Active listening techniques

Ascolto attivo ed empatia: I segreti di una comunicazione efficace di [Daniele Trevisani]
Article translated by dott. Federica Franca, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Active Listening and Empathy. The Secrets for Effective Communication” (original title: “Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

1.8. In-depth analysis of active listening techniques and empathy

Active listening is linked to paralinguistic and non-verbal communication and it includes:

  • verbal active listening techniques;
  • paralinguistic active listening techniques;
  • non-verbal active listening techniques.

These techniques will be examined in the following paragraphs.

Let’s underline now an essential aspect of empathy:

  1. the person who is talking must be aware that they will not be judged. They also should not be ashamed of what they are feeling or saying, no matter how odd or serious things are – from their point of view; empathy is a special area in the space-time continuum – a person can say everything they want, without facing any negative consequences;
  2. the person who is talking must be aware that they can start making some progress and moving forward only when they have accepted themselves as they are, not matter what they did or what they thought, whether they like it or not.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am,

then I can change”.

Carl Rogers

1.9. Verbal active listening techniques

Verbal listening techniques focus on the use of all those words that express attention and willingness to understand.

  • Open questions: who, where, when, how, why, with whom, how long and other questions that broaden and clarify the conversation.
  • Closed or clarifying questions: they verify parts of the speech through “yes–no questions”, or other general answers (“a lot/a little”, “before/after”). “It happened just before meeting Angela” “How long before it happened? One hour? One day?” or “Are you happy with your car?”
  • Mirror technique (reflection of content): repetition of sentences – or parts of sentences – the speaker said, without modifying or altering them. The mirror technique comes from the empathic listening methodologies used in the Rogerian1 therapeutic interview. It is a psychotherapeutic technique that allows the speakers to deepen their thoughts – and to express themselves. “So, you are telling me that…”
  • Paraphrase: use of “as if”. Trying to understand what has been said by using metaphors or examples that are useful to figure out whether we really understood the deep meaning of what the other person is saying. “You are telling me that it seems like they poured water into your jug without realising it was already full, am I right?”
  • Factual and historical overview, summary: repetition of what has been said by summarising the main points of the “story”. “If I got that right, what happened could be summed up by saying that…”
  • Verbal encouragement: e.g. “good”, “interesting”, “yes”, “okay”.

1.10. Paralinguistic active listening techniques

Use of vocalisations that show interest in the “story” and simplify expression – e.g. guttural speech sounds and whispery voice such as “Uhm”, “Oh”. Giving a written report of these expressions is not possible, but if we listened to a person that “listens well”, we would notice that they make careful and particular use of paralanguage and sounds during essential parts of the speech. Paralinguistic techniques – together with visual non-verbal techniques – aim to provide phatic signals (contact signals), so that the interlocutor understands that we are listening, we are understanding and we are focused and interested.

1.11. Non-verbal active listening techniques

Non-verbal active listening techniques use body language to express interest:

  • Open and leaning forward posture to express willingness; relaxed body posture;
  • Proxemic (approaching and moving away): reducing the distance from the interlocutor during moments of great interest, moving away in moments of loosening;
  •  Facial expression: vigilant, careful and caring – not doubtful, ironic or aggressive;
  • Vigilant and direct gaze;
  • Eyebrow movement combined with key points of the interlocutor’s speech;
  • Nods – approval or rejection;
  • Soft, slow and rolling gestures to communicate a feeling of relaxation and to encourage moving forward;
  • Non-verbal metaphors: use of body language to show comprehension of what the interlocutor is saying.

In terms of non-verbal level, it is important to consider that many cultures restrain non-verbal expression of emotions (e.g. Asian culture), but this is also a communicative stereotype – it has a probabilistic value and does not provide certainty.

In short, the main techniques for effective listening are:

  • curiosity and interest;
  • paraphrase: the listener repeats what they understood (that does not mean agreeing with what the person is saying);
  • summary and recap: rephrasing what the interlocutor said in order to gather information;
  • targeted questions (conversational refocusing) in order to clarify unclear parts of the speech;
  • avoiding personal questions until a solid relationship has been established;
  • offering the speaker the opportunity to figure out whether what they understood is correct, accurate or, on the other side, twisted and incomplete;
  • listening not only words, but also feelings and non-verbal signals in order to assess feeling and moods;
  • checking for correct understanding of both feelings and content and not ignoring the latter;
  • do not tell people how they should feel or what they should think (during the listening phase, it is essential to just draw information, without teaching or judging).

One must not judge men as we judge a painting or a statue, to a first and unique look; there is an interiority and a soul that must be deepened.

(Jean de La Bruyère)

These attitudes are essential and they determine the quality of the listening phase. Yet, regarding business listening phases, they should not be confused with the goals of a whole negotiation (that includes listening and propositional phases and statements – which sometimes are harsh or assertive).

During a negotiation, modifying what other people think (cognitive and persuasive restructuring) or how they feel (emotional action) is possible – this is one of the strategic goals –, but this goal can be pursued only once the negotiator has succeeded in actively listening, using empathy in order to understand the situation in which they are working.

Listening is not only a technique, but it is also expression and connotation of a state of attraction and love – that can also be just an idea, not necessarily a person. Stopping listening means that something between that idea and us broke and we have to choose between mending that relationship by listening again, or letting it go forever.

“Love ends when listening does.”

Enrico Maria Secci


[1] Rogers C.R. (1961), On becoming a Person, Houghton Mifflin, Boston; Id. (1951), Client-Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications, and Theory, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Fonte: Dott. Trevisani D., Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace, Franco Angeli Edizioni, 2016, Milano.

Other online material available in these sites:

Other available online resources

CIELS Institutional Website: https://www.ciels.it/

2. Communication and listening as encounter between worlds

Article translated by dott. Marco Recalenda, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Active Listening and Empathy. The Secrets for Effective Communication” (original title: “Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

2.3. The relational approach. A question of voice, words, and content

During any human interaction, there are moments of rapprochement and estrangement between people. Listening, when well done, is certainly a moment of relational rapprochement.

