An Emotional Appeal

Have you ever negotiated with an Italian?  The experience I had was very much like attending an opera.  Of course there is always a tragic story that you need to know before the negotiation starts. And the person you are negotiating with is the victim …. Unless you help.  The overture starts and the scene is set.  He rises before you, the room is dark, the people sombre. The first act will begin. The negotiator expresses his heartfelt sorrow over the situation, his despair; he shows you pictures of his children, and tells you how they will suffer if things do not work out for him in his work.  Only you can help. He then goes into his second act with a higher-pitched voice, and his arms starting to swing as he shows you their agony through his voice and face and intonations. Then the negotiation story reaches a climax with his needs or plea to you, however outrageous it may be. He stops, checks to see if he has totally lost you, and then slowly lets you down to rest. The story is over. He sits down. He pulls out a cigarette and takes a long draw from it. He wipes his brow. And you are left to ponder his tragic case.”

  Excerpt from Dr. Tracy Willen’s book
“International Business: A basic guide for women”