Do you know what it takes to be a good negotiator? Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator and CEO of The Black Swan Group. Many of us don’t notice how often we engage in negotiations on a regular basis. For example, even something as simple as asking for someone’s time can be seen as a negotiation with the commodity being time itself. Learning to engage in a successful negotiation is better than splitting the difference in numerous ways, as Chris Voss states during the interview: “If I’m completely wrong and you’re completely right and I’m determined that we got a compromise, I have just cheated myself… I can take something better than what I originally had in mind. ”
There are a number of factors that help contribute to a successful negotiation including using one’s voice, likeability and empathy. In this episode, Hala Taha and our guest Chris Voss discuss why it is never a good idea to split the difference and how we can implement several different techniques in order to achieve greater success in our own negotiations.For more on Chris Voss follow him on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/christophervoss/, on instagram @thefbinegotiator, on Twitter @VossNegotiation and visit his website at https://blackswanltd.com/.
This episode of YAP is sponsored by our friends at Rethink Creative Group. They’re a digital advertising, marketing, and content creation agency focused on helping small to medium sized businesses. Guess what? As a YAP listener, you get a special gift if you work with them. Head over to rethink.agency/yap.
There’s an old saying in negotiation, the person that offers to meet you in the middle is often a poor judge of distance.
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What we are yapping about in this episode:
- Chris Voss’ background story and career in the FBI [02:47]
- Tips for using one’s tone of voice to influence a negotiation [15:50]
- Why it is never a good idea to “split the difference” [37:50]
- How to negotiate price [47:47]
Hala Taha:00:00Hey guys, young and puffing podcast has just launched YAP Society on slack. It's a cool community where listeners can network and give us valuable feedback on the show. To Join Yap Society on slack, go to bitly slash YAP society. That's bit dot l y slash Yap society and if you're already active, share the wealth and invite your friends. YAP Society on Slack is sponsored by Compass HQ, a slack APP that gives insights to helpyour team work better together. Use Compass HQ to get detailed analytics, visualize communication patterns and run surveys to collect input from your team. Visit compass, hq.com to learn more. This episode is sponsored by our friends at rethink creative group. There are digital advertising, marketing and content creation agency focused on helping businesses of all sizes. They do everything from running your social media platforms for you tobuilding your website, running digital advertising toproducing podcasts just like this.Hala Taha:00:54We've seen their work and trust me, they're awesome. They focused on generating results for their clients, which is why they've worked with over100 different clients across industries and the past four years I partnered with them because I'm always asked to take on freelance marketing projects, but I simply don't have the bandwidth andthey're the only agency I would put my name behind. So if you're tired of marketing, that just doesn't work. You need to look these guys up. Go torethink.agency/yap and our listeners get a special gift if you sign up to work with them. That's rethink.agency/yap your listening to young and profiting podcast, a place where you can listen, learn and profit. I'm your host Hollyg and today we're talking to Christopher Voss. Chriss, formerly the FBI's leading international hostage and kidnapping negotiator. Now he spends his time as an author, professor and see of the Black Swan group teaching others how to apply his learnings from international crisis and high stakes negotiations to the business world. Chris is regarded as one of the most influential negotiators of our time. He wrote the best selling book, never split the difference, which lays out actionable negotiation strategies and is known as the Bible of negotiation. Chris joins us on Yap today to teach us how to negotiate as if our lives depended on it and
how to become more persuasive in both our professional and personal lives. Hey Chris, welcometo young and profiting podcasts. We're delighted to have you on today.Chris Voss:02:21Thank you. I'm happy to be here. Thank you very much.Hala Taha:02:25So you've had an illustrious career. You've crossed in and out of police forces, academia. You're the CEO of Black Swan Group and you were even an international hostage negotiator for the FBI among other prestigious titles. Can you just spend a few minutes giving us highlights of your career journey so far and how you came to become a leading authority in negotiation?Chris Voss:02:47It sounds like it can't hold the job, Huh? No, it's a long journey. I mean, I wanted to be in law enforcement. Uh, so the police department went to the FBI. I grew up in a town in Iowa. I know I don't have the Iowa accent in any more, but when I foundout in federal law enforcement, they'd pay you to go to other countries and hang out. I thought, wow,how cool is that? I'd never been anywhere. So I get interested in negotiation because I was actually originally on a swat team and decided to make the transition from Swat to negotiations because I had a bad knee. And then negotiations was cool since I was a swatter before I wasn't qualified to be a Talker, you know? Swatters don't say a lot. I say putthe gun down. That's about what's swater say? So they told me volunteer on a suicide hotline. I found that experience so extraordinary and I was just fascinated by it. So suicide hotline, FBI studying at a university is you start turning this stuff together. It's consuming. I've always loved it.Hala Taha:03:54So is this something that you knew you wanted to do when you grow up? Because not many people think like, oh, I want to be a negotiator when I growup. So how did you know that was your true calling?Chris Voss:04:03I had no idea. None whatsoever. At about age 16 I decided I want to be in law enforcement or what really attracted me to law enforcement was the idea to be creative and innovative and do some good at the same time. I saw a movie about a couple of cops in New York City called the
