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/

Empatic Listening and Communication

Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace

Article translated by dott. ssa Eleonora Brusamento Spinelli, 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“, Franco Angeli Edizioni, 2019”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

Picture. 2 – Types of empathy in the ALM method

Copyright Model Daniele Trevisani http://www.danieletrevisani.it

1.1.             Positive and destructive elements of empathy

It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard.

Carl Rogers

Empathy is either destroyed or fostered by specific communicative behaviours and attitudes.

Fostering empathyDestroying empathy
Curiosity, passion, motivation to listenDisinterest, listening for duty; lack of motivation
Real listening participation, without fictionPretending a listening role only for professional duty
Acting as a “discoverer”, like a truffle or gemstones hunter. Let’s see what’s going to happen today!Bureaucratic plastered approach. Even today, not today, another meeting, that is so boring
Re-formulation of contents
Recap – re-capitulate “histories” and “topics”
Judgement on contents, comments Endless flow without the security to understand the topic or the sense of the conversation
Plural approaches to question (open, close, clarifying, focusing, and generalizing questions) Flexible questions related to the variation of a session or its contextMonotonous questions, statical questions, questions that are too anchored to a dogmatic scheme or school
Focus on emotional experience, emotional listeningExclusive focus on facts
Verbal or non-verbal signals of attention, “phatic” signals (contact signals) es, yeah, well, ok, I see your point…Body language expressing disinterest, apathy, boredom, or desire to be somewhere else…
Paralinguistic signals of attention, encouragement to express oneself, “phatic” signals (signals expressing participation and attention)Poor evidence of interest and concern to the flow of thought. Lack or scarcity of ‘phatic’ signals and mental contact.

“Empathy between people is like water in the desert: you rarely encounter it, but when you do, it calms you down and regenerates you.”

Emanuela Breda

1.4 “Being there” in relationship: separating listening from “expression” activities and generating the “empathic flow”.

Few delights can equal the presence of one whom we trust utterly.

 (George MacDonald)

In empathy, ‘being there’ is important. To ‘be there’, it is essential not to confuse between listening and expression. Listening communication, and the quality of listening, includes the need to perform a clear separation on a mental level, the activities of paying attention to the communication of others, understanding it (incoming communication) from the activities of expressing our messages (outgoing communication).

We are referring to a ‘flow’, an empathic one, a two-way flow between two people during an empathic communication. There is something magical about this kind of flow sometimes. To be clear, the content of this flow in terms of words, sentences, facial expressions and any other ‘communicative content’ is expressed by the speaker, but the listener expresses an equally powerful, even more powerful flow, the flow of attention and mental presence. Two opening flows of acceptance, which create a unique and special moment of human sharing. If you happen to hear yourself say “I have never felt as much understanding as in this conversation, thank you very much” you probably performed a high empathy rate.

Picture 9 – Separation of the expression flow from empathic flow

When we know how to separate these two flows properly, first on a mental level, then on a physical and behavioural level, we will know how to give presence, avoiding intruding on the empathic flow with inappropriate communications. When it is ‘our turn’, we will always be empathic, ‘connected’ and relevant.

People also leave presence in a place even when they are no longer there.

(Andy Goldsworthy)

1.5 Ten rules to quality empathic listening. Ten rules always to apply.

Most quarrels amplify a misunderstanding.

 (Andre Gide)

During the listening phases necessarily:

  1. do not interrupt while other persons are talking;
  2. do not judge them prematurely; do not express judgements that could block their expressive flow;
  3. summarize what you understood (so, if I understood well, it happened that…), re-formulate critical points (ok, he doesn’t answer to the phone, and you feel really bad, I see), to paraphrase (so, as I understood, is it…?)
  4. do not get distracted, do not think about anything else, do nothing else but listening (except for taking notes if necessary), use your thoughts to listen, do not wander;
  5. do not correct the other person while he/she is stating something, even when you disagree, keep listening;
  6. do not try to overpower her/him;
  7. do not try to dominate her/him;
  8. do not try to teach or impart truths; restrain the temptation to interfere with the expression flow and correct something assumed as incorrect;
  9. do not speak about ourselves;
  10. show interest and participation through verbal signals and body language;

