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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 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 Communication Tools

Some clichés on multicultural college campuses are that whites “taste like chicken”, Asians “smell of garlic”, blacks “taste of sweat”, and other curious stereotypes. The olfactory differences on the ethnic and genetic level are really existing, but the perceived sense of smell is largely determined by cultural factors such as nutrition, cleanliness or the use of perfumes. Personal olfactory emissions are a communication tool.

It is certain that the sense of smell affects perception, and that nutrition produces essences that exude from the skin and breath. These aspects are to be taken care of for those who want to manage every aspect, even the smallest details, of intercultural negotiation and more generally of human contact The answer is not to become a hyper-perfumed manager wrapped in clouds of strawberry essence, but a conscious management of conscious and subconscious smells.

Even the smell of the room in which you negotiate, the olfactory perceptions encountered along the path, in the corridors, in the parking lots and squares, form the overall “people perception” (the image of the other). Anything that can be attributed to some extent to the subject or to the corporate environment affects perception and image. Some clothing chains have resorted to the targeted odorization of the stores to create a more relaxed and pleasant atmosphere (environmental olfactory marketing).

Smell is a remote sense of the human being, partially abandoned in favor of senses such as sight and hearing. Animal “noses” are able to pick up smells that signal sexual emotions or predispositions, while human noses seem to have lost this trait, as Hall points out: The consequence of the loss of importance of smell as a means of communication, was an alteration in the type of relationship between human beings, which has probably endowed man with a great capacity to resist crowding. If humans had noses as powerful as rats, they would forever be tied up and involved with the full range of emotions and mood swings that people around them need.

Other people’s anger, for example, would have been something we could smell. In homes, the identity of any visitor and the emotional connotations of the various objects and their history would be subject to public registration and dominion as long as their smell lasted: psychotics would drive us all mad, and the anxious would still dilate our anxiety. To say the least, life would be much more complex and intense: it would be less controlled by consciousness, because the centers that preside over smell in the brain are older and more primitive than the visual centers …

Hall’s question is what sense is capable of generating interpersonal trust. Hall points out that in animals the sense of smell is still decisive, while in humans sight and hearing have assumed greater importance: the passage of the body’s confidence from nose to eye, the result of environmental pressures, has given a completely new face to the human condition. The typical human design ability has been made possible by the wider reach of the eye that encodes immensely more complex data, thus encouraging thought and abstraction. The sense of smell, precisely because it is so intimately connected to emotionality and sensual satisfaction, pushes man exactly in the opposite direction.

The evolution of man has received the mark of the development of “remote receptors”, sight and hearing. The signals of trust and distrust, the perception of the emotions of others, are therefore to be refined above all in the negotiator’s ability to grasp the emotionally uncontrolled facial movements, the vocal timbre and the breaks in the tone of the voice that signal vocal and emotional stress.

Other studies, however, argue that the olfactory capacity has only diminished and there are continuous olfactory exchanges at an unconscious level, for example the analysis of possible sexual compatibility between men and women.

At the interpersonal level, negotiation olfactory strategies capable of recognizing emotions on a pheromonic basis (hormones secreted by human glands) are not possible at the moment, but targeted and strategic personal odorizations are still possible. There are practical implications for a conscious personal odor – avoiding foods that can give rise to strong emissions through the breath, avoiding excessive personal fragrances, being aware of personal smells (eg, sweat), considering the importance of adequate olfactory environmental marketing.

In broad terms, non-verbal communication also includes the behaviors held during the negotiation interaction, actions on objects, use and manipulation of tools. For example, during a sale in which you demonstrate how a tool works, the skill and skill with which you manipulate an instrument represents a message (and therefore a form of communication). And again, when taking notes, our interlocutor can pay attention to the care with which you write, to the ticks on the pens, to the precision shown in drawing a diagram.

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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