supercabs and these guys were just creative guys. They thought about all these creative ways to catchthe bad guys and then the community loved them because they got rid of bad guys and no community, no matter how tough it is in any neighborhood, there's still more good people than bad people. I don't care what neighborhood you're talking about and the good people appreciate the cops and I was just fascinated by that, so I knew I wanted to be in law enforcement, but negotiation, I had no idea that was going to be it. I thought Swat was cool. I want to do swat actually studied martial arts for a short period of time in college. That's where originally hurt my name. But I like crisis response and we had negotiators and I decided I could still be a negotiator and still being crisis response. And that's when I found out to my great delight how cool it was to talk people out.Hala Taha:05:14Very cool. And so I think when people think of negotiation, they tend to view it in formal terms. Soa salary negotiation, a hostage negotiation or negotiating business deal or so on. But I really wantmy listeners to realize that it's a scale you can use beyond a formal, traditional sense. So what is your definition of negotiation and how do we negotiate in everyday life?Chris Voss:05:38Yeah. Well, in the most dangerous negotiation is theone you don't know you're in and you're negotiating all the time. And the good thing about that is, you know, you practice in small stakes stuff,everyday conversation. So you could do well in a formal conversations. And I'll give you a great example I came across recently, which we love to ask people when they say, I don't have a chance to practice negotiations. I say, well, are you in a negotiation when you're at Starbucks? Well, there's a guy that wrote a, started a website called post secrets and he said, send me your secrets anonymously. Send them to me on a postcard or something like a postcard, but send them to me anonymously. So he gets an anonymous brand new still in a wrapper Starbucks Coffee Cup is proof thatit was from somebody at Starbucks and the note said, I give Decaf to people who are mean to me.Chris Voss:06:34So you're in a negotiation when you're at Starbucks, they might not be in you what you ordered. If you're a grumpy person and, and you
think you're developing a tolerance for caffeine, maybe you're not developing a tolerance for caffeine. Yeah, they're giving you decaf to get back at you. So practice your everyday interactions tied into that is the saying never be mean to somebody who could hurt you by doing nothing. Well, if you practice being nice on a regular basis, you find thatyou get a lot more stuff. The hotel I'm in right now. Iwas just really nice when I checked in when my system was calling from my reservation, she couldn't get a late checkout when I checked in. I was just super nice and they were happy to give me a late checkout. You know those are the practice and negotiations and you get a lot more bybeing nice. You know, everybody likes to be tabled, pounding and name calling and demanding and it's really satisfying to quote when and negotiation and make the other side loose, but actually longterm that's bad. That's not good. You don't do great long term. So if you practice being nice, you negotiate all the time, you get a lot of cool stuff.Hala Taha:07:44Yeah, that's so true. And I can't wait to dive into all of that. So as usual we studied a lot for this interview, especially because my listeners love topics that touch on psychology and influence. My top episode is hacking human behavior to gain influence. It was actually another FBI agent who I interviewed and I'm sure this episode is going to become an instant classic as well in relation to classics. You have the classic of your own, it's callednever split the difference. Now I think all my listeners will recognize this book. It's a huge mega head. I think you put it out in 2016 and I highly recommend it to anybody who's interested in negotiation. It was one of the best reads that I've came across so far.Chris Voss:08:25Thank you very much. Yeah, as a matter of fact, I checked the charts today and we're number six in the world on Amazon's most sold lists. So we're doing all right.Hala Taha:08:36It's crazy and it's crazy how much of a longevity this book has and it's still the leading authority, I think, on negotiation out right now. So definitely want to spend a majority of the time covering someof your key principles from that book. So let's start with human nature and how negotiation plays into that. No matter how we dress up, negotiation and
