Aldo Civico

Aldo Civico

  • International Negotiator
  • High Performance Strategist
  • Author and Keynote Speaker
THE ART OF NEGOTIATION FOR PEAK LEADERSHIP PERFORMANCE

In the complex and complicated reality, we live in, effective leadership is no more about having all the answers to all the problems. Rather, leadership today is the capacity to facilitate...

In the complex and complicated reality, we live in, effective leadership is no more about having all the answers to all the problems. Rather, leadership today is the capacity to facilitate conversations and to create environments that facilitate the emergence of creative solutions. It’s about anticipation and innovation. This is why individuals in managerial positions can achieve high leadership performance by modeling the principles and strategies of top negotiators.

Aldo’s stories on how he effectively connected with terrorists are inspiring examples of how individuals can become authentic leaders by modeling the principles and skills used by high-end negotiators to hold tough conversations, talk with difficult people, master emotions when under stress, and solve the most intractable problems. “When you have tried it all; when you think a situation is lost; when you have exhausted all your resources... victory is near!,” Aldo says.

Through compelling storytelling, Aldo Civico shares the most common strategies negotiators use to get the desired outcomes. These include the knowledge of how to connect with the other person; knowledge of how to understand the needs and intention of the other party; knowledge of how to set concrete, measurable and achievable goals; knowledge of how to communicate effectively; and so on. Interwoven in his inspiring stories, Aldo provides to his audience concrete action steps, which can be easily and effectively implemented.

Key points of emphasis:

The power of listening.
When you listen you connect with the other party. Listening elicits the model of the world lived in by the other. It facilitates understanding the needs, fears, and desires of the other. It also helps you to get a different perspective about your own perception. It gets you out of your head and it opens up a space of possibilities. It’s the easiest concession we can make in a negotiation. Many people ask me how it’s possible for me to sit down with individuals who have perpetrated violence at massive scales. The response is simple: I sit down and I listen to their stories. “When I listen I’m like a treasure hunter, searching for that part of humanity to connect with and try to understand the positive intention that is behind behaviors that are destructive. Listening is an essential quality of leaders.”

Master your emotions.
Mastering your emotions is what helps you to own a situation. Step back and get the bigger picture. When you are in a reactive mode, you give your power up and you become a hostage of both the other person and the situation. Rather than reacting to a situation you to respond to it. Take a walk, go running, or just look at the tip of your shoes and that will get your mind off of the intense negative emotions. Negotiation is about influence, but we need to influence ourselves first.

Ask powerful questions.
Asking powerful questions, allows exploring possibilities to unlock potentials and to unstuck a situation. The map is not the territory, and by asking powerful questions we have the possibility to explore the map of the other, and also to get closer to the territory. Powerful questions open the space for a conversation.

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HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR “DOMESTIC TERRORIST”: YOUR TEENAGE CHILD

(For parents and teachers)

In this program, Aldo Civico teaches parents and teachers the hidden mechanisms of resolution and how to regain control over rebellious teenage kids.

Adolescence is a...

(For parents and teachers)

In this program, Aldo Civico teaches parents and teachers the hidden mechanisms of resolution and how to regain control over rebellious teenage kids.

Adolescence is a challenging time for both parents and children. Suddenly the lovely child you had around disappeared. You are mourning the moments you had in the past. You are worried about performance at school, about the friends your child hangs out with, and you are put off by his rebellious attitude. Some of your teenage child’s behavior might even worry you deeply. At times you feel out of control and you feel the need to regain control and assert your parental authority.

In sharing compelling and inspiring stories from his work in conflict resolution and dealing with terrorist, Aldo Civico shows parents how by using the skills of high-end negotiators they can bond with teenage kids, set rules that can be enforced, and regain control of their family. In this program, Aldo builds on his experience bonding with teenage soldiers, as he helped them to disarm and reintegrate into the society, and to redesign their life project.

Key Points of Emphasis:

Avoid reacting.
Distract yourself from negative emotions. When you are in the throes of rage, anxiety or frustration you are hostage of your own emotions. You are not in control of the situation. Instead, the situation controls you. You need to refrain from striking back, from giving in easily, or even breaking off from the relationship with your teenage child.

