Power and Conversation

© 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 

Management of Conversational States

As the language “segments the world”, the conversation “segments the group” bringing out the relationships of strength and leadership. If language helps to build the perception of the world, conversation helps to create the relationships of power and leadership within the groups.

It is sufficient that a recall is ignored, to generate an immediate perception in the group on the type of power relations existing and generate a drastic drop in points in the leadership score (degree of conversational leadership of the subject). Let’s imagine the case of A (manager) and B (official), in which A states “I prefer that we do not continue further on this topic”, while B replies “yes, but …” continuing exactly on the subject.

The speech act of A “I prefer that we do not continue further on this topic” is a conversational move that fits within A’s line of communicative action called “assertive management of content and setting my role”. The linguistic act of B “yes but …” is a relational counter-move that can be framed in B’s communicative line of action “I don’t recognize you in the role of content manager and I continue on my way”.

If this mechanism is not resumed and sanctioned, A will immediately lose de facto leadership. The stratification of speech acts, conversational moves and related repercussions produces real leadership not inscribed in company or group documents, a leadership that is created in the daily reality of conversations.

Principle 14 – Management of conversational states

The quality of life in the work groups and the performance of the groups themselves are correlated:

  • the leader’s ability to grasp the ongoing conversational state (general recognition);
  • the leader’s ability to grasp dysfunctional conversational states (negative specific recognition), and practice negative reinforcement, intervene to restore functional states
  • the leader’s ability to grasp positive conversational states (specific positive recognition) and reinforce them.

The leader acts as coordinator, internal animator and controller of communication flows and conversational states, expressing his or her consent or dissent in key moments, for each team member, and exercising assertive control over them.

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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