mathematical, we still act like animals. We're drivenby our fears, our needs, our perceptions, our desires. Can you talk about these animalistic urges and why it is our emotions that guide our decisions and not rational thought or logic?Chris Voss:09:10Yeah, that's a great point. We're driven by our fears at three times the rate that we're driven by, the stuff that we'd like, which means our concerns over loss distorts our thinking by three times that our desire for gain. Well, there's an old saying like he watched somebody lose a game and they say losing a big game hurts twice as much as winning the big game does, and most people will accept that, but how do you factor that into your thinking? Well, hostage negotiators skills specifically designed to diffuse feelings and loss, so you come to agreements faster by understanding how to diffuse people's fears because they distort our thinking by so much than you do by trying to pitch games. For example, we've got an exercise we do in our training session and I asked for volunteers. Now at that point in time, that's a negotiation.Chris Voss:10:03People don't realize it is, but if I'm asking for your time, you're in a negotiation. The commodity is time and time is always a commodity in every negotiation. Trying to get somebody to do something, but they don't see it as a negotiation. They just think they're going to volunteer. So I will always say to them, right up front, look, I get tell you, if you're worried about volunteering, it's gonnabe horrible. Now another instructor might say, look,I don't want you to worry about volunteering. I don't want you to think it's going to be bad. It's all denials. I don't want you to think, I don't want you to worry. I don't want you to feel this. That actually makes fears worse. But a crazy shift is, and this was backed by neuroscience experiment by just saying like, it's gonna seem like x versus the denial.Chris Voss:10:51I, you know, it's gonna be horrible. That actually diffuses the fuse. And when I do that with volunteers, I always get more hands than I need. If Ihad taken a different approach to traditional deal making approach, if you volunteer, this is what you will get. I could say if you volunteer, you're going toget better training than anybody else in the room does. Most people will be reluctant to volunteer because there's still concerned about their fears. So
it's just changing up the order of things. And then understanding how to get rid of fears and the the magic said negotiations, how to diffuse feeders.Hala Taha:11:31Yeah, and I think you call that labeling and your book correct.Chris Voss:11:35And there you have done your homework. That is exactly what we call it.Hala Taha:11:39I have, we're going to get into all of that. In your book you also talk about something called cognitivebias and how it distorts the way that we see the world. Can you give us some examples of cognitive bias and how we can avoid this framing effect whenwe're in a negotiation?Chris Voss:11:54Well, a couple of ones. First of all is what we refer tosome emotional anchoring and, and our first biases are how we're driven by our fears. And one of the second ones then too, is that we have to get peopleout of early on is that everybody makes the following assumption, I am normal. And what that means when you think to yourself, I'm normal. And when somebody else's an act in the way that you think is right, that makes them, by definition, abnormal humanity kind of splits up into three conflict types. The caveman that survived, the saber tooth tiger and we still get caveman wiring inour head. We haven't evolved out of it. It's our response to threat is fight, flight or make friends. If something threatens us, we want to fight it or we want to run from it or we want to make friends withit, you know the caveman responses and a world's much pretty much evenly into thirds.Chris Voss:12:51What does that have to do with what I'm talking about? Whatever conflict type you are, two thirds ofthe time your counterpart's going to be one of those other two types. You're going to be in the minority. So normal is a relative term. It normal kindof breaks up into thirds. Classic example of how thisreally breaks down is silence. Like I'm a natural born assertive, I'm the fight type. If there's silence in a conversation, if you go silent, I'm going to thinkthat means you want to hear me talk some more. That's why you are quiet. You're quiet. So I can talk now if you're the flight type or the very analytical type, you love silence because you want to think. So you go on silent cause you want to think and I'm
on the other side of the table and you can't get me to shut up. Or if you're the make friends type and you go silent since having a great relationship is the number one thing for you going silent is the way you signal anger. So you trying to show me that you're angry in a really quiet way but you're probably furious and I won't shut up. So I've made the wrong assumption on silence just based on my type and that's where our cognitive biases get in our way because we figured the way we think otherpeople thinkHala Taha:14:12so then how do we avoid that? How do we avoid assuming that everybody else is like us.Chris Voss:14:18We got nine negotiation skills and the labels that we were just talking about a minute ago, you know we've sort of surveyed all three types across the world and all three types like labels. And so you start with a look. It seems like you might be angry. That's just the label of the dynamic that's going on in the moment. Now, all three types of light to respond to that because it's kind of an observation. It's not really a question. It's just kind of laid out there, which gives you the option to,Chris Voss:14:52now All I have to do to avoid the assumptions is to say something soft and gentle like that, that you're likely to respond to and then just pay attention to what you say. If you're mad, if I say, hey, it seems like something's bothering you, you're going to say,yeah, you know, as a matter of fact, here's what I'munhappy about it. And then you'll tell me if you go on silent because you want to thank, and I say, it seems like something's bothering you. You're going to say no, no, no, no. It doesn't bother me. I just need a few moments was think. Now you're startingto giving me feedback right away. I got to actually pay attention to the feedback and if I do, we're going to end up having a great conversation.Hala Taha:15:33Okay. So let's talk about the tone of voice to use a negotiation in your book you mentioned three different voices that you can use. Are there really just only three and can you break down the main ones and describe them perhaps while using the tone of voice that you're suggesting so we can really understand the difference?
