In international relations, a rapprochement, which comes from the French word rapprocher (“to bring together”), is a re-establishment of cordial relations. It can be applied to two nations mending relations or it could be applied in varied facets of life in our personal endeavors to connect.
Anybody who has a keen interest in politics or has ever taken a university course in International Relations, or delves in diplomacy, has come across that term at one point or another. It is an important orientational status quo to use (in the personal, family and national realm), or when teaching a young person, whether the intent is driving a car or driving a national agenda. As people, we understand that the way we choose to hold our chin affects how we are perceived, thus insuring that it does not hold us back. We learn at an early age to use our tool sets for the purpose of projecting an edge that will help us better communicate our wishes and aspirations. That does not mean we do not use compromise at times to achieve our goals. We need to be cognizant of the necessity to embark on a stance of rapprochement to satisfy both sides of the equation whether in our personal lives, business or politics. We are only capable of rapprochement with the other party if we are willing to negotiate and compromise on the issues. After all, the art of negotiation entails knowing when to say yes, and at the same time being resolute on stating a “no” in no uncertain terms when needed whether through body-language, or cultured language.
This is where the fun begins, where by, bartering comes into play. Speaking in tongues, and benefiting from a second language in reaching out does help. It is helpful to acknowledge that when you are are in Rome, you have to use language to your advantage. Figuratively, this translates into Italian, Spanish, French, Arabic, Mandarin or even Russian if it comes to that.
Similarly, whether you are negotiating with an adversary, or a client, you also have to speak-in-their native tongue to achieve better results. It is important to note that while forging a relationship you need to develop familiarity with culturally accepted norms. This approach facilitates communication where the other party is able to see how approachable you can be in reaching an agreement. In diplomacy, it is the difference between absolute understanding (in putting yourself in the other person’s shoes) or the dire lack of “rapprochement.”
With that in mind, we see it befitting to highlight a new season by looking at this opportunity to start anew. We spend time thinking about the hope in learning a new tool set or a new language, be it a second or third kind, by turning it into a personal desire, and then finally, a resolution. We salute you in yours.
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