Words take on meaning only based on an agreement between the parties, otherwise they would just be empty sounds. The theory of the Coordinated Management of Meanings[1] highlights precisely that the word with its set of shared meanings is the result of a work of coordination between the many possible meanings. For the listener, being reassured about the meaning of the primary words we are using is crucial.

If an entire discourse, for example, revolves around the theme of Corporate Training, it is not a bad idea to actively ask “What is your conception of Corporate Training?” and compare it with your own.

In this way we will know if there are any divergences of meaning (semantic divergences) that might hinder our understanding.

To judge a man, one must at least know the secret of his thinking, his misfortunes, his emotions.

 (Honoré de Balzac)

There are distances, relational distances, no less important than physical distances. Listening is the most powerful mechanism we have for reducing relational distances between human beings.

Incommunicability, on the other hand, is an enemy both of communication between people and of human mechanisms such as being friends, getting along, doing things together and having fun. It also affects relations in companies, between companies, between nations and even between whole cultures and global areas.

I give a brief initial example of good listening skills, made, not by chance, by a friend who is also a psychotherapist and counsellor, to whom I tell by phone the joy of starting this book:

  • Daniele “You know Lorenzo, it’s coming out really well, today I was in the library with all the windows open, crisp air, and I wrote really well, the book is starting to take shape, I can feel it flowing”.
  • Lorenzo: “I’m glad to hear you are so lively”.

As can be seen, the active listening of my colleague and friend Dr. Lorenzo Manfredini does not even concern himself with the content (he could have asked, for example, which chapter I was on), but “reflects” a very special kind of listening, that of my mood, perceived above all by the paralinguistic system (tone of voice, timbre, speed of speech, intonation), even more than by the words themselves (verbal component, the words I used).

Intonation is one of the ‘prosodic elements’ of language. It is composed of the tone and modulation of the voice during the articulation of a word or sentence. Prosody is the part of linguistics that studies the intonation, rhythm, duration, and accent of spoken language. Prosodic information, such as intonation, is full of meanings, for example, it tells us something about the health and fitness of the speaker, the energy in circulation, the mood. An example of augmented listening is listening to intonation:

“The rising and falling tone or the use of a particular chant are ‘paralinguistic’ elements of communication, which add to the meaning conveyed by words. This level of communication can never be eliminated from vocal communication, not even from artificially produced communication, which in fact often appears mechanical to us precisely because of its ‘flat’ intonation. Paralinguistic communication mainly conveys information about the identity of the speaker (gender, geographical origin, etc.) and about the relationships that the sender intends to establish with the recipient (play, joke, command, question, etc.)”[2]


 

And that is exactly what the friend did, connecting to the relationship of “sharing happiness” which was my primary communicative intent.

Listening to the underlying communicative intent, and not just the words, is an example of listening beyond words, and augmented perception.

This is to say that advanced active listening can enter our every moment, our every day, it requires skills, and it is not just about the words, but rather and above all about the communicative intent that a person expresses, usually doing so in a totally undeclared way.

If we had been in a project in which this transmission of messages was connected to a deadline, the question could have been about what page I was on in relation to the deadline; the communicative intent could have been about a practical need to understand if we were late, and that would have been the appropriate question, but as this was not the case, a far superior, advanced, active listening competence emerged.

“Speech belongs half to the speakerhalf to the listener.”

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Whenever we listen deeply, in some way, we are connecting to the inner worlds of people, we are getting closer to the ‘core’ of the individual, to their ‘moods’, their personality, their history, and not just facts and figures. Then, and only then, can we begin to grasp its infinite nuances, and begin to understand it.

2.4. Listening to the micro-signals of voice and words. From vocal stress to quality of pronunciation, to confidence and trustworthiness, to gait. Listening to the ‘whole’

Auditory listening comes through the vibrations of the vocal cords creating sounds, which we recognise as words.

When we are stressed, e.g., by telling a lie, or dealing with a subject that is overly sensitive to us, the body unconsciously activates the attack-escape system (sympathetic nervous system) – increasing the readiness of the muscles to spring into action. The vocal cords do not escape, and their vibration goes from a state of relaxation to a more tremulous voice (microtremors) which corresponds to a voice under stress.

This is to say that while we are listening, not only do ‘grammatical’ words come in, but my processing of what I hear takes place, and a form of judgement or evaluation is triggered, not only of the content (ethical or moral evaluation), but also of the speaker’s skills, or his state of stress. If an Italian person quotes a word in English, e.g., Bed & Breakfast, based on how well he pronounces even single words in English, I will understand how familiar he is with that language, how much he has studied it, and even whether he has lived there for a long time. This is augmented perception. Someone who talks about sales and uses the word Sales literally, verbatim – is telling us, unintentionally, that they have extremely poor English and probably do not have the awareness to make a big impression on someone who knows the language well.

People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues. Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them. 

(Markus Zusak)

If while the person is speaking, we hear a vocal tremor, we are practising advanced listening, listening to the components of vocal stress is an indicator of ongoing lies or emotional difficulties, we think the person is under stress.

Not only that, but we also listen more than words if we phone a person in the morning, and we hear a low timbre of voice, so we go as far as to ask, “oh sorry, did you just wake up?” even if the person answering the phone does not mention it at all. We pick it up from the voice, from its qualities. Our mirror neurons allow us to identify and feel what we perceive. The thought of what might be happening takes shape in our mind, based on what might have happened to us on similar occasions. This is also an advanced and active listening dynamic.

“The first step to understanding reality is to become aware of how it takes shape in our mind.”

Stefano Nasetti

But back to examples of content. If I talk about white fibres and red fibres (two different types of muscle fibres)[3],I assume that the other person understands me and has studied motor sciences or medicine or physiology.