Particularly interesting attitudes may be:

  • genuine interest and curiosity towards the other: the desire to know and explore another one’s mind; activating human and professional curiosity;
  • inner silence: creating a state of emotional stillness (free from negative emotions and prejudices), in order to listen and respect the other person’s rhythms;
  • mentally preparing oneself for the ‘whole’: being able to support even ‘heavy’ psychic material (fears, traumas, dramas, personal tragedies, dreams, disturbed states of mind) that the other person expresses, or when they emerge in the process, being able to explore them while keeping the ‘focus’ on mental and emotional balance and not overwhelmed by what is being heard (technique of Controlled Emotional Distancing – CED).

It is remarkable quoting Carl Rogers, psychologist, and founder of Counseling, the person that most of all has influenced the same concept of empathy:

“Our first reaction to most of the statements which we hear from other people is an immediate evaluation, or judgment, rather than an understanding of it. When someone expresses some feeling or attitude or belief, our tendency is, almost immediately, to feel “That’s right”; or “That’s stupid”; “That’s abnormal”; “That’s unreasonable”; “That’s incorrect”; “That’s not nice”. I believe this is because understanding is risky. If I let myself really understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding.”

Carl Rogers

“What the statement means to him” is the true meaning of any empathy operation, understanding the emotional connection, the motive seen from within. It is a technique. Then it matters little whether that technique is applied to a criminal to understand their next gestures and moves, or to a person suffering from anxiety, or to help a young person find his way in the future, a sportsman wins his next race, or a team in which we are trying to produce the state of ‘flow for maximum performance.

Active Listening and Empathy

Article translated by dott. ssa Eleonora Brusamento Spinelli, 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, Franco Angeli Edizioni, 2019”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

Fonte:

-Dott. Trevisani D., Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace, Franco Angeli Edizioni, 2019

Other online material available in these sites:

Other available online resources

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

Positive and destructive elements of empathy

Negoziazione interculturale. Comunicare oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali

©Article translated by dott. ssa Eleonora Brusamento Spinelli, 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.

Empathy is either destroyed or fostered by specific communicative behaviours and attitudes.

Fostering empathyDestroying empathy
CuriosityDisinterest
Real listening participation, without fictionPretending a listening role only for professional duty
Re-formulation of contentsJudgement on contents, comments
Plural approaches to question (open, close, clarifying, focusing, and generalizing questions)Monotonous questions
Focus on emotional experienceExclusive focus on facts
Non-verbal signals of attentionBody language expressing disinterest or boredom
Paralinguistic signals of attention, encouragement to express oneself, “phatic” signals (signals expressing participation and attention)Poor evidence of interest and concern to the flow of thought. Lack or scarcity of ‘phatic’ signals and mental contact

Listening communication, and quality of listening, require a clear separation between comprehension activities (input communication) and direct expression activities (output communication).

During the listening phases necessarily:

  • do not interrupt while other persons are talking;
  • do not judge them prematurely;
  • do not express judgements that could block their expressive flow;
  • do not get distracted, do not think about anything else, do nothing else but listening (except for taking notes if necessary), use your thoughts to listen, do not wander;
  • do not correct the other person while he/she is stating something, even when you disagree, keep listening;
  • do not try to overpower her/him;
  • do not try to dominate her/him;
  • do not try to teach or impart truths; restrain the temptation to interfere with the expression flow and correct something assumed as incorrect;
  • do not speak about ourselves;
  • show interest and participation through verbal signals and body language;

Particularly interesting attitudes may be:

  • genuine interest and curiosity towards the other: the desire to know and explore another one’s mind; activating human and professional curiosity;
  • inner silence: creating a state of emotional stillness (free from negative emotions and prejudices), in order to listen and respect the other person’s rhythms.

