Chris Voss

When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion, you fall to your highest level of preparation. So design an ambitious but legitimate goal and then game out the labels, calibrated questions, and responses you’ll use to get there. That way, once you’re at the bargaining table, you won’t have to wing it.

Chris Voss

Who has control in a conversation, the guy listening or the guy talking? The listener, of course. That’s because the talker is revealing information while the listener, if he’s trained well, is directing the conversation toward his own goals. He’s harnessing the talker’s energy for his own ends. […] The art of putting listener’s judo into practice involves remembering four things:

  1. Don’t try to force

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Chris Voss

It’s critical to break the habit of attempting to get people to say “yes”. Being pushed for a “yes” makes people defensive. Our love of hearing “yes” makes us blind to the defensiveness we ourselves feel when someone is pushing us to say it. Though “yes” is the final goal of a negotiation, don’t aim for it at the start.

“No” is not a failure. … [ Read more ]

Chris Voss

Experience has taught great negotiators that they are best served by holding multiple hypotheses—about the situation, about the counterpart’s wants, about a whole array of variables—in their mind at the same time. Present and alert in the moment, they will use all the new information that comes their way to test and winnow true hypotheses from false ones.

In negotiation, each new psychological insight or additional … [ Read more ]

Chris Voss

Don’t treat someone the way you want to be treated—treat them the way they need to be treated based on what’s driving them. How they got to the moment in time where they are across the table from you, and what drove them there, is different than how you got there. What happened to them the night before they encountered you is different than what … [ Read more ]

Life Is Negotiation: Field-Tested Techniques in Emotional Intelligence and Tactical Empathy from an FBI Negotiator

Erase everything you’ve been taught about negotiation. 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. I guarantee if you erase everything you think you know about negotiation and apply these methods in your next conversation, you’ll walk away surprised at … [ Read more ]

Derek Lidow

Every relationship of two or more people is based on shared objectives. They needn’t agree on how to bring it about and may not both take action to effect the change. Cooperative relationships are those where both parties agree on how to share the benefits and costs of creating change. Competitive relationships, by contrast, are those in which you don’t agree on how to allocate … [ Read more ]

How Do You Grade Out as a Negotiator?

Most negotiation training focuses on what happens before and during the talks. Michael Wheeler’s new app helps users improve their skills after the deal is completed.

Negotiating the Cultural Minefield

In cross-cultural negotiations, be aware of cultural differences but don’t feel you have to adapt your behavior.

Ernest Bevin

The first thing to decide before you walk into any negotiation is what to do if the other fellow says no.

Morris Chang

Years ago I read a Fortune magazine article where [Hong Kong tycoon] Li Ka-shing was quoted as advising his sons in the following fashion: When you enter into a partnership with somebody and you expect to make a dollar and your partner expects to make a dollar, too, then when the deal is over, why don’t you just take 80 cents? And if you take … [ Read more ]

The Seven Myths of Win-Win Negotiation

It sounds fine on the face of it, but not everyone will get what they want and this is more likely to happen to you if you fail to spot the traps.

Nir Halevy

We consistently find that people are more likely to agree with the statement, “I get the best outcome when we both behave cooperatively” than they are with “I get my best outcome when I behave competitively and they behave cooperatively.” But we still have about 15% who say that they get the best outcome when they exploit the other person’s cooperation unilaterally, and those 15% … [ Read more ]

How to Spot a Liar

Key linguistic cues can help reveal dishonesty during business negotiations, whether it’s a flat-out lie or a deliberate omission of key information, according to research by Lyn M. Van Swol, Michael T. Braun, and Deepak Malhotra.

When Threats Are Better Than Anger

Conventional wisdom about showing anger in negotiations is sometimes contradictory: You should hide your true feelings behind a poker face, some say. Others recommend acting angry even if you’re not, as lawyers often do. New findings from negotiation researchers, however, reveal that both bits of advice are too simplistic, and they suggest a more effective tactic for tough negotiations would be making overt, well-timed threats. … [ Read more ]

The Art of Haggling

When teaching negotiation skills, many educators now focus almost exclusively on an interest-based approach in which both parties openly collaborate to find a mutually satisfying solution. However, argues HBS Professor Mike Wheeler, it’s important for students to know that there’s still a time and place for old-school haggling.

Too Much Information Clouds Negotiators’ Judgments

Most of us use information we have about another party to reach agreement when negotiating. But recent Stanford Graduate School of Business research warns that knowing our negotiation partners too well or having the wrong kind of information about them can actually produce less successful negotiating results than having no information.

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Whether we are dealing with business, global diplomacy, or family matters, we are all perplexed by the complexity of ethics in negotiation. This article introduces a simple, straightforward exercise that can lead to very meaningful discussions regarding ethics, negotiation tactics, and the ramifications and effectiveness of the implementation of those tactics and ethical decisions.

How to Negotiate Effectively

There is no shortage of expert opinion on how to negotiate, as a quick scan of any bookstore’s shelves will reveal. Some of that advice is valuable, but much of it is simply not practical. Too often, what negotiation gurus are really saying is that you have to be a particular kind of person: thick-skinned and supremely confident, afraid of nothing, and with a big-picture … [ Read more ]