individuals to distance themselves emotionally from their current experience, as if it were something happening to others, that cannot affect them;
  • cognitive restructuring techniques: for example, moving from the concept of “negotiation as a confrontation” to “negotiation as a helping relationship” (helping the other party to understand something or to achieve a goal);
  • post-negotiation debriefing techniques, that help individuals dissolve negotiation stress, rework it and use it to grow rather than letting it block them, forcing them being conceptually and emotionally committed or making them feel inadequate to face new goals and challenges.
"Intercultural Negotiation" by 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. 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 Website on Intercultural Negotiation

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