And not only that. The quality of the exposition will tell me a lot about his cultural status, and the calmness with which he expounds will help me to understand if it is the first time or one of the many he talks about, and therefore if he is an expert in the field or not (and this without the person having either said or officially announced it).

And always looking at the ‘unspoken’, it is enough to see a person enter a bar or walk down the street and deduce from the type of walk, posture and body size and their proportions, a lot of data with respect to age, state of health, doing or not doing sports, and a lot of other information.

2.5. Meeting between worlds and personal ‘spheres

Really important encounters are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other.

(Paulo Coelho)

Cultural and professional backgrounds, combined with our personal history, our state of mind, our values, make us unique “systems”.

Everyone is unique, a ‘sphere’ of meanings, energies, dreams, ambitions, tangible cells, and intangible thoughts.

Listening means getting closer to that sphere. Deep listening means entering that sphere.

The more you activate empathy, the more you enter the “core” of the person.

Each person can be likened metaphorically to an energy field, a field of light, which at some time meets other energy fields, other fields of light, finding or not finding possibilities for exchange, osmosis, transmission of signals, or remaining distant, impermeable.

 Eventually soulmates meet, for they have the same hiding place.

(Robert Brault)

If I assume that we will magically understand each other, I will not be doing quality listening. Listening means being ready to approach worlds we do not know, and not just letting words in through our ears.

We find ourselves in a world in which everyone is within their own ‘sphere’ – a set of thoughts, signals, words, values, – together referred to in the HPM method as the ‘Semiosphere’. Each of us lives in a ‘world’, in a sphere of words, concepts, ideologies and beliefs about the world and ourselves. Communication poses the challenge of passing messages between people from different backgrounds. Listening must always consider the possibility that the other person has a different culture from ours, even if it is only slightly different, which would imply the need to listen without preconceptions. Even the difference between a humanistic and a technical-engineering education can create a degree of incommunicability. Not understanding each other is more frequent than we think.

Every day we go around in a crowd, we run here and there, we almost touch each other but, there is truly little contact. All those missed encounters. All those missed opportunities. It is disturbing when you think about it. Maybe it is better not to think about it at all.

(Jonathan Coe)

Every professional or family background offers you a world of words that you use daily, until those words become your world. This world becomes your daily sphere, your sphere of words, your sphere of relationships, your sphere of high or low, strong, or weak energies.

At some moment, these spheres have occasion for contact, but the different backgrounds make understanding not automatic or obvious.

When this moment of contact occurs, the two ‘spheres’ can repel each other ‘by the skin’, like two balls of equal magnetic charge repel each other.

Attraction or repulsion occurs when archaic elements of the brain (archipallium) give us signals of displeasure or pleasantness, towards a face or smells that offer us signals of danger, or with signals that also come from body language, posture, smiles and facial expressions. If the signals are negative, they alert our alarm systems, they are certainly not conducive to listening, but if we know that they are being activated, we can go beyond those signals, listen, and perceive with greater awareness what is happening inside us.

Listening to a person who disturbs us is something we avoid as much as possible and reduce to the bare minimum, and we notice this even between people who love each other but have had a fight. There is no less talking, there is less listening.

Listening therefore means much more than hearing words, but observing movement, the body, gestures, facial expressions, objects, moods.

Miraculously (but it is not a miracle, but the effect of well analysable human mechanisms) the opposite can also happen, a magnetic-like attraction, a human contact where we can find an understanding with someone, a way to share something between our spheres of meaning. And almost always, in this case, listening will become an extremely pleasant process.

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

(Winston Churchill)

[1] Pearce, W. B.; Pearce, K. “Extending the Theory of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (“CMM”) Through a Community Dialogue Process” . Communication Theory. 10: 2000.

Pearce, W. Barnett, Vernon E. Cronen, and Linda M. Harris. “Methodological considerations in building human communication theory.” Human communication theory: Comparative essays (1982): 1-41.

[2] Voce Intonazione, da Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

[3] Fibre muscolari a contrazione lenta o veloce  – Le fibre muscolari striate sono classificate in fibre a contrazione lenta (I tipo) e veloce (II tipo). Le fibre di I tipo sono responsabili del tono muscolare; esse presentano un colore più scuro e vengono chiamate anche fibre rosse, per la ricchezza di mioglobina, si contraggono più lentamente e hanno una resistenza maggiore all’esaurimento (sono i muscoli che prevalgono ad esempio in un maratoneta); quelle di II tipo, invece, sono più chiare (chiamate quindi fibre bianche), producono scatti potenti ed esauriscono l’energia rapidamente (sono la tipologia muscolare che coltiva un sollevatore di pesi, un artista marziale, o un pugile, ad esempio). La maggior parte dei muscoli scheletrici è composta da fibre di entrambi i tipi.

Le fibre di cui disponiamo non sono solo geneticamente determinate, ma si modificano con l’allenamento e in base al tipo specifico di allenamento.

Il potenziamento dell’uno o dell’altro tipo di fibre muscolari attraverso uno specifico allenamento permette lo sviluppo di qualità fisiche come la resistenza, l’elasticità muscolare, la velocità. In altre parole, è possibile determinare le tipologie di muscoli che vogliamo avere e le loro qualità principali.

Elaborato con modifiche da Microsoft ® Encarta ®. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Source:

Article translated by dott. Marco Recalenda, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Active Listening and Empathy. The Secrets for Effective Communication” (original title: “Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

Other online material available in these sites:
Sito Studio Trevisani Formazione Coaching Consulenza (Italian & English)
Sito Daniele Trevisani (Italian)
Website Dr. Daniele Trevisani (English)
Comunicazione Aziendale
Comunicazione Interculturale
Medialab Research
Intercultural Negotiation (English)
Operational Negotiation (English)
Linkedin Profile Dr. Daniele Trevisani

Other available online resources
Pubblicazioni e libri dott. Daniele Trevisani (Books published)
Rivista online gratuita di Comunicazione, Potenziale Umano e Management
Iscrizione gratuita al Blog Studiotrevisani.it tramite Email
Canale YouTube

CIELS Institutional Website: https://www.ciels.it/

The Scale of Listening Levels

Ascolto attivo ed empatia: I segreti di una comunicazione efficace di [Daniele Trevisani]
Article translated by dott.ssa Federica Franca, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Active Listening and Empathy. The Secrets for Effective Communication” (original title: “Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

2.9 Empathic listening

Listening without bias or distraction is the greatest value you can pay another person.

(Denis Waitley)

Empathy is a superior and highly advanced state of human relationships. It means learning how to put yourself in someone’s shoes in order to feel what they feel.

Empathy – per se – is neither positive nor negative: we can also use it to understand the way outlaws and killers think and to find out what their next move is going to be (strategic empathy).

 In wider terms, when referring to everyday human and professional relationships, empathy is positive and rare. As Jeremy Rifkin points out:

“empathic consciousness is based on the awareness that others – like us – are unique and mortal beings. We empathise with people because we recognise their fragile and limited nature, their vulnerability and their one and only life; we experience their existential aloneness, suffering and struggle to exist and evolve as if these feelings were ours. Our empathic embrace is our way to sympathise with the others and to celebrate their lives”.[1]

Empathy is rare because it requires the subtle ability to “tune in” emotionally and to understand the hidden, emotional and personal levels of the interlocutor’s experience – rather than the numerical or objective data they expose. Empathy also uses metacommunication (meaning “communication about communication itself ”): for instance, it fearlessly asks for the meaning of a word it does not understand or it explains useful ideas for the communication process itself – when the listener does not speak.

Empathic listening is rare. We could say last time we found it was when a person listened to us for an entire hour, without talking about themselves – only listening to what we wanted to say (both information and emotions) and asking questions for a better understanding. If this has ever happened to you, it was probably during a coaching, counselling or therapy session. It rarely happens in daily life.

Shorter periods of time – but with the same listening intensity – can be found in real friendship or with loyal partners at work, but the attention is not necessarily focused on one person – as it happens when talking about empathy. Besides, if specific courses to learn empathy are needed, it is because school, academic education and manuals tend to give information, rather than teaching how to listen.

Just as the art of narrating exists – firmly codified through thousands of attempts and mistakes – the art of listening also exists, equally ancient and noble, which, however, as far as i know, has never been validated.

(Primo Levi)

The most difficult part of empathic listening is the suspension of judgement. If anyone says, “I hit my child” or “I threw the rubbish bag out the window”, it is impossible not to judge. Yet, “suspending the judgement” means precisely that – and not to “make judgement disappear”. Suspending it is fundamental in order to understand what, where, how and why certain things happens. If we did not do it, we would miss a large part of the information we could obtain.

2.10. Sympathetic listening

Sometimes, some fondness are so powerful that, when meeting for the first time, it feels like meeting again.

 (Alfred de Musset)

Sympathetic listening expresses affinity towards the speaker; it aims to both listen and show affection and delight during the interaction. Sympathetic listening is not necessarily better than empathic listening; it is just different. Here the priority is to give to the other person the feeling of pleasantness and closeness. Making the interlocutor understand that we are interested in what they say is fundamental – not only regarding the information itself, but also for the person expressing it. The act of listening becomes part of a relational game that has a seductive component; what we are interested in is not a passive data analysis, but we strongly admire and appreciate what has been said. Listening shows human warmth, delight and appreciation, with both verbal and non-verbal communication. Let’s consider a very practical aspect: sympathetic listening brings people closer and this is an excellent psychological strategy for a deeper and more accurate listening.

“We usually consider as good listeners only those people who share our opinion.”

François de La Rochefoucauld

Sympathetic listening can be easily – and wrongly – defined “panderer listening”, but let ask ourselves whether we live in a society that is stingy with compliments. Our society is quick to judge and blame – and it is also stingy, even when we do something good. That is why sympathetic listening – whenever there is the right opportunity – is a precious gift.

When we listen to a person and we sense something good, we should feel free to experience it, without being ashamed.

“Does the song of the sea end at the shore or in the hearts of those who listen to it?”

Khalil Gibran

Throughout the manual various techniques, methods and strategies to practise active and deep listening, to reach hearts and minds, to gather information and to work effectively together will be described.

Yet, whatever our intentions and abilities, there is one thing that cannot be taught, but only recommended: to be willing to listen.

Fig. 4 – Levels of listening quality

 


[1]  Jeremy Rifkin (2011). La civiltà dell’empatia. La corsa verso la coscienza globale nel mondo in crisi. Milano, Mondadori, p. 532 [Eng: “The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis. N.d.T.]

1.1.           Other online material available in these sites:

1.2.           Other available online resources

CIELS Institutional Website: https://www.ciels.it/

Riepilogo Didattico : Lezione 4

Prof Daniele Trevisani www.studiotrevisani.it

Presso Campus Ciels Padova, Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica LM94

Corso di Negoziazione, vedi Trevisani Daniele – Campus Ciels

Parole chiave della lezione:

  • Hub informativo
  • Information operations
  • INFOOPS
  • Ascolto attivo
  • Empatia
  • Point of view
  • Psicologia delle emozioni
  • Resilienza
  • Ascolto paralinguistico
  • Endstate
  • Name dropping
  • Assist Negoziale
  • 4 livelli empatia
  • Ghost customer
  • Frontline digitale
  • Frontline interpersonale
  • Topic shifting

Concetti fondamentali trattati:

  • Hub informativo o information fusion center: un concetto che fa parte della dottrina di information operations (INFOOPS), ovvero luogo fisico o virtuale dove convergono tutte le informazioni relative ad un caso per poi essere distribuite ai vari attori sociali protagonisti.
  • Ascolto paralinguistico: espressioni gutturali che accompagnano la comunicazione verbale.
  • Endstate: stato di destinazione di una negoziazione.
  • Assist negoziale: supporto che una terza parte da e non da a una negoziazione.
  • Frontline digitale: facce digitali che il cliente viene a incontrare.
  • Ghost customer: situazione nella quale si possono testare le capacità comunicative e di ascolto.
  • Impression management: immagine che si da di se stessi e della propria organizzazione.
  • Topic shifting: mossa conversazionale più importante che consiste nel cambio di argomentazione.