Chris Voss:15:50Yeah, I'd be happy to each one of the caveman types that I talked about before the fight, flight make friends, but they get natural tone. Now I've kind of learned the tone I'm using now, which is a little bit of the analyst voice, was a little bit of the late night FM DJ voice and it's a calming and soothing voice. It actually reaches in and it hit your mirror neurons. I said before, a lot of this is based on neuroscience, not psychology, but neuroscience.And so the neuroscience is, if I hit your mirror neurons with a soothing voice, it actually triggers a chemical change in your brain and it soothes you, itcalms you down. It's an actual voice or the hostage negotiator. And that's why one of the crazy difference between business negotiations in hostage negotiations or that hostage negotiations tend to be calmer. How's that possible that a terrorist is criminal, kidnappers, and then a businessman?Chris Voss:16:46Well, the hostage negotiator use a late night FM DJ voice on him from the start, calmed them down. It was an involuntary response and if I can come a terrorist down with that voice, I'm probably calm. Pretty much anybody there. That's the first voice. Now these other voice, which is my natural tone that I had to learn to practice and you can learn your way out of anything. You know as a direct and honest voice. I'm just telling you what I need. I'm just being honest. I'm just being direct and honest with you. When I fall into that direct and honest voice and if you're a human being, thinks of yourself as simply as direct and honest. You know, Ionce had a colleague tell me that they said, Chris, dealing with you is like getting hit in the face with abrick. That's probably not going to help me.Chris Voss:17:32You don't get what you want on a longterm basis byhitting people in a face with a brick and the assertives voices, you only voice then is really counter productive all the time. I reach in, I hate your mirror neurons with assertion. You feel attacked, you react angrily triggers the negative emotion of anger. And it's not emotions that are bad, it's negative emotions that are bad. So I trigger your anger emotion and there's an old saying, you have the speech when you're angry and it'll be the best speech you ever regret. You're going to say things that in a moment you feel very self righteous about it. And when you look back on
them, they're just not going to hell. So the assertiveis a type that you really gotta be careful on how you come off to people. Now the last type, which everybody likes is the Combinators voice and you just feel the warmth in their voice.Chris Voss:18:29And when someone smiles you can feel it. They don't even have to be in a phone with you. You could feel the smile in her tone of voice. And that's what I'm doing now and that hits the mirror neurons and you feel good because chemicals are actually being released in your system that make you feel good. The dopamine, the Serotonin, the stuff that gives you mental endurance, the stuff that makes you smarter, you're 31% smarter in a positive frame of mind. If I can trigger you into a positive frame of mind, we're both smarter, we're probably going to make a better deal. So that positive voice in or the charming person, a likable person, you make more deals with people that you like. It's a powerful mercenaries tool. If you just want to get your way, you want to do it. If you love people, you want to do it because it's really good for relationships simultaneously. So smiling at pupils, a powerful waiting to go, shit.Hala Taha:19:28It seems like negotiation is really all about getting the other person to just like you.Chris Voss:19:33Likability is a powerful skill. Now, I was on the phone with some people there that day. We were doing a training session and the fine line is if you need to be liked, then suddenly you're taken hostage by it and you don't want the need to be like to take your hostage, but you do want to be likable. So my mindset is like, I will think to myself, I like you, not do you like me, but if my inner voice is saying over and over again, I like you. I like you. Imean that's going to come through it. I'm not goingto take myself hostage by needing to be liked, right? Have a great negotiation or to get what you want, but not at the other person's expense. You got to let them know what you want. And some people, if they're taken hostage by the need to be like, they're afraid to let people know what they want and you can't make a good deal if you don't let people know what you want. You want them to read your mind. That's just not fair.
