Interpersonal Motivational Systems (SIM) and Intercultural Leadership

© 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 

Conversation Analysis and Negotiation Communication Climates

In each of the different communication moments that occur in the groups, different communication systems can be activated. The exchanges of messages that we observe between people or in a group are only the tip of the iceberg of stronger relational processes, the Interpersonal Motivational Systems (SIM).

Some of the most recognized SIMs are:

  • attachment;
  • seduction;
  • competitive spirit;
  • cooperation.

The conflict and the malfunctions of the groups therefore start from the system of communication observable in the dynamics of the group. Intercultural leadership consists in taking the reins of intercultural encounters, and being able to direct them with awareness and cultural tact.

It absolutely does not mean domination over the other, but it consists in an attempt to voluntarily manage communication flows, seen from above for greater awareness. For example, it is possible to recognize which of the Motivational Systems is being generated in the negotiation, and try to modify it. The principle of cooperation acts as the main glue of the group, but other systems can also be activated to increase its dynamism.

The Qualitative Analysis of Conversational States

We can recognize the type of communication in progress within a group by carefully reading the signals. With adequate training and high natural sensitivity, it is possible to grasp in a few words which are the “conversational states” that predominate a communication. By “conversational states” we mean here a sequence of communicative moves attributable to prototypes, for example:

  • confession,
  • seduction,
  • reciprocal jabs (creeping conflict),
  • the “locker room conversation”,
  • self-celebration,
  • seeking help,
  • self-victimization,
  • the offer of help,
  • the accusation,
  • the scientific analysis of a problem,
  • “let’s try to understand”,
  • the “gossiping of the absent”,
  • the outburst,
  • the “talk of trouble”,
  • the “daydream”,
  • the quarrel,
  • the interrogation,
  • the game,
  • the joke,
  • “talking among the like”.

Conversations are constantly moving from one state to another, and we can have conversations that start in terms of “confession” and then move into seduction, and slip into self-celebration, then again into accusation.

During an intercultural negotiation, the negotiator must be aware of the fact that certain conversational formats – such as play and joke – are difficult to translate between different cultures, so it is very easy to make gaffes, be humorous or forcibly “nice”. Other conversational formats, such as the scientific analysis of a problem, or “talking among similar people” (eg: confronting “family fathers”) can bring out cultural differences but with less room for error.

Each conversation (negotiation and otherwise) proceeds along one format anyway until another and different format takes hold. The role of conversational leadership is exactly to move formats and direct them where it is most productive. In the following diagram, we can visually grasp the concept of “layout of the conversational format”, which expresses a possible course of the conversation. What is productive, for intercultural negotiation, is therefore the ability to understand how the conversation is evolving along the path, and the ability to move the lines within more productive communication spaces.

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 

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