Sintesi del mio apprendimento:

Ho capito che l’immagine che si da di se stessi e della propria organizzazione è molto importante e dev’essere curata.

Ho imparato che la frontline digitale è la faccia digitale con la quale il cliente viene a che fare.

Ho riflettuto sui vari livelli di ascolto e di empatia e sul come applicarli.

Fonti:

Intercultural Negotiations

©Article translated by dott. ssa Vazquez Federica, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Intercultural Negotiation. Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers” (original title: “Negoziazione interculturale. Comunicare oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

In negotiating persuasion “in the field,” we may find different attitudes towards the same proposal. Imagine making a presentation with persuasive intent to propose a training course to a firm. Entrepreneur A might be enthusiastic about a staff training project, while entrepreneur B might consider it a waste of time.
The first step, then, is to understand how the item (the proposal) sits along the possible latitude (from unconditional acceptance to outright rejection, with all the possible nuances in between).
Every negotiator can benefit from practicing both (1) the latitude survey, and (2) the next step, consisting of analyzing the underlying motivations that place an item (a specific proposal) along a particular point on the latitude (e.g., extreme rejection, unconditional acceptance, or acceptance with reservations, and other possibilities). Having acknowledged the position along the continuum, it is appropriate to understand the reason for that placement.
Any persuasive activity will in fact have to confront the motives that determine that position.

Roles
• Analyst: has the task of bringing out the picture
• Interviewee: must contribute to the exploration that the analyst will attempt, in a spirit of openness
Steps
• The analyst must come up with a fairly long list of products, services, and buying ideas, and note how they rank along the continuum.
• Second step: bring out the reasons for this placement, especially in reference to the most extreme positions.
• Use the following survey sheet:

Acceptance Latitude Survey Sheet
Place proposed products along the continuum, based on the respondent’s reactions to the product. Question: “would you buy a ……” (follows proposal of a product or service, even a strange or unusual one). Explore the motive underlying the evaluation and related motives.
You would purchase a: ……

I proposed:And the reaction was.Assign a score from -100 (extreme disgust) to + 100 (absolute unconditional adherence)

In-depth analysis of choices: use
• probing (did I get that right? why, what motivation leads you to.?);
• associative techniques (what do you associate with…?);
• the belief/evaluation model: have the subject say, “I believe that ………..” (subject’s belief) and “I think this is ………” (subject’s evaluation of the belief);
• For the most positive and most negative points: in-depth analysis of motivations.

©Article translated by dott. ssa Vazquez Federica, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Intercultural Negotiation. Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers” (original title: “Negoziazione interculturale. Comunicare oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

Source:

-Dott. Trevisani D., Negoziazione Interculturale – Comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali, Franco Angeli Edizioni, 2016.

Other online material available in these sites:
Other available online resources

CIELS Institutional Website: https://www.ciels.it/

Active and Verbal active listening techniques

Article translated by dott. Marco Recalenda, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication, extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Intercultural Negotiation. Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers” (original title: “Negoziazione interculturale. Comunicare oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

1.1. Active listening techniques

Active listening relates to paralinguistic and non-verbal communication and includes in particular:

  • Verbal active listening techniques;
  • Paralinguistic active listening techniques;
  • Non-verbal active listening techniques.

1.2.     Verbal active listening techniques

It involves words that convey attention and understanding.

  • Open questions: who, where, when, how, why, with whom, in what way, at what time, for how long, what else… and other questions that allow the speech to be expanded and clarified.
  • Closed or clarifying questions: verification of content’s parts by questions requiring a “Yes/No” answer or other specific categories such as “a lot/ a little”, “before/after” and others of this kind.
  • Mirror technique (content’s reflection): repetition of sentences or parts of sentences said by the other party, without changes and alterations. The “mirror” technique comes from the empathic listening methodologies used in the Rogersian1 therapeutic interview. It is a technique of psychotherapeutic origin, which allows the “client” to bring out the contents expressed by them and in which they reflect themselves.
  • Paraphrase: use of “as if”. Search for understanding of what has been said, with the use of metaphors or examples that try to assess whether one has really understood the deep meaning of what the other party is saying.
  • Historical synthesis: repetition of what has been said, in the form of a summary of the “story’s” highlights.

Verbal encouragement: e.g., ‘good’, ‘interesting’, ‘yes’, ‘ok’.

[1] Rogers, Carl R. (1961). On becoming a Person. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.

Rogers, Carl R. (1951). Client-Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications, and Theory. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.

Article translated by dott. Marco Recalenda, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication, extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Intercultural Negotiation. Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers” (original title: “Negoziazione interculturale. Comunicare oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

Other online material available in these sites:
Sito Studio Trevisani Formazione Coaching Consulenza (Italian & English)
Sito Daniele Trevisani (Italian)
Website Dr. Daniele Trevisani (English)
Comunicazione Aziendale
Comunicazione Interculturale
Medialab Research
Intercultural Negotiation (English)
Operational Negotiation (English)
Linkedin Profile Dr. Daniele Trevisani
Other available online resources
Pubblicazioni e libri dott. Daniele Trevisani (Books published)
Rivista online gratuita di Comunicazione, Potenziale Umano e Management
Iscrizione gratuita al Blog Studiotrevisani.it tramite Email
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CIELS Institutional Website: https://www.ciels.it/

Teorie del Gioco e Leadership Conversazionale

© Articolo tradotto da: https://www.interculturalnegotiation.com/2021/02/08/game-theories-and-conversational-leadership/ su materiale pubblicato nel libro “Negoziazione Interculturale. Comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” estratto e pubblicato con il permesso dell’autore, Prof. Daniele Trevisani www.studiotrevisani.it www.danieletrevisani.it www.comunicazioneaziendale.it – Articolo redatto a cura di: dott. Federica Vazquez, CIELS Padova

ELEMENTI DI TEORIA DEI GIOCHI DI NEGOZIAZIONE

Il ruolo del leader richiede una forte attenzione ai giochi comunicativi in corso, con la consapevolezza che nelle organizzazioni e nella negoziazione i messaggi non sono prodotti per fini poetici ma soprattutto per gestire il potere. Come sottolinea Tonfoni (2000): D’altra parte, considerare il modello comunicativo all’interno della Teoria dei Giochi richiede la preventiva chiarificazione del modello stesso, oltre che degli obiettivi.