Become a student of your teenage kid.
Step into the world of your child and become a connoisseur. Stepping into adolescence, your child became a stranger. Teenagers suddenly change priorities, tastes, behaviors and habits. If you want to lead, you need first to pace by becoming curious about the interests of your kid.

Discover the positive intention behind your teenage kid’s behavior.
Even when a behavior is destructive, there is a positive intention to fulfill a personal need. Listen to what your teenage kids really want to communicate to you with their behavior, even when it’s destructive. Ask yourself, “What is my teenager’s behavior trying to provide, prevent or protect?”

Grant a ceasefire.
Identify trade-offs that will help you to get the overall desired result. In armed conflicts, a ceasefire is often introduced for humanitarian reasons and as a trust-building measure. Your teenage kid’s actions might give you plenty of reasons to make observations, demands, complaints, etc. But if those kind of remarks are all there is in your communication it turns into a communication that is felt as an harassment. Instead, choose moments in your family life when you are refraining from critiquing or complaining about your kid.

Create a menu of options.
Indemnify trade-offs that will help you to get the overall desired goal. If you have a menu of options your negotiation can be more effective. This allows you to have a flexibility rooted in the clarity of what is a must and where you can make concessions, about what behaviors you are not going to tolerate and which you are going to reward.

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LIVING YOUR DREAM. CREATING YOUR LIFE

(For Universities and Colleges)

Dare to live for a great idea. Have the courage to dream big and to create your own life. Because in our complex and uncertain times, it is those who understand what...

(For Universities and Colleges)

Dare to live for a great idea. Have the courage to dream big and to create your own life. Because in our complex and uncertain times, it is those who understand what the cultural tensions of our times are, and those who live for a great idea that transcends our reality, that are destined to live a successful and fulfilling time.

Aldo Civico has been teaching and mentoring for more than a decade undergraduate and graduate students. With his experience he has inspired students to aim high. Through inspiring storytelling, he urges young audiences to make a dent in the universe by creating a life of meaningful contribution.

In this program, Aldo shares his personal experience and tells the story of how at 22 he decided to leave his parents’ home to join the anti-mafia movement in Sicily. He recounts what witnessing the killing of anti-mafia prosecutors meant for his life, and how after the experience he moved to the United States and began his career in conflict resolution. Aldo’s inspiring storytelling about his encounters with members of death squads, terrorists, and victims of human rights violations motivate young audiences to wonder about their own purpose in life and the contribution they can make in life beyond themselves.


Key points of emphasis:

It is in the moments of decision that we create our destiny.
We can be spectators of our life, and make life happen to us, or we can be the creators of our own life, and decide to make a meaningful contribution during our lifetime. This is the lesson that Aldo learned in a marginal neighborhood of Palermo, in Sicily, when he met with a teenage boy who was linked to the Mafia. It was an encounter that put Aldo’s life on a different path.

Enlarge your model of the world.
In an increasingly interdependent world, the game is won by those who navigate reality with flexibility and agility. This requires us to enlarge our own map of the world, so that we can put ourselves in the others’ shoes. Aldo shares how he learned this lesson by interacting with members of death-squads and armed insurgent groups while doing fieldwork and conflict resolution work in Colombia and other places around the world.

Be open to serendipity.
Life is an artful dance between having a clear vision of one’s own life, and being equally open to what life suggests through its events and encounters. When Aldo found himself in the midst of a jungle to facilitate a workshop among a community who had survived a massacre and discovered that what it had planned was in no way useful, he discovered how not knowing what to do can open a space of possibility and creativity.

The power of building rapport.
In a world that is complex and increasingly interdependent, success rests on our ability to build connections and to open dialogue. Aldo shares how he was able to build rapport and contribute to peace talks by opening a space for unlikely friendships and conversations. In particular, he shares the story of how he met and bonded with a major terrorist leader in Colombia and how he supported him when he transitioned from a life of violence and rebellion, to one committed to peace.

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TRANSFORMING CONFLICT INTO OPPORTUNITY: A PATHWAY FOR FAMILY OFFICES

(For family businesses)

The transfer of wealth from one generation to the other is one of the major concerns and source of conflict within family businesses. It often strains relationships and is...

(For family businesses)

The transfer of wealth from one generation to the other is one of the major concerns and source of conflict within family businesses. It often strains relationships and is the cause of huge financial losses. The challenge can be mitigated and even resolved if priority is given to the quality of relations; if decisions are made together as a result of open dialogue; and if parental concerns are taking into account.

In this enlightening and inspiring talk, Aldo Civico shares the secrets of effective communication, rapport building and conflict resolution that high-end negotiators use to turn around tough problems and to resolve seemingly intractable conflicts. He shares his own experiences on how he honed advanced negotiation skills working in extremely stressful environments, and communicating with very difficult people like members of terrorist organizations. Aldo Civico shows how, by applying the same principles and strategies, everyone can take control of a difficult situation, find a path to resolution and transform relations.

In this particular program Aldo builds on the insights and experience he gained working with members of family offices around the world.

Key points of emphasis:

Conflict is opportunity.
When asked, we often associate feelings of stress, anxiety, fear or uncertainty from our experiences with conflict. This is because we give a negative connotation to conflict and conflict situations. Reframing conflict as an opportunity for growth and for needed change, unlocks the potential for resolution.

Start with the end in mind.
Clarity of purpose and of mission is key to obtaining the desired outcome. Family offices can prevent or resolve conflicts by building a shared vision that cuts across generations. Agreements that emerge from open and authentic conversations encourage the wellbeing of family members and their business.

Effective Communication. Communication is not only stating in a clear way one’s own wants. Effective communication rests on the ability to understand the needs and the story of the other. It’s about cultivating an attitude of acknowledgement, appreciation and gratefulness. It is the capacity for active and authentic listening, and for building meaningful rapport. Mastery of communication is the cornerstone on which high-end negotiators build their success.

Mastery of Emotions.
Mastering your emotions is what helps you to own a situation. Step back and get the bigger picture. When you are in a reactive mode, you give up your power, you become an hostage of the other or of the situation. Rather than reacting to a situation you ought to respond to it. Take a walk, go running, or just look at the tip of your shoes and that will get your mind off the intense negative emotions. Negotiation is about influence, but we need to influence ourselves first.

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BUILDING SAFE CITIES

(For policymakers, community organizations, local officials, law enforcement agencies)

Cities are increasingly the front lines of violent conflicts. So-called “failed cities” represent today one of...

(For policymakers, community organizations, local officials, law enforcement agencies)

Cities are increasingly the front lines of violent conflicts. So-called “failed cities” represent today one of the most serious threats to citizen securities. Cities are the space where violence and conflict are experienced by the vast majority of people around the world today.

For 25 years, Aldo Civico has worked in conflict resolution, mainly in urban areas. In this program, he shares his experiences in the city of Palermo (Italy) and Medellin (Colombia), where he has been a strategic policy advisor to Mayors, local officials, and civil society groups. He shows how by applying principles and strategies borrowed from the field of conflict resolution, communities embedded in violence can be helped in shifting from insecurity to security by leveraging citizen security.

In addition, Aldo Civico shares a cutting-edge analytical framework, developed by researchers at Columbia University, to visualize and understand the complex dynamics that result in urban violence and conflict, and how to use data to design appropriate and effective intervention. In a compelling and insightful way, in his presentation Aldo Civico weaves together his personal experience and the lessons learned from his time in the cities of Palermo and Medellin, and formulated concrete policy advice. He presents a comprehensive approach to building an integrated security framework for citizen safety.

Key points of emphasis:

The intractability of urban conflict.
Cities are complex and dynamic systems. There is no cause-effect linearity that in a comprehensive way can clarify what the root causes of violent phenomena are. The solution to the challenges faced by cities today require an approach that appreciates and understands complexity. The notion of intractability provided by the field of conflict resolution represents a set of lenses that can enlighten the challenges as well as the opportunities for urban areas marked by violence and conflict.

From zero-tolerance to community engagement.
The zero-tolerance paradigm embraced by several countries in the 1990s to fight urban violence did not produce the desired outcomes. Complex problems require a more nuanced approach. Strategic community building emphasizes that the local knowledge, experience and potential that communities harbor within themselves should give a positive contribution to secure cities.

From problem-solving to process-oriented approach.
Because the security challenges faced by cities today cannot be effectively understood in a cause-effect linear way, conventional problem-solving approaches to reaching meaningful resolutions are not sufficient, and hence often inadequate. Rather than responding only to immediate crisis, in his program Aldo Civico suggests the employment of a process-oriented approach that aims at changing the dynamics of a system that has been reproducing violence.

Innovative resolution and innovative leadership.
Resolving complex phenomena calls for innovative ideas that emerge from multiple conversations. Asking “What if?” when confronted with a complex situation helps imagining different activities and interventions carried out by different actors at different levels. This approach can be facilitated by innovative leaders, who rather than having all the solutions in hand, know how to wisely open the space to conversations that are engaging and that allow new insights and ideas to emerge.

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BREAK-OUT SESSIONS

(USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH KEYNOTES)

When a negotiator intervenes in a crisis in order to resolve it, he or she needs to bond with the hostage taker. The ability to build rapport is essential to one...

(USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH KEYNOTES)

When a negotiator intervenes in a crisis in order to resolve it, he or she needs to bond with the hostage taker. The ability to build rapport is essential to one’s successful performance and to achieve the desired outcome. People in leadership position can upgrade their skills in rapport building and effective communication by developing the techniques used by high-end negotiators to turn around tough problems.

Aldo Civico has designed different modules that allow participants in his programs to acquire fundamental and important negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

Deploy the power of listening.
Aldo Civico will teach vital techniques such as, how to listen in an effective way, how to build rapport through active listening, how to effectively paraphrase what an interlocutor said, what to listen for when engaging an interlocutor, and so on. Aldo Civico will teach basic but powerful strategies that participants can easily implement right at the end of the workshop.

Putting yourself in the shoes of the other.
The capacity to understand the other’s model of the world is a fundamental strategy to achieving peak leadership performance. In this module, Aldo will teach participants 1) how to become aware of one’s own emotions, perceptions and intentions, 2) how to put oneself in the shoes of an interlocutor, 3) how to acquire a third point of view position for a more comprehensive understanding of a particular situation.

Mastering Emotions.
Negotiator use the metaphor of “going to the balcony” to point to the skill needed when a challenging situation requires the mastery of emotions. Answers will be provided to question such as, “How does one free oneself from reactive behaviors?” And “How does one upgrade oneself to emotional mastery?” In this module, participants will learn simple, and yet effective, techniques to remaining in control even under the most stressful conditions.

With the end in mind.
To have clarity of the desired outcome is an essential skill for high performance. Keeping the eyes on the prize is an essential skill used by negotiators to achieve results and to move a process forward, even under the most difficult conditions. In this module, Aldo Civico teaches how to identify the desired outcomes, how to uncover the real purpose, how to formulate measurable and realistic goals, and how to design an effective and strategic plan of action.

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP

In this highly interactive program, Aldo Civico customizes the essential principles and techniques used by high-end negotiators to help executives, parents, teachers or community leaders to upgrade...

In this highly interactive program, Aldo Civico customizes the essential principles and techniques used by high-end negotiators to help executives, parents, teachers or community leaders to upgrade their overall effective communication and conflict resolution skills.

Skills that the workshop teaches are the following:

Building rapport.
How to connect and bond with the other, even in challenging situations, by reading and matching the body language of the other.

Active listening.
How to understand the world model of the other by uncovering the positive intentions that are hidden behind even the most destructive behaviors.

Asking powerful questions.
What questions should be asked to shift from an argument to a dialogue, and explore venues for resolution? This module also teaches how to ask powerful questions.

With the end in mind.
To have clarity of the desired outcome is an essential skill to achieve high performance. Keeping the eyes on the prize is an essential skill used by negotiators to achieve results and to move a process forward, even under the most difficult conditions. In this module, Aldo Civico teaches how to identify the desired outcomes, how to uncover the real purpose, how to formulate measurable and realistic goals, and how to design an effective and strategic plan of action.

According to the needs of the client, Aldo Civico designs a one-day to two-day workshop focusing on the development of skills that must serve the purpose and the goal of the client.

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Please call us at (615) 261-4000 for more details!

Aldo Civico travels from Newark, NJ and requires Economy Premium for domestic flights and Business class for international flights. Plus hotel (provided and paid for by client), meals and ground in event city.

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