Hala Taha:20:26Aside from voice, what are some other qualities or characteristics that you can tell us that can give us an edge as a negotiator?Chris Voss:20:33Take the phrase, negotiation is art of letting the other side have your way. That sounds cool. How doyou do that? You got to let them talk. Most people, they're scared to let the other side talk or they want to talk first. Either being afraid to let the otherside talk. That's a bad practice. Wanting to talk firstis actually a bad practice. The only way that you're gonna talk yourself into my deal is if I get you talking. If I shut up, if I go silent, and if I encourage you to go on, I get you talking. And pretty soon, youknow, I gently try to steer you, guide you. Sometimes we call this guided discovery, you know,encourage you to think about different things, but I don't interrupt you encourage you. You're going to talk long enough that you're going to throw some stuff out that we both can use and you're going to do it because since you threw it at you thought it was your idea and you're going to love it, that's thesecret to letting the other side have your way. So let the other side talk. They may just delight you with what they have to say and let them feel like they won and that's how you get a great deal.Hala Taha:21:43Awesome. Well that was great advice. Thank you. So I also read that mirroring is super important when it comes to negotiation. So mirroring for my listeners who aren't familiar is an unconscious behavior in which we copy each other to comfort each other. It helps to build rapport and leads to trust. We've talked about mirroring on the show before, but really that was focused on body language. Chris, you talk about mirroring in a verbal context. So can you explain what that is, how and when to use it and why it works?Chris Voss:22:12Yeah, the hostage negotiators takes your attention off of body language and onto the actual words themselves. And it's ridiculously simple and it's astonishingly effective. I mean, are you going to do is repeat the last rewards of what someone has justsaid? You can repeat the last rewards without burden fell action, which might be the last rewards. Or you can repeat it with downward inflection, which would be the last three words. People find that enormously encouraging and a great thing about it. Like I don't ask somebody what they mean
as a question anymore, like if there's something I want to know about it. I don't say, what do you mean by that? Because at least half the time when you ask somebody what they meant by that, there were repeated with the exact same more louder, kind of like an American overseas trying to be understood. They just say it louder, but they don't change the words and when you mirror someone actually they're going to change the words and they're going to go on, are they going to bloat stuff out that they shouldn't bloat out?Chris Voss:23:13I just put a video up on our youtube channel. Why mirrored a bank robber now the bank robbery ended up making it a mission that led to one of his colleagues, the getaway driver being arrested and convicted. We didn't know there was a getaway driver at all because he got away before we got there, but their vehicle was left behind. We thoughtthe vehicle was left behind because all the bad guys were inside and a bank robber was really controlling guy. He was a classic seat and Yo use hiding his influence. He was manipulating everybody in all the conversations you just kept saying, I don't have any power, I don't have any authority. I'm worried about these guys. I don't know what they're going to do. Intentionally diminishing his role. That is the mark of a powerful negotiator. Didn't know it at the time. But anyway it's about five hours in.Chris Voss:24:03I finally, I asked him about the van upside to get away your vehicle that we figure and I said, hey there's van out here. We identified all of the drivers except this one. And he says, well are you chased my driver away cause I caught him off guard and you want to catch people off guard in a nonthreatening way. So I mirrored we chase you driver away? Cause I was shocked. I didn't know what the hell he was talking about it. Mirror is a great skill. Like when you really startled by what somebody just said. So I said, we chase you driver away. He said, yeah. When he saw the police, he cut and run, not one witness link this guy to the bank robbery. That was the only evidence we had and it was an admission from the ring leader of the group that they had to get away driver that got away. We get ready to go to trial and our investigators didn't know. We had this on tape and he said, we've got to let this guy go. We've got no