©Article translated by dott. ssa Eleonora Brusamento Spinelli, 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 InterculturaleComunicazione 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/

Intercultural Negotiation

© Article translated by dott. Martina Giannotti, 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.

1.1 Paralinguistic active listening techniques

Use of vocalizations such as Uhmm.. ahh…. and guttural or breathy emissions… that express interest in the “story” and facilitate expression.

The purpose of paralinguistic techniques (together with visual non-verbal techniques) is to provide phatic (contact) signals, so that the interlocutor feels that we are listening, we are present, and we are interested.

1.2. Non-verbal techniques of active listening

They use body posture to express interest:

 open posture, leaning forward to indicate availability;

 approaching and moving away (proxemics): reduce the distance to the interlocutor in moments of interest, moving away in moments of relaxation;

 facial expression: not doubtful, ironic or aggressive, but attentive and participatory;

 attentive and direct gaze;

 eyebrow movements associated with salient points of another person’s speech;

 head nods, nods of assent or denial;

 soft, slow, rolling gestures to communicate a sense of relaxation and encourage going forward in the conversation;

 nonverbal metaphors using body language, which demonstrate understanding of what the counterpart said.

At a nonverbal level, we must always consider that many cultures restrain the nonverbal expression of emotions (e.g. Asian cultures), but this is also a communicative stereotype of only probabilistic value and does not deliver certainty.

In summary, the main techniques for an effective greeting are:

  • curiosity and interest;
  • paraphrasing: repeating in one’s own words what has been understood (this is not the same as agreeing with what has been said by the other person);
  • synthesis and summaries: rephrase the “story” in its salient points to consolidate what has been gathered;
  • direct the listening through targeted questions (conversational refocusing) to clarify points that are still obscure or unclear.
  • avoid overly personal questions until a rapport has been established;
  • give the speaker the opportunity to give feedback on whether what was understood was correct, accurate or distorted.
  • read words as well as non-verbal cues to assess feelings and moods;
  • check for correct understanding of both feelings and content, do not ignore feelings;
  • not telling people how they should feel or what they should think.

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/

Dalle espressioni facciali ai movimenti del corpo

© Articolo tradotto dal libro “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, pubblicato con il permesso dell’autore. I diritti del libro sono in vendita e sono disponibili per qualsiasi Editore che voglia prenderlo in considerazione per la pubblicazione in inglese e in altre lingue ad eccezione dell’italiano e dell’arabo, i cui diritti sono già stati venduti e pubblicati. Se siete interessati a pubblicare il libro in inglese, o in qualsiasi altra lingua, o se cercate Formazione alla Negoziazione Interculturale, Coaching, Mentoring e Consulenza, non esitate a contattare l’autore dal sito web www.danieletrevisani.com

Il corpo comunica, esprime emozioni e sentimenti, e ogni tentativo di bloccarli rappresenta esso stesso un metamessaggio: una persona che non mostra alcuna emozione, che si comporta come fosse una “mummia emotiva” è un segnale che conduce a specifiche riflessioni. Il linguaggio del corpo riguarda:

  • Espressioni facciali;
  • Movimenti del capo;
  • Movimenti degli arti e gestualità;
  • Movimenti del corpo e distanze;
  • Tatto e contatto fisico.

Esistono differenze culturali molto ampie a questo proposito: ogni cultura ha particolari peculiarità riguardo alle differenti tipologie di gestualità; in una trattativa italo-cinese, si possono notare evidenti differenze tra la gestualità italiana, generalmente più spiccata, e quella cinese, più contenuta, così come per le espressioni facciali, più evidenti per l’Italia e meno per la Cina.