Gli attori, all’interno della teoria, come “giocatori” proprio progettando e attuando sequenze di azioni finalizzate al raggiungimento di un fine prestabilito. Questo fine è costituito dal profitto, poiché la teoria è orientata ai comportamenti di natura prevalentemente economica. Gli “attori” sono anche “comunicatori verbali“; in quanto tali, le loro azioni devono essere essenzialmente finalizzate a una previsione il più possibile esatta di sequenze di azioni e a una determinazione esplicita delle cosiddette “regole del gioco“.

Gli attori operano attraverso l’attuazione di opportune strategie, volte a raggiungere l’obiettivo o a contrastare le controstrategie attivate dagli interlocutori, o da altri individui che prendono parte al gioco comunicativo.

La leadership del negoziatore comprende la capacità di:

  • Creare offerte tematiche specifiche: lanciare argomenti non casuali sul tavolo della conversazione, per vedere qual è la reazione degli interlocutori; osservare se riprendono il tema o lo lasciano andare, e altre possibili mosse dell’interlocutore (diminuire, accentuare, aggrapparsi al tema, valorizzarlo, ignorarlo);
  • Gestire il formato conversazionale: quale clima prevale durante la negoziazione? Siamo di fronte a un formato di “interrogatorio”, di “ricerca di una soluzione”, di “confessione reciproca”, o che altro? Se durante una trattativa di vendita il venditore si accorge che l’acquirente sta adottando il formato “interrogatorio”, la leadership conversazionale prevede di segnalarlo, con frasi del tipo “questa conversazione assomiglia più a un interrogatorio che a una ricerca di soluzioni, vorremmo provare a dare al nostro incontro un taglio diverso, forse più produttivo”;
  • Riequilibrare i rapporti di potere: nella vendita, soprattutto, esiste un “non detto” in cui l’acquirente detiene il potere di negoziare. Questo potere si esercita attraverso atteggiamenti tipici di chi è al potere: controllo dei contenuti, decidere chi parla, cosa si dice e come si dice. A volte questo si traduce in arroganza immotivata. La leadership conversazionale comporta la capacità di riformulare i giochi, riequilibrare gli atteggiamenti, riportare i due negoziatori allo stesso livello, per non essere schiacciati.

Tutorial: A che gioco state giocando? Chi detiene il potere?

Vengono presentate alcune situazioni comunicative di leadership e di negoziazione, in cui il leader mette in atto un gioco strategico di comunicazione. I partecipanti devono valutare quale gioco è in corso e il suo scopo.

Alcuni giochi da simulare:

  • Rilevamento delle offerte tematiche (quali argomenti di discussione offre il conduttore);
  • Rilevamento del formato conversazionale (quale clima conversazionale cerca di impostare l’argomento);
  • Rilevamento delle relazioni di potere (chi comanda su chi).

© Articolo tradotto da: https://www.interculturalnegotiation.com/2021/02/08/game-theories-and-conversational-leadership/ su materiale pubblicato nel libro “Negoziazione Interculturale. Comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” estratto e pubblicato con il permesso dell’autore, Prof. Daniele Trevisani www.studiotrevisani.it www.danieletrevisani.it www.comunicazioneaziendale.it – Articolo redatto a cura di: dott. Federica Vazquez, CIELS Padova

Per ulteriori informazioni consulta:

The four great relational distances

Article translated by dott. Marco Recalenda, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Let’s be clear” (original title: “Parliamoci chiaro”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

1.1.             The four great relational distances

Distance between people is a physical fact, but physicality is nothing compared to psychological distance. The Four Distances Model examines the main factors that create relational distance, grouping them into four large classes, which are useful for any purpose, both in building relationships but also in identifying existing incommunicability.

These large classes are:

1. distances and differences in roles and identities between communicators, including differences in personality or state of mind;

2. distances and differences in communication codes and styles;

3. distances and differences in values, attitudes and beliefs held;

4. distances and differences in various types of personal experience, both physical and emotional.

Just one of these variables is enough to create incommunicability. The combination of these is even more difficult to manage, because it can create strong relational distance.

Relational distance is a real fact. We can be very close to a person (e.g. in a lift, or at a traffic light) and be completely disinterested in that person’s life, and he/she in ours. That person will be “distant” to us.

Everyone will go their own way, everyone in their own life.

It also happens in the streets. We pass by a person on a pavement while walking, or in a lift. A fleeting flash of physical closeness, but no real relational glue, rather the frost. Often not even a glance.

You may live in a building with dozens of families and not have gone beyond ‘good morning’ with some of them, and with some not even that. In other situations, there are people with whom you feel you can tell them everything about yourself, or you make yourself totally available for a deep, true, interested listening.

At what distance are we then with the people we care about? And at what relational distance are we with the people we have to work with or want to work with, be it for years or for a single project lasting a few hours?

Even when a project is single and limited in time, the phenomenon of team communication inevitably arises. In this team there will be diversity, there will be people who have to work side by side, people from different professional backgrounds, different cultures, different ideologies, communication codes that are only partly shared, and the risk of failure and conflict – if not anticipated – becomes very high.


