April 19, 2020

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss: Why no is better than yes

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About the Author

Chris Voss has used his many years of experience in international crisis and high-stakes negotiations to develop a unique program and team that applies these globally proven techniques to the business world.

Prior to 2008, Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group.

During Chris’s 24 year tenure in the Bureau, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.

Source: https://www.blackswanltd.com/our-team/chris-voss

About the Book

Everything we’ve previously been taught about negotiation is wrong: you are not rational; there is no such thing as ‘fair’; compromise is the worst thing you can do; the real art of negotiation lies in mastering the intricacies of No, not Yes.

These surprising tactics—which radically diverge from conventional negotiating strategy—weren’t cooked up in a classroom, but are the field-tested tools FBI agents used to talk criminals and hostage-takers around the world into (or out of) just about any scenario you can imagine. 

Throughout the book, Voss draws on his experiences in truly life-or-death situations to illustrate these techniques, and offers scores of examples of how they translate into our working lives.

Source: https://info.blackswanltd.com/library


Find out more about the techniques in the book and worksheets to help plan your negotiations here: https://www.blackswanltd.com/

Buy from The Book Depository https://www.bookdepository.com/Never-Split-Difference-Chris-Voss/9781847941497/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf

BIG IDEA 1 (4:14) – Tactical empathy

Tactical empathy is not about agreeing with the other person’s position. Chris talks about the fact that some people are allergic in this concept because the idea of extending empathy to a hostage taker or terrorist is so abhorrent. However, the beauty of empathy is that it doesn’t demand that you agree with the other person but does mean you need to identify their underlying emotion. You don’t need to like the other person or agree with their idea to try and identify what they might be feeling.

There are two ways to better build tactical empathy. First is mirroring, it’s what humans and even animals do to create comfort with others. There are two kinds of mirroring – physical and verbal mirroring.  Physical mirroring is moving in sync with the other person (which builds trust and like-ness). Verbal mirroring is repeating back the last 1-3 vital words that the other person said, which allows them to elaborate more – creating deeper understanding and connection.

BIG IDEA 2 (7:46) – NO is your friend.

The big myth in negotiation or sales is we want people to say ‘yes’, and say yes as quickly as possible. However, no is good because it slows things down, helps us get to the real issue and allows people to make better decisions. Mark Cuban once said – “Every no gets you closer to yes”.  No also puts the feeling of control back with the other person, which is very important in a negotiation situation.

BIG IDEA 3 (10:13) – Forget fair.

We often fall into the trap of wanting everything to be ‘fair’ whenever we talk about negotiation. ‘Fairness’ is often used to accuse the other party (either implicitly or explicitly) of being either unfair (they’ve made you a horrible offer) or unreasonableness (they have declined your ‘fair’ offer).  This is not very useful to a relationship in a negotiation when the idea of fairness is often used as a weapon in order to accuse someone of something that they are not doing. 

Chris has discovered that one positive way of using fairness in a negotiation is up front, by making a statement like ‘I want you to feel like you’re being fairly treated at all times, so please stop me at any time you feel we’re being unfair and we’ll address it’.  Again, this puts fairness on the table up front (rather than an accusation later on) and gives control and permission to the other party to bring up ‘unfairness’ at the right time.

Music By: Almanac Song by Seth Parson

Let’s Connect

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/steph-clarke

Instagram: @stephsbizbookshelf

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