Un negoziatore che opera in Cina può quindi scegliere se limitare la propria gestualità ed espressività per smorzare l’immagine stereotipata associata alla propria cultura, o, al contrario, aumentarla teatralmente, per “recitare una parte” e amplificare la sua identità. Non esiste una regola più valida di altre sulla modalità di azione: ogni scelta è strategica e legata al contesto del momento, alla propria “adeguatezza contestuale”.

Il contatto fisico è uno degli elementi più critici da gestire a livello interculturale. A questo proposito, alcuni standard occidentali si stanno diffondendo nella business community (per esempio, la stretta di mano), ma ogni cultura esprime un grado differente di contatto nei saluti e nelle interazioni. Abbracciare, baciare, toccare, sapere chi può toccare chi, rappresenta un elemento critico, risolvibile ricorrendo soprattutto ad un’analisi della cultura locale. Generalmente, se impossibilitati a raccogliere informazioni precise da esperti, è consigliabile limitare il contatto fisico per evitare di risultare invadenti.

DISTANZE PERSONALI

La prossemica definisce “le osservazioni e le teoria riguardanti l’utilizzo dello spazio umano, inteso come un’elaborazione specifica della cultura” (Hall, 1988). Nei suoi studi, Hall evidenzia come le distanze siano elaborazioni prettamente culturali, gestite diversamente a seconda del luogo in cui ci si trovi. Sul fronte della negoziazione, le implicazioni sono numerose: essere vicini o lontani dall’interlocutore implica un preciso messaggio negoziale; trovarsi di fronte o di lato, o addirittura dalla stessa parte, rappresenta un diverso tipo di messaggio. Ogni cultura possiede regole non scritte per delimitare i confini dell’accettabilità delle distanze interpersonali e delle inclinazioni dei singoli. Anche in questo caso vale il principio di ricorrere alla conoscenza degli esperti della cultura locale; in mancanza di questa possibilità, si può lasciare che sia la controparte a definire il proprio grado di distanza, senza forzare avvicinamenti o allontanamenti.

La principale consapevolezza da sviluppare è quella della “distanza critica” (Hall), che definisce la distanza interpersonale entro la quale un soggetto si sente vulnerabile, esposto ad eventuali aggressioni. Le distanze critiche umane derivano dal mondo animale e posseggono un alto peso culturale, che vede le culture arabe e latine spesso più vicine rispetto a quella anglosassone, reputata più distante.

La distanza personale è come “una bolla invisibile che circonda il corpo”. Al di là delle norme interculturali, determinati atteggiamenti relativi alle distanze sono trasversali alle culture perché ancorati alla radice animale umana. Per esempio, il “lasciare il proprio posto”, dando spazio a qualcuno, è una maniera per assegnare uno status e riconoscere l’importanza dell’interlocutore. Come sottolinea Hall, gli individui più forti e superiori tendono a stabilire distanze interpersonali maggiori rispetto a soggetti che occupano posizioni inferiori nella gerarchia sociale; inoltre, è noto che coloro definiti più deboli cedano il passo ai superiori.

Pertanto, a livello interculturale, lasciare il proprio posto rappresenterà una tattica di avvicinamento, il riconoscimento di uno status. Per il negoziatore esperto, questo atto non rappresenta sottomissione, ma assume anche la funzione di mossa strategica, un atto di cortesia relazionale che precede il confronto negoziale vero e proprio. Al contrario, mettere a disagio l’interlocutore comporta lo stabilirsi di una distanza.

Alcuni negoziatori utilizzano tattiche specifiche mirate a sconvolgere l’equilibrio emotivo di un soggetto: far attendere per molto tempo persone in sale d’attesa strette e troppo calde, senza bagni o con i servizi lontani è un esempio di “mossa di rottura”. Per esempio, se un soggetto ha intrapreso un lungo viaggio, la tentazione di andarsene sarà frenata dal pensiero di aver compiuto un viaggio inutili e da eventuali ripercussioni derivanti dal suo agire.