Relational friction is a fact, even in engaged couples, married couples, friends, colleagues, and between children and parents, and it increases as the distance increases. It is this friction which, taken to the nth degree, has generated disasters, struggles, wars and devastation throughout history.

If recognised early, however, it can be managed, and human relationships can take a completely different turn, moving towards Constructive Communication, which develops projects, ideas and value. They can also generate Positive Communication, relationally nurturing, warm, welcoming, emotionally clean and enriching. And at the same time, under these conditions, listening becomes a pleasure, not an almost impossible task.

Sometimes we experience relationships that are only apparently ones of psychological closeness, but which in reality demonstrate all their falseness as soon as a critical incident brings to light the real sidereal distance of values in human relationships.

This distance may be largely unconscious: we may believe we are close and yet be very far away. A false indicator of closeness is, for example, confidence, the elimination of the ‘courtesy form’ or other kinds of linguistic distancing.

We all know, however, how one can converse amiably with someone who seems to be a friend and in reality is not.

Even marriages and friendships experience moments of apparent distance or apparent remoteness, people “approach” and “move away” relationally, like comets, in trajectories that are sometimes very predictable, sometimes people appear in our lives like bright meteors in the sky and then disappear.

So let us make it clear that distance is not just a matter of appearance but something deeper.

Relational distance exists, it creates incommunicability and, with it taking place, no project can really go the distance.

Principle 1 – The elements that affect effective communication and incommunicability

Communication becomes difficult when:

1. people do not accept each other’s roles in communication, there is a lack of acceptance in the mutual identities that people want to assume, parties do not recognise and legitimise each other as accepted counterparts;

2. distances in communication codes and styles are wide, making it technically difficult or impossible to understand the meanings of the communication itself. Languages are poorly understood, there are unfamiliar terms, and meanings are not shared;

3. there are value divergences, attitudes and values, both superficial and in depth, and the degree of difference (how much difference) is amplified the more the communication touches on the core values of one or more communicators, to the point where the other’s position is perceived as inconceivable and contrary to one’s own values;

4. the parties are characterised by different types of personal experience, both physical and emotional, with increasing incommunicability as this diversity increases, and do not have common physical or emotional experiences that could act as facilitators.

Communication becomes positive and effective the more

1. people accept each other’s roles in communication, acceptance is created in the mutual identities people give each other (“I accept your role as you present it to me”), the parties recognise and legitimise each other as worthy of a fruitful relationship;

2. distances in communication codes and styles are reduced or are progressively reduced, making it technically easier to understand meanings, based on shared signs, comprehensible languages, and shared meanings;

3. there are few differences in values, or these are only superficial, while deep values are shared.

4. parties are characterised by a certain degree of ‘Common Ground’ in personal experience, both physical and emotional, and this increases through shared experiences, making communication more positive and effective.

It is quite understandable and natural that as the psychological distance between people increases, incommunicability increases, but becoming aware of this is not enough.

It is necessary to understand where to work on incommunicability. So what variables should be used? How can the real distance that exists at a certain moment be understood? How can it be reduced?

In what areas is it important to work on the Four Distances? This theme deserves to be explored in greater depth.

Article translated by dott. Marco Recalenda, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication (“Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica”), extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Let’s be clear” (original title: “Parliamoci chiaro”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

Other online material available in these sites:
Sito Studio Trevisani Formazione Coaching Consulenza (Italian & English)
Sito Daniele Trevisani (Italian)
Website Dr. Daniele Trevisani (English)
Comunicazione Aziendale
Comunicazione Interculturale
Medialab Research
Intercultural Negotiation (English)
Operational Negotiation (English)
Linkedin Profile Dr. Daniele Trevisani
Other available online resources
Pubblicazioni e libri dott. Daniele Trevisani (Books published)
Rivista online gratuita di Comunicazione, Potenziale Umano e Management
Iscrizione gratuita al Blog Studiotrevisani.it tramite Email
Canale YouTube
CIELS Institutional Website: https://www.ciels.it/

The Interference of Communication in the 2V Model

© 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

Trend and Progression of Interpersonal and Corporate Relationships in the 2V Model

Interference in communication due to code and language occurs when communicators do not have an adequately shared code, and misunderstandings occur.Wrong decodings are possible especially on ambiguous words and statements, such as “collaborate”, “implement”, “relate”, “share a goal”.

A further outcome of the different code / language is evident in the lack of clarity and precision, where one or more of the participants in the conversation use bureaucratic repertoires and / or imprecise languages.

Recognition exercise of “crawling” objectives

Create a company meeting through role-playing, in which subject 1 (who plays the role of the personnel manager) asks the sales manager (subject 2) to better “relate” to their Eastern European area manager to evaluate his performance.Subject 1 will use linguistic nuances such as “collaborate”, “implement”, “relate”, “share a goal”. In reality 1 has a precise motivational core (firing the area manager), a creeping goal, which remains in the background.Evaluate the results of the meeting between subject 1 and subject 2.

Interferences of communication due to worldview and ideology take place when communicators have different worldviews and ideologies, but this diversity acts in a latent way and without the knowledge of communicators.

The 2v model can be used to view the progress of a relationship and its degree of incommunicability.Given a distance between subjects at time 1 (t1), we can evaluate how this distance increases or decreases in terms of vision of the mode and communication code (t2) and measure the situation again at other moments of time (t3), (t4) .

We can thus reconstruct the trajectories of relationships and visualize the trends in relationships.

Hypothesis of progress of an intercultural relationship

The case shown highlights a relationship distinguished by the following times:

  • T1: the relationship starts with an average sharing of code and vision of the world;
  • T2: after an initial confrontation, the two subjects begin to reduce the linguistic communication distances, the distance due to the misunderstanding of the terms and the poorly shared vocabulary decreases, several previously incomprehensible terms are explained. However, this generates a chance to understand worldviews better than before. It turns out, therefore, that the underlying ideologies and values ​​are more different than previously thought, and therefore the distance on the ideological-value variable increases;
  • T3: After a closer confrontation on the basic values, new areas of commonality and common interests are discovered, even the common language becomes richer and more articulated in shared terms and concepts.

This curve represents a simple hypothesis, one of the many possibilities that exist in the world of relationships. In fact, it is also possible that distances and distances will increase, and ever stronger conflicts arise.

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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The improvement of communication

© 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

Intercultural Levels and the Limits of Communication

The accuracy of the information exchange can be improved by reducing the distance along the “code” dimension, which is equivalent to reducing the linguistic distance. In some cases this means learning a foreign language, a dialect or subdialect within a nation, but also learning a professional language, a non-verbal code that characterizes other cultures, proxemic gestures and modalities, cadences and paralinguistic aspects of communication.

The agreement can be improved by decreasing the degree of difference between communicators in values, myths, beliefs, attitudes and ideologies – differences that can have negative consequences in the communication process. Furthermore, as the two are highly interrelated, an increase in code understanding will increase the ability of worldview understanding, and vice versa.

The 2V model can be a useful tool for analyzing hypothetical types of communications. However, the code and worldview dimensions should not always be considered completely different or completely the same, as they vary along a continuum of differences / similarities. Intercultural levels depend on the quantity and quality of difference in the world view and in the communicative code.

On this scale of communication differences, we believe that the ends of the two continuums (the COMSITS presented) represent only hypothetical points and that no real communication event can ever be located in one of the four “pure” COMSITS. In a visual way, this concept of “gradualness” in the differences can be represented by erasing the separations between the 4 quadrants and instead inserting a rating scale.

A further relevant reflection consists in evaluating whether all the points in the table could be realistically represented by a possible communication event.

Indeed, we believe that no real communication event can be located exactly on the edges (the perimeter of the table).

The underlying hypothesis depends on four axioms of communication that we formulate below:

  • COMCOND 1) impossibility of having a completely identical communication code between two individuals;
  • COMCOND 2) impossibility of having a completely equal worldview between two individuals;
  • COMCOND 3) impossibility of having a completely different communication code between two individuals;
  • COMCOND 4) impossibility of having a completely different world view between two individuals.

Some research perspectives on communication support these hypotheses.The genetic codes that govern the biological foundations of non-verbal and paralinguistic communication are similar for every human being.Human beings, like primates, always share a certain degree of similarity and are able to encode and decode signs and signals in some circumstances (eg: physical aggression) without differences between cultures.

In general, the ability to interpret human behavior increases in situations in which cultural codes are less relevant and biological codes take over, such as situations involving survival (aggression) and other more instinctive behaviors (such as eating or sex) .

Furthermore, the research results of Eckman and Friesen (1987) revealed a high level of agreement between cultures in their interpretation of facial expressions of emotions.Saral (1972) also highlighted the transversal and cross-cultural nature of facial communication and expressions.A decrease in the relevance of the cultural code and an increase in the relevance of the instinctive code can also be observed in human-animal communication and in general in communication between species, particularly in conditions of danger.

In other words, people of different cultures or creatures belonging to different species have the ability to perceive the aggressive or non-verbal friendly behavior of a member of another culture or species, while more cultural behaviors will be less interpretable. Biological constraints also have an influence on the impossibility of having a complete difference in the world view (COMCOND 4).

Every human being shares at a basic and instinctual level the tendency to reproduce the species, the attempt not to die of hunger or cold, the protection of children, and in general the behavior of biologically evolved living beings.The evolution towards self-realization is then one of the states that most characterizes every human being, as Carl Rogers points out, and cultures and religions only establish different modalities or “variations on the theme” of this underlying tendency towards self-realization.

The pursuit of self-destruction, the deliberate pursuit of hunger and suffering for oneself and one’s children, the pursuit of non-self-realization (whatever that means for a person) are extremely anomalous and deviant characteristics of the child’s behavior. ‘human being.

Statistically these cases represent outliers, that is cases extremely out of the norm.What we have in common biologically as human beings is vastly superior to what divides us culturally. Empathy techniques (learning to understand the world view of others) and greater attention to the optimization of communication codes can make an enormous contribution to the development of intercultural communication.

The improvement of intercultural communication, in turn, generates an enormous impulse to the realization of common development projects between states, cultures and countries – projects that do not have geographical barriers and borders, but unite people towards a common tendency to personal, social self-realization. and economical.

Human behavior is determined by two types of forces: from cultural conditioning (ontogenetic, learned during growth) and from hereditary biological conditioning (phylogenetic, received from DNA), and ontogenetic (cultural) learning is always grafted onto a phylogenetic basis, which constitutes our common heritage, and no culture will ever be able to scratch, but at the most it will be able to cover, to make people forget.

At the same time, the impossibility of a completely equal code derives from the great depth and semantic variety of signs (the semantic field is the extension and range of possible meanings of a sign).The meaning attributed to the signs is not a stable or “given” element, but is the result of a symbolic agreement between individuals, that is, it is the product of socializationand interpersonal and intergroup agreements, but socialization varies continuously over time, space, and between individual and individual, group and group, and therefore the meanings of the signs also continuously vary.

The signs, and the codes, are alive, and they change. Each dyad of individuals, each group, creates its own communication code over time, attributing particular meanings to the signs used.

This happens, and often unconsciously, within companies. The error determines how much it is taken for granted that the interlocutor of the counterparty company has a shared code. This problem requires a great work of metacommunication, that communicative activity that serves to explain the meaning attributed to the signs emitted and verify the accuracy of the meaning perceived in the signs received.

As with the code, no individual, no organized group, possesses exactly the same range of values, behaviors, attitudes, worldviews, beliefs, ideological positions, over the whole range of objects and situations that become objects of communication. Recognizing diversity is the first useful tool to be able to face it.

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 

For further information see: