Union Between the Two Variables for a Unified Picture of Communication Difficulties

© 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

Characteristics of Communication Situations

By combining the two cultural variables (1) code and (2) worldview, in a matrix, we can identify four hypothetical communication situations (COMSITS). Fig. 15 – T2V matrix

SimilarCOMSIT BCOMSIT A
DifferentCOMSIT DCOMSIT C
///////////DifferentSimilar

In this matrix we can trace a large part of the communicative interactions.

6.4.5. COMSIT A: characteristics

COMSIT A is defined as “same communication code – same worldview”. The communication process is easy and without problems, since we have precision in the exchange of information and agreement on the objectives. In COMSIT A, the lack of differences in the communication code generates a high degree of accuracy and efficiency in the exchange of information, without misinterpretations, misunderstandings, misunderstandings, semantic confusions and the need for translation. At the same time, the completely equal vision of the world among communicators – the concordance of underlying orientations and values, produces convergence of goals and vision. This circumstance is, however, only hypothetical, as the differences in communication code occur to varying degrees in every human process of communication.

Conflict exercise based on the discovery of the different “view of things” Analyze in pairs at least two situations of conflict, divergence or misunderstanding with people from your family or business, from the present or from the past. In particular, analyze:

  • the theme of the conflict (what the conflict was about, what produced it);
  • our “world view” on the subject;
  • the vision of others on the subject;
  • when, how and where did a different vision of things appear;
  • what results were produced and in what times;
  • what is the status of the relationship today.

6.4.6. COMSIT B: characteristics

COMSIT B (completely different code – same world view) represents the case in which the obstacle to communication is the lack of a common communication code (common language). The problem is therefore solely linguistic, people are unable to dialogue because they lack a shared communication system. If a common code could be provided or learned, the situation would turn into ideal COMSIT A.

Exercise of alteration of communication codes

Two couples of friends / colleagues meet to decide on a holiday to be carried out in a group of four. Before the meeting, the two couples, separately, must invent five new words (to be chosen from nouns of thing, verbs, adjectives), for example, an offensive word, a word of appreciation, a word to express a discomfort, a verb to inquire, and other inventions of the group. Make the meeting happen and check how the new words interfere in understanding, and other ongoing communication dynamics.

6.4.7. COMSIT C: characteristics

COMSIT C (same code – completely different world view) represents the hypothetical case in which communication difficulties result from a lack of sharing in the world view. The elements of diversity may concern:

  • opinions;
  • attitudes;
  • beliefs;
  • values.

In COMSIT C, a common code allows the exchange of information, but the outcome of communication is initially negative, as completely different beliefs, different values, diversity in underlying attitudes, attitudes and goals, will result in a complete lack of agreement. . The outcome of the communication is therefore bankruptcy, unless one of the two parties, or both, are willing to review some positions.

Conflict exercise between different personal positions

Create a group of people, even a minimum (2 per group, but in the absence it can also be achieved by 2 individuals) who are looking for all the advantages of taking short holidays but several times a year. The group must produce a list of at least 10 (or more) arguments in favor. It will also have to produce a list of at least 10 or more arguments against taking longer vacations at one time. An opposing group will do the opposite work, looking for the arguments in favor of taking long vacations, once a year, and the arguments or disadvantages and risks of taking more broken holidays. The representatives of the 2 groups meet and have to support their positions.

Conflict exercise between different company positions on the conception of times

Create a group of people, even a minimum (2 per group, but in the absence it is also achievable by 2 individuals) who are looking for all the advantages of making fast, rapid business projects (the “rabbits”) The group must produce a list of at least 10 (or more) arguments in favor. It will also have to produce a list of at least 10 or more arguments against making projects that are too thoughtful and too long in scope. An opposite group (the “bears”) will do the opposite work by looking for the arguments in favor of long-term projects, very reasoned and thought out, and the arguments or disadvantages and risks of fast projects. The representatives of the 2 groups meet and have to support their positions.

Conflict exercise: “buy merchandise” versus “buy partnerships”

Create a group of people, even a minimum (2 per group, but failing that it can also be created by 2 individuals) who represent a manufacturing company (office furniture production) interested in buying training hours for its sellers (eg: 5 group hours, for a group of 8 people). The mini-course program is the one found on the internet, relating to a basic sales course. The intentions are to test the effectiveness of trainers and spend little (for now), distract their salespeople from their work a little, and perhaps evaluate other interventions in the future. An opposing group will play the role of the training company, extremely convinced that a training project previously requires a good diagnosis, individual interviews with future participants, and that the hours cannot be fixed if the diagnosis has not been carried out.

At the same time, the training company does not want to commit to the fact that it is already foreseeable that a course is the best solution (for example, it wants to be free to decide on solutions such as coaching in the field, and other methods of professional intervention it considers effective). The representatives of the 2 groups meet and have to support their positions.

COMSIT D: features

COMSIT D (completely different code – completely different world view) is the hypothetical situation in which communication is disturbed for two reasons: from a technical point of view, the lack of common code does not allow the exchange of information, and even if a common code could be provided, a completely different view of the world would lead to the situation previously identified as COMSIT C, characterized by a lack of agreement. COMSIT D therefore represents the most difficult circumstance when the communication aims at the exactness of the data exchange and the search for an agreement between different positions. Similar communication contexts were considered Barnett and Kincaid (1983), who considered the combination of two variables: mutual understanding and agreement. Summarizing, according to the T2V model, the result of communication, understood as communicative efficiency in the exchange of information, and effectiveness in reaching an agreement, is negatively correlated with the differences in the code used and the differences in the world view. On the other hand, as the similarity of communication codes and worldview increases, the probability of success increases.

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 in Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com 

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