La tattica più appropriata è richiedere un maggior livello di comfort, ma solo qualora si abbia la certezza quasi matematica che determinate azioni e tecniche siano in corso e che quelle a cui si è sottoposti non siano le reali condizioni massime di ospitalità che il soggetto è in grado di offrire. Generalmente, la disposizione frontale delle persone è considerata conflittuale, mentre lo stare a lato è simbolo di maggiore collaborazione. Come afferma Hall, “ogni animale ha bisogno di uno spazio critico, in assenza del quale la sua sopravvivenza risulta impossibile”. In termini di negoziazione, lo spazio da considerare ha natura tanto ambientale quanto psicologica.

Intercultural Negotiation Arab Edition

Per ulteriori informazioni, visita:

Risorse ulteriori:

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

Fonte

https://www.interculturalnegotiation.com/2021/02/10/body-language/

Riepilogo prima lezione del Professore Dott. Daniele Trevisani (25 febbraio 2021)

Dr. Daniele Trevisani – Formazione Aziendale Ricerca Coaching home

Presso Campus Ciels Padova, Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica LM-94

Corso di Negoziazione, vedi https://www.ciels.it/avada_portfolio/trevisani-daniele/?portfolioCats=74

Parole chiave

  • Body language
  • Microanalisi comportamentale
  • Consonanza comunicativa
  • Dissonanza comunicativa
  • Mission negoziale
  • Empowerment
  • Comunicazione autocentrata
  • Partecipazione
  • Riformulazione
  • Empatia e connessione emozionale
  • Modello PsyCap
  • Problem solving
  • Problem setting
  • Content setting
  • Patto formale
  • Patto psicologico
  • Distanza ideologica e valoriale
  • Microespressioni
  • Patto psicologico

Concetti fondamentali trattati

  1. Consonanza comunicativa: esiste coerenza tra body language e la relativa comunicazione verbale;
  2. Dissonanza comunicativa: non vi è alcuna coerenza tra body language e la relativa comunicazione verbale;
  3. Comunicazione empatica ed empatia: ogni tipo di negoziazione prevede una comunicazione focalizzata sull’interlocutore, al fine di instaurare un legame emotivo tra le parti coinvolte;
  4. Empowerment: il potere personale di agire a favore di se stessi e dell’organizzazione rappresentata in fase di negoziazione;
  5. Mission negoziale: l’oggetto (fisico o astratto) della negoziazione a cui si ambisce;
  6. Comunicazione autocentrata: tipo di comunicazione fissata sul sé e non sul soggetto con il quale si negozia;
  7. Problem setting: fissare il problema da risolvere;
  8. Problem solving: trovare una soluzione per il problema. Il problem setting è un elemento imprescindibile al fine della risoluzione di un problema;
  9. Alcuni modelli chiave: “Four distances model”; “ALM”, “HPM”, “Four levels empathy”, “Modello dell’intelligenza emotiva”.

Sintesi del mio apprendimento:

Per ottenere il miglior risultato da un’opera di negoziazione è necessario che questa non sia autocentrata ed ego-riferita; al contrario, l’attenzione sull’altro è uno degli elementi essenziali. Alla base della riuscita della negoziazione, l’empatia è fondamentale ed onnipresente.

Quando si parla di negoziazione, non si devono intendere solamente situazioni estreme come il coinvolgimento di ostaggi; la negoziazione è un principio chiave e quotidiano nella vita di ogni attore sociale, perché ogni individuo “patteggia” giornalmente nel tentativo di ottenere ciò che vuole o di cui ha bisogno. Anche il semplice chiedere un’informazione rappresenta un’azione di negoziazione.

Prestare attenzione al proprio body language è un altro elemento fondamentale: creare coerenza tra ciò che si esprime a parole e ciò che il corpo trasmette possiede un’importanza rilevante nelle opere di negoziazione.

Molto utile per la riuscita di un’ottima negoziazione è la riformulazione dei concetti, volta a creare empatia, a ripetere i concetti per assicurarsi di aver compreso al meglio, ad eliminare o, quantomeno, limitare la distanza intrapersonale tra gli individui coinvolti e a prendere del tempo.

