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. We think that “No” is the anti-“Yes”, and therefore a word to be avoided at all costs. But, oftentimes, it really just means “Wait” or “I’m not comfortable with that.” Learn how to hear it calmly. It is not the end of the negotiation, but the beginning. Mastering the timing of intentionally triggering it is magic.

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