evidence. And I said, no, we got great evidence. Weget an admission by one or the other bank robbers. They went and got the transcript and the tape, theyshowed it to the attorney. His defense attorney pledguilty on the spot mirrors, cause people to say things they probably would not otherwise say and it's two Jedi mind trick.Hala Taha:25:13Wow. What a cool check. I can't wait to use that. You can't wait to use it. Yeah, I've never used that before. I can't wait to try it out. I just Mirrored you. Oh, I remember in your book you also mentioned saying that, I'm sorry, before Mirror can be really impactful, especially when dealing with strong a type personalities like yourself. Can you explain that hack to our listeners too?Chris Voss:25:38A lot of people say it's a bad thing to say. Those aren't bad words. It's where you drop them. That's really important. Again, I talked about catching people off guard and ways that triggers him that makes him more curious. You could do something wrong or do something potentially offensive and Sam, sorry, that's the bad sequence, but if you say,I'm sorry, before you do something, they might respond to negatively or I'm sorry, just before your assertion, which your mirrors a little bit of research.It's a prompt. It's provoking them to go on in a goodway. If you say, I'm sorry, out of the blue. That's to get people's attention right away cause they were like we sorry about, which means in that moment they're really glued into what you have to say and their guard is down because just saying I'm sorry beforehand makes people feel powerful.Chris Voss:26:24They're like, oh, you know, I got to lose power here.You know, they as person is all worried about me. It's an emotional intelligence application of deference. Deference is very powerful because it helps you catch people off guard. So to say, I'm sorry, up front is to warn people a little bit, to intrigue them a little bit, get their attention and make them curious. And then when you drop something on him like a mirror or an assertion or label, it's going to have a much deeper emotional impact exactly the way that you want. So I'm sorry,it's a great phrase if you just put it in the right place.
Hala Taha:27:00Awesome. Okay, so let's go back to emotions, empathy and labeling. So traditional negotiating advice as to separate people from the problem, but that's extremely hard when emotions are actually the problem. It's scientifically proven that we make our decisions based on emotions and not logic. Andyou say that good negotiators precisely label emotions belonging to others and themselves and then talk about them without getting wound up. So,I know you mentioned labeling at a high level, but can you give the exact steps that we should take tolabel and use that tactic in real lifeNew Speaker:27:34so you started out right. You probably just label kind of what you feel, kind of what you're hearing right off the top of a conversation. You get real good at that. We just practice. You get into a Lyft driver and I lift driver says, how are you today? Andthen you can say a sentence like, I've been a tough day. Or you pick up on their aspect and they seem happy. You seem happy. You get your practicing by just labeling what's on the surface. That's how you get started. Now emotions are kind of crazy in that if we label a positive, you sound happy. They increased as a positive. If they're frustrated and you say you sound frustrated. The interesting thing is the labeling of a negative decreases. It has the opposite effect. So you get some practice in and then you get used to hitting those emotions, which now you're clearing the way they feel understood. They want to cooperate with you. They're more collaborative because they instantly feel more understood. So it's a little bit of the karate kid wax on wax off thing. You just start labeling people and just label whatever you here. After a while, your ability to distinguish and understand what you're doing is really going to catch up to your fast and that that's how you're getting the people very, veryquickly.Hala Taha:28:47Awesome. If I remember correctly, you also have to shut up and listen after you able, is that correct?New Speaker:28:54Yeah, because a good label, you gotta let the baby sink in. You got to let it hit all the different parts of the Amygdala and a lot of people have real trouble with this because before you know, it talked about the accommodator type, you know the make friends type. They're good instinct for being silent isI'm signaling to you that I'm upset with you. And
after a label, they're horrified that that's the signal they're sending off and they have a heck of a hard time shutting up. But this is a critical time to really go silent and let your label sink in really well. My son is my chief operations. He likes to say when you go silence start counting thousands to yourself.You never get to three.Hala Taha:29:36And why is not saying the word I and being indirect by using phrasing it seems like, or it sounds like important to remember when using labeling.Chris Voss:29:46Yeah. A lot of people learn labeling by saying like, well what I'm hearing is it a problem with the word Iis? It's a self centering word. And particularly when you're observing the other person's reactions and you're trying to make them feel attended to, you're trying to make them feel heard. When you use the word I, you don't make them feel heard. You make them feel like you're interested in your own reaction more than your observation of them. And so I interrupt the pattern there that works against you and that's where you gotta be really careful with the word IHala Taha:30:21cool. One of your chapters in your book is called beware of Yeus and master no and you say that going right after negativity brings the conversation to a safe zone of empathy and that hearing no is really the start of a negotiation and not the end of it. So explain to us why no is so powerful and why we should give permission to our counterparts to say no and why pushing for yes is actually not a good strategy and not a good thing.Chris Voss:30:48Yeah. People try to take us hostage with yes all the time. And this is nonsensical approach out there called the yes momentum or momentum selling and it says every time you get a yes out of somebody, it's a micro agreement or a tie down and with every micro agreement or every tie down you get, then when you get to the big yes they have to say yes cause you got him, you got him cornered. I mean that's really bad. That's taken away somebody's autonomy. It's and they know it. It's that has been done so much that that's why we say the three kinds of yesses. There's commitment,confirmation and counterfeit and most people are used to giving a counterfeit. Yes. Because they know you're trying to tie him down and you're
trying to get micro agreements. You trying to trap him and that's why there's so many false yes is out there and the problem with yeses, we love hearing it so much simultaneously we'll do this but will hateit when somebody tries to do it to us.Chris Voss:31:46Like I don't know anybody that when they pick up the phone and the voice on the other end of the phone says, have you got a few minutes to talk? I don't know anybody that says yes. I love to say yes.Thank you for letting me say yes. You know everybody gets a bad feeling in the pit of the stomach when a voices have you got a few minutesto talk cause you're thinking like, what am I letting myself in for? How long is this going to last? What ifI don't want to talk about this high? You know they're going to try to trap me all this. Yes. Nonsense. It's really bad. Now, the stupid thing is you get the complete opposite experience when you get people to say no, like I don't say, do you agree? I say, do you disagree? I had an email conversation not that long ago with Robert Herjavec from shark tank.Chris Voss:32:30By the way, Robert Herjavec is a great guy. I mean generous, decent dude, good businessman, but a really good guy. And so we're talking with him about his company, buy a tickets to one of our trainings and enthusiastic, but they're not given us a number. And I got to get a number out of him. I got to get an agreement for a number and agreement for payment. Now, I know what I needed. Now I go for now. So I sent him an email that said, are you against committing to three tickets? No. Are you against paying for them before the Business Day starts tomorrow? Cause it's, I'm sending them this email at five o'clock in la. Not only is it the end of the day, but we're three hours behind the rest of the world and the tickets are going to be gone by the time the Business Day starts tomorrow.Chris Voss:33:19He got it by now. But no. So I went for no bull times.And when you go for no, if there are more problems, they'll say, no, but here's what I need. Orno, and here's the rest of it. And then they'll tell you how to make the deal. Or they'll just say no period. And they'll say it instantly. I get an email back from him less than 15 minutes later that says,no, we're happy to commit to three tickets now. No,
we're happy to pay for them immediately. My assistant will send you an email, sent her the link. We will pay now, instantaneous commitment. Also, the subtle part of that is important is people are decision fatigued at the end of the day and they can't say yes to stuff, but would shockingly enough.When your decision fatigued, you get a burst of clarity and you can say no, no matter how tired youare. And if there's more guidance, it's necessary. You can give it.Hala Taha:34:21That's awesome. So you guys heard it. No. Is actually your way forward and a negotiation. So don't be scared of people saying no dad.Chris Voss:34:29Don't be scared and no, it's not the boogie man.Hala Taha:34:34Okay, so let's talk about another phrase. That's right. You say that the phrase of that's right is magical. So how do you get people to say those magic words?Chris Voss:34:43Yeah, and it is, and there's a really important distinction between, that's right. And your right now, your right, is what people say when you're pitching your argument. When you're pitching your deal, when you're making your case and your right is what we say to people to get them to shut up. I mean, if I want someone to just lay off and I want to make them happy at the same time, it's the polite way to say, please shut up. And you tell somebody, you're right. They shut up and they're really happy. They're not mad at you. They shut up.They think they made their point and he'd go away.And we do this to people simultaneously having it done to us all the time. We don't see it. So what's the shift? The shift is, instead of making my case, I'm just trying to summarize your perspective and I'm really focusing on the parts that I don't like and I'm not denying, I'm saying like, look, you feel that this is an unfair to do because we're a big companyand we get the dominating market share and we got a reputation of just pushing people around.Chris Voss:35:49That diffuses the negatives. What I talked about before, you're laying out that you're not planting negatives, you're diffusing them. You know, nobodyever made the elephant in the room go away by ignoring the elephant or room or trying to keep them out by denying him. They just recognize them
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