© 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
Elements of Negotiation Game Theory
The role of the leader requires a strong attention to the communicative games in progress, with the awareness that in organizations and in negotiation messages are not produced for poetic purposes but above all to manage power. As Tonfoni (2000) points out: On the other hand, considering the communicative model within Game Theory requires the prior clarification of the model itself, as well as of the objectives.
The actors, within the theory, as “players” precisely by designing and implementing sequences of actions aimed at achieving a pre-established goal. This end is constituted by the profit, since the theory is oriented to the behavior of a predominantly economic nature. The “actors” are also “verbal communicators“; as such, their actions must essentially be aimed at a prediction as exact as possible of sequences of actions and an explicit determination of the so-called “rules of the game“.
The actors operate through the implementation of appropriate strategies, aimed at achieving the goal or at opposing counter-strategies activated by the interlocutors, or by other individuals who take part in the communicative game.
The negotiator’s leadership includes the ability to:
- Create specific thematic offers: throw non-random arguments on the conversation table, to see what the interlocutors’ reaction is; observe whether they pick up on the theme or let it go, and other possible moves by the interlocutor (diminish, accentuate, cling to the theme, enhance it, ignore it);
- Manage the conversational format: which climate prevails during the negotiation? Are we facing a format of “interrogation”, of “search for a solution”, of “mutual confession”, or what else? If during a sales negotiation the seller notices that the buyer is adopting the “interrogation” format, the conversational leadership plans to point this out, with phrases such as “this conversation looks more like an interrogation than a search for solutions, we would like try to give our meeting a different, perhaps more productive cut ”;
- Rebalance power relations: in sales, above all, there is an “unspoken” in which the purchaser holds the power to negotiate. This power is exercised through typical attitudes of those in power: control over content, deciding who speaks, what is spoken, and how it is spoken. Sometimes this results in unmotivated arrogance. Conversational leadership involves the ability to reformulate the games, rebalance attitudes, bring the two negotiators back to the same level, so as not to be crushed.
Tutorial: What game are you playing? Who holds the power?
Some communication situations of leadership and negotiation are presented, in which the leader implements a strategic communication game. Participants must evaluate what game is in progress and its intended purpose Some playable games:
- Detection of theme offers (which topics of discussion the conductor offers);
- Detection of the conversational format (which conversational climate tries to set the subject);
- Detection of power relations (who commands over whom).
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- Website of Studio Trevisani Academy For Business Training, Coaching e Mentoring, in Italian
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- Comunicazioneaziendale.it Italian website on Business Communication
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