The Art of Negotiation with Chris Voss

business, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, growth, leadership, lessons, negotiation, small business, success

How to negotiate with anyone, from a former hostage negotiator

From small-town Iowa to lead international FBI kidnapping negotiator, Chris has taught negotiation as a business skill at universities across the U.S. It’s through these teaching sessions that he developed a comprehensive, practical methodology, which eventually became his book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As if Your Life Depended On It.

Today, Chris joins us to share powerful pieces of negotiation wisdom that you don’t have to be an FBI agent to utilize. These effective, easy to understand tactics can work in your business and personal life and are especially helpful for entrepreneurs who feel like they’re always getting the short end of the stick. Listen now.

“It’s what you say versus what they hear.”

Think about the phrase, “How am I supposed to do that?” Your tone can dictate the mood of the phrase, but what it’s really saying is, “I can’t do that.” Said gently, the person on the other side of the conversation will realize you can’t budge on that particular point. The objective of “How am I supposed to do that?” – an easy phrase to incorporate into your repertoire – is to get the other person to see your perspective on the problem. Once they do that, it’s easier to move them to a solution.

“There’s something more important than the deal itself.”

A control-oriented negotiator is a vulnerable negotiator, Chris says. You can give your opponent “control” of the situation by telling them that they are in charge if they care more about that then the actual deal on the table. Once you give them what they want, they may defer to you for the next step. After all, it doesn’t matter who came up with the idea – as long as you don’t care who gets credit, anything is possible.

“That’s right.”

The two most powerful words you can get the other person to say? It’s not “You’re right.” It’s “That’s right.” When someone says, “You’re right,” they can easily dismiss you. “That’s right” comes in when you’re agreeing emphatically with a point. Chris shares a strategy to help the other person say these two powerful words to you.

Chris emphasizes that it’s not about getting to yes in an exchange. It’s about mastering the intricacies of the “no” so you can get what you want.


Chris Graebe


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