Fonti:

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

Appunti della Dott.ssa Federica Franca dal corso “Negoziazione degli ostaggi” tenuta dal Dott. Trevisani il giorno giovedì 25 febbraio 2021.

Laboratorio Negoziazione degli Ostaggi (1)

Riepilogo didattico Lezione 1 (25/02/2021) Prof Daniele Trevisani www.studiotrevisani.it

Presso Campus Ciels Padova, Laurea Magistrale in Comunicazione Strategica LM

Corso di Negoziazione, vedi Trevisani Daniele – Campus Ciels

Parole chiave della lezione

  • Facial Action Coding System (FACS) – Sistema di Codifica dei Movimenti del Volto
  • Empowerment – Emancipazione
  • Visione empatica vs visione autocentrata
  • 4 Distances Model – Modello delle Quattro Distanze
  • Ruota di Plutchik

Concetti fondamentali trattati

A lezione si sono trattati argomenti quali la consonanza comunicativa fra il parlato e i gesti (body language) della persona, lo studio del suddetto (FACS), l’empowerment di cui ognuno deve essere cosciente, l’uso di una prospettiva empatica e non autocentrata (ovvero rivolta a sé) al fine di instaurare un rapporto in cui si possano, prima, soddisfare i bisogni dell’altro e solo poi, soddisfare i propri.

Si è inoltre parlato dell’attività di riformulazione che, essenziale a ogni trattativa, permette a noi stessi di fare il punto della situazione, alla controparte di correggerci nel caso avessimo capito male e infine di entrare in rapporto con l’altro, empatizzandolo.

Per ultimo si è trattato il 4D Model, modello che esemplifica la struttura comunicativa presente durante un negoziato o un più semplice atto comunicativo

Sintesi del mio apprendimento:

Quanto osservato e appreso a lezione mi ha permesso di rendermi più cosciente di me stesso, delle mie dinamiche comunicative e comportamentali così come di quelle altrui e delle dinamiche di potere all’interno dei vari contesti osservati fornendomi utili strumenti per migliorare la mia comunicazione dentro e fuori dal contesto didattico.

Fonti

Rielaborazione di Pasqualini Tommaso sullo svolgimento didattico

Non-Verbal Intercultural Communication (part 2)

© 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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In this second part I would like to continue talking about non-verbal communication and its characteristics, this time focusing on training, sensory perception, personal look and colour, while explaining the importance of identifying assonances and dissonances between verbal and non-verbal language.

Training

Training on the use of paralinguistic elements means learning the strategic use of pauses and tones. It includes many repertoires of theatrical and actor techniques, such as the Stanislavskij method, probably the only one truly capable of transforming expressive behaviours.

Without adequate preparation the chances of being competitive on the negotiating level decrease. As the gap between our training level and the training level of the counterpart increases, the risk of an unfavourable outcome during a negotiation grows.

Sensory Perceptions

Some clichés spreading in multicultural college campuses are that whites “taste like chicken”, Asians “smell of garlic”, blacks “taste of sweat”, etc.

The olfactory differences on an ethnic and genetic level do exist, but the perceived 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 food produces essences that exude from the skin and breath. If we want to manage even the smallest details of intercultural negotiation and, more generally, of the human contact, we must take care of these aspects.

Anything that can be attributed to the subject or to the corporate environment affects perception and image. Some clothing chains have resorted to the targeted deodorization of shops to create a more relaxed and pleasant atmosphere (environmental olfactory marketing).

Smell is a remote sense of the human being, partially abandoned in favour 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.

There are practical implications for conscious personal deodorization: avoid foods that can produce strong breath emissions, avoid excessive personal fragrances, be aware of personal odours (e.g. sweat) and consider the importance of olfactory environmental marketing.

Personal Look

We usually know nothing about people’s real history. We can only assume it by looking at the symbols they decide to show us. There are signs/symbols everywhere: on the interlocutor and in his/her communicative space. Symbolic communication concerns the meanings that people associate to and perceive from those particular “signs”. By communicative space we mean any area linked to the subject’s “system”, such as his/her car, or the background of his/her computer, and any other sign from which we derive information, meanings and interpretations.

From a semiotic point of view, every element from which a subject draws meaning becomes a “sign”, whether the bearer is aware of it or not.

Look, clothing and accessories are among the most incisive factors that build one’s personal image.

Differences or similarities in clothing, for example, can put a person inside a professional ingroup (“one like us”, an “equal”) or an outgroup (“one different from us”), depending of the meaning that the word “us” has for the interlocutor.

In a widened signification system, the symbols associated to the brands used, the type of car, and even the office furniture, can become very important.

chronemic behaviours (the string of actions over time) are also broadened signals related to how frequently we change clothes, punctuality, way of driving (calm or nervous), way of eating (slow and relaxed vs. fast and voracious), etc.

Even considering the time a person takes in answering a question can be significant: slow or overly thoughtful responses can be interpreted as insincere in Western cultures or wise in Eastern cultures.

It can be said that in the field of intercultural communication nothing escapes the observation of the interlocutor, and every “sign” contributes to its classification and evaluation.

Colours

An additional element of symbolic communication is colour. The use of colours and the symbolisms associated with colours also vary according to cultures.

It is not possible to list all possible associations for every colour in each country, but I would like to underline the importance of paying attention to the symbolisms associated with colours, because there are many problems that could arise when choosing colours and graphics, for example in packaging, in business gifts and in objects.

Even objects and symbols are not neutral: an Italian company, for example, used the symbol of an open hand to create the company logo and key rings, producing a wave of protests in Greece, where the open hand symbol is used to offend.

The basic principle to avoid macroscopic errors is the use of pre-tests: a “pilot test” on some member of the local culture, who are able to give a feedback on the appropriateness of colours, shapes and symbolisms within their cultural context.

The pre-test method also applies to the choice of gifts, presents, and any other symbolic action whose impact may vary on a cultural basis.

Consonances and Dissonances between Verbal and Non-Verbal Language

Non-verbal communication can reinforce the verbal message or be dissonant with it.

Listening carefully and nodding can express interest more than just a verbal statement. Saying “I’m interested” with words and expressing boredom or disgust with body actions produces a dissonant signal and creates suspicion or irritation.

The coherence (matching) between words and actions:

  • increases the subject’s perceived honesty;
  • denotes trustworthiness;
  • shows interest;
  • shows that we are in control of the situation;
  • produces a sense of security and solidity of content.

On the contrary, the incongruity:

  • creates a sense of mistrust;
  • generates a feeling of lack of authenticity;
  • produces doubts and suspicions, because the heard verbal content is considered false.

Each linguistic style (on an interpersonal level) is associated with a precise modulation of the non-verbal style. We can indeed have:

  • situations of communicative reinforcement (the non-verbal style reinforces the verbal style);
  • situations of dissonance or inconsistency between verbal and non-verbal communication: the non-verbal language is on a different register than the verbal one.

The dissonances concern every semiotic system, every sign that carries a meaning. A company that declares itself important and does not have a website, or has an amateur website, expresses an incongruent image of itself.

"Intercultural Negotiation" by Daniele Trevisani

© 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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For further information see:

Non-Verbal Intercultural Communication (part 1)

© 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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In the next two articles we are going to deal with non-verbal communication and its characteristics: in fact, the non-verbal language can deeply affect the result of an intercultural negotiation both positively and negatively, even though it is often a neglected aspect of communication.

The main channels through which the negotiator can send messages are the paralinguistic system (vocal aspects of communication, such as tones, accents, silences, interjections), the body language (body language), and personal accessories, including clothing and the general look.

To negotiate at an intercultural level, it is necessary to create a relationship. Body movements and attitudes can strongly express the interlocutor’s satisfaction, as well as his/her disgust and emotional suffering.

We perceive the interlocutor’s attitude through his/her behaviour, rather than through the linguistic content, which remains on the relationship surface. In depth, one’s relationship is determined by body and face movements, looks, facial expressions, and, generally, by the communicator’s complete non-verbal repertoire.

The intercultural negotiator, however, must always consider the fact that some non-verbal signals cane be perceived differently by another culture, sometimes even in an opposite way.

Wrong non-verbal and body attitudes can easily lead to an escalation (rise in tension, nervousness and irritation), while the task of an intercultural negotiator is to create a de-escalation: moderation of tones, relaxed atmosphere, favourable environment for negotiation.

The general objective of every intercultural negotiation is, in fact, achieving results, but, in order to do so, a climate of cooperation is needed.

The intercultural negotiator must therefore activate some conflict de-escalation procedures, practices that lead to a non-conflictual negotiation situation.

But what are these practices? In general, each culture uses different non-verbal rules, and therefore we would need for each nation or culture with which we deal.

The problem with these “easy manuals” is their poor resistance over time (cultures evolve) and in space (cultures change even within a few kilometres). Moreover, if you take them as rules, there is a real possibility to apply stereotypes, that are no longer valid.

When there is no specific indication that come from up-to-date experts of a particular culture, we can use some general rules of good communication, which can help us reduce errors, as exposed by the Public Policy Centre of the University of Nebraska:

  • use a calm, non-aggressive tone of voice;
  • smile, express acceptance;
  • use facial expression of interest;
  • use open gestures;
  • allow the person you are talking to dictate the spatial distances (spatial distances vary widely between cultures);
  • nod, give nods of agreement;
  • focus on people and not on documents;
  • bend your body forward as a sign of interest;
  • maintain a relaxed attitude;
  • hold an L-shaped position;
  • sit by your interlocutor’s side, not in front of him/her, because that is a confrontational position.

I would like to highlight that these general rules are only “possible options” and must be adapted to culture and context.

While talking about the non-verbal language it is impossible not to mention the body language. Our body speaks, expresses emotions and feelings.

The body language concerns:

  • facial expressions;
  • nods;
  • limbs movements and gestures;
  • body movements and social distance;
  • physical contact.

Cultural differences related to this area of communication can be deep. There are no golden rules teaching us what’s best: each choice is strategic and linked to the context (“contextual appropriateness“).

Physical contact, for example, is one of the most critical elements: while some Western standards of physical contact spread throughout the entire business community (e.g. shaking hands), every culture expresses a different degree of contact during greetings and interactions.

In general, if it is not possible to collect accurate information from experts of the local culture, it is advisable to limit physical contact in order not to generate a sense of invasiveness.

The study “of observations and theories concerning the use of human space, seen as a specific elaboration of culture” (Hall, 1988) is defined by proxemics.

On the negotiation front, the implications are numerous, since every culture has unwritten rules to define the boundaries of acceptability of interpersonal distances. In this case too, resorting to experts of the local culture is fundamental. If we do not have this possibility, then a valid rule is to let the other party define their own degree of distance, without forcing either an approach or a removal.

Human critical distances have an animal basis and a strong cultural variance: for example, Arab and Latin cultures are often “closer”, while Anglo-Saxon cultures are more “distant”.

Another element of non-verbal language, that we must consider, is the paralinguistic system. Paralinguistics concerns all vocal emissions that are not strictly related to “words”, and includes:

  • tone of the voice;
  • volume;
  • silences;
  • pauses;
  • rhythm of speech;
  • interjections (short vocal emissions, like “er”, “uhm”, etc.).

Paralinguistics establishes speech punctuation and helps convey emotional information.

To be continued…

"Intercultural Negotiation" by Daniele Trevisani

© 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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For further information see: