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450 Best Chris Voss Quotes: Never Split The Difference (2023)

1. “Splitting the difference is wearing one black and one brown shoe, so don’t compromise. Meeting halfway often leads to bad deals for both sides.”


2. “As a negotiator you should always be aware of which side, at any given moment, feels they have the most to lose if negotiations collapse.”


3. ​Prepare, prepare, prepare. When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion; you fall to your highest level of preparation.”


4. “Prepare an Ackerman plan. Before you head into the weeds of bargaining, you’ll need a plan of extreme anchor, calibrated questions, and well-defined offers. Remember: 65, 85, 95, 100 percent. Decreasing raises and ending on nonround numbers will get your counterpart to believe that he’s squeezing you for all you’re worth when you’re really getting to the number you want.”


5. “promise you that they will feel awkward and artificial at first, but keep at it. Learning to walk felt awfully strange, too.”


6. “The beauty of empathy is that it doesn’t demand that you agree with the other person’s ideas”


7. “People in close relationships often avoid making their own interests known and instead compromise across the board to avoid being perceived as greedy or self-interested. They fold, they grow bitter, and they grow apart. We’ve all heard of marriages that ended in divorce and the couple never fought.”


8. “The sweetest two words in any negotiation are actually: That’s right.”


9. “The language of negotiation is primarily a language of conversation and rapport: a way of quickly establishing relationships and getting people to talk and think together. Which is why when you think of the greatest negotiators of all time, I’ve got a surprise for you—think Oprah Winfrey.”


10. “The intention behind most mirrors should be “Please, help me understand.” Every time you mirror someone, they will reword what they’ve said. They will never say it exactly the same way they said it the first time. Ask.”


11. Sometimes people should observe things around them and the best way to deal with negativity is and without even reacting to the situation.


12. “A good negotiator prepares, going in, to be ready for possible surprises; a great negotiator aims to use her skills to reveal the surprises she is certain to find. Don’t commit to assumptions; instead, view them as hypotheses and use the negotiation to test them rigorously. People who view negotiation as a battle of arguments become overwhelmed by the voices in their head. Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible. To quiet the voices in your head, make your sole and all-encompassing focus the other person and what they have to say. Slow. It. Down. Going too fast is one of the mistakes all negotiators are prone to making. If we’re too much in a hurry, people can feel as if they’re not being heard. You risk undermining the rapport and trust you’ve built. Put a smile on your face. When people are in a positive frame of mind, they think more quickly, and are more likely to collaborate and problem-solve (instead of fight and resist). Positivity creates mental agility in both you and your counterpart.”


13. “Mirrors work magic. Repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said. We fear what’s different and are drawn to what’s similar. Mirroring is the art of insinuating similarity, which facilitates bonding. Use mirrors to encourage the other side to empathize and bond with you, keep people talking, buy your side time to regroup, and encourage your counterparts to reveal their strategy.”


14. “You: “So we’re agreed?” Them: “Yes . . .” You: “I heard you say, ‘Yes,’ but it seemed like there was hesitation in your voice.” Them: “Oh, it’s nothing really.” You: “No, this is important, let’s make sure we get this right.”


15. “No” is the start of the negotiation, not the end of it. We’ve been conditioned to fear the word “No.” But it is a statement of perception far more often than of fact. It seldom means, “I have considered all the facts and made a rational choice.” Instead, “No” is often a decision, frequently temporary, to maintain the status quo. Change is scary, and “No” provides a little protection from that scariness.


16. “[I]t is self-evident that people are neither fully rational nor completely selfish, and that their tastes are anything but stable.”


17. “Hope is not a strategy.”


18. “What could they give that would almost get us to do it for free?”


19. “ask, “Is now a bad time to talk?” Either you get “Yes, it is a bad time” followed by a good time or a request to go away, or you get “No, it’s not” and total focus.”


20. The mirroring instinct and your counterpart will be inevitably elaborate and it will be repeated back by the people.


21. “Every negotiation should start with “No”


22. “Their system was easy to follow and seductive, with four basic tenets. One, separate the person—the emotion—from the problem; two, don’t get wrapped up in the other side’s position (what they’re asking for) but instead focus on their interests (why they’re asking for it) so that you can find what they really want; three, work cooperatively to generate win-win options; and, four, establish mutually agreed-upon standards for evaluating those possible solutions.”


23. “Mirroring, also called isopraxism, is essentially imitation. It’s another neurobehavior humans (and other animals) display in which we copy each other to comfort each other. It can be done with speech patterns, body language, vocabulary, tempo, and tone of voice. It’s generally an unconscious behavior—we are rarely aware of it when it’s happening—but it’s a sign that people are bonding, in sync, and establishing the kind of rapport that leads to trust. It’s”


24. “This book blew my mind. It’s a riveting read, full of instantly actionable advice—not just for high-stakes negotiations, but also for handling everyday conflicts at work and at home.” —Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE


25. “Negotiation as you’ll learn it here is nothing more than communication with results.”


26. Sometimes your attitude should be very easy and they should be encouraging sometimes.


27. “the greatest inspiration for institutional change in American law enforcement came on an airport tarmac in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 4, 1971. The United States was experiencing an epidemic of airline hijackings at the time; there were five in one three-day period in 1970. It was in that charged atmosphere that an unhinged man named George Giffe Jr. hijacked a chartered plane out of Nashville, Tennessee, planning to head to the Bahamas. By the time the incident was over, Giffe had murdered two hostages—his estranged wife and the pilot—and killed himself to boot. But this time the blame didn’t fall on the hijacker; instead, it fell squarely on the FBI. Two hostages had managed to convince Giffe to let them go on the tarmac in Jacksonville, where they’d stopped to refuel. But the agents had gotten impatient and shot out the engine. And that had pushed Giffe to the nuclear option. In fact, the blame placed on the FBI was so strong that when the pilot’s wife and Giffe’s daughter filed a wrongful death suit alleging FBI negligence, the courts agreed. In the landmark Downs v. United States decision of 1975, the U.S. Court of Appeals wrote that “there was a better suited alternative to protecting the hostages’ well-being,” and said that the FBI had turned “what had been a successful ‘waiting game,’ during which two persons safely left the plane, into a ‘shooting match’ that left three persons dead.” The court concluded that “a reasonable attempt at negotiations must be made prior to a tactical intervention.” The Downs hijacking case came to epitomize everything not to do in a crisis situation, and inspired the development of today’s theories, training, and techniques for hostage negotiations. Soon after the Giffe tragedy, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) became the first police force in the country to put together a dedicated team of specialists to design a process and handle crisis negotiations. The FBI and others followed. A new era of negotiation had begun. HEART”


28. “SuperSummary guides are very thorough, accurate, and easy to understand and navigate. The information is chapter specific and so it's easy to target certain things.”


29. “Instead ask, “Is now a bad time to talk?” Either you get “Yes, it is a bad time” followed by a good time or a request to go away, or you get “No, it’s not” and total focus.”


30. “You’re going to have to embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation—and of life.”


31. “All negotiations are defined by a network of subterranean desires and needs. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the surface. Once you know that the Haitian kidnappers just want party money, you will be miles better prepared.”


32. “No” is not failure. Used strategically it’s an answer that opens the path forward.”


33. “I have aced all my essays and writing assignments since using SuperSummary. The guide themes, chapter outlines and character summaries are more detailed than other sites.”


34. “Remember, never be so sure of what you want that you wouldn’t take something better. Once you’ve got flexibility in the forefront of your mind you come into a negotiation with a winning mindset.”


35. “All negotiations are defined by a network of subterranean desires and needs. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the surface. Once you know that the Haitian kidnappers just want party money, you will be miles better prepared. ■​Splitting the difference is wearing one black and one brown shoe, so don’t compromise. Meeting halfway often leads to bad deals for both sides. ■​Approaching deadlines entice people to rush the negotiating process and do impulsive things that are against their best interests. ■​The F-word—“Fair”—is an emotional term people usually exploit to put the other side on the defensive and gain concessions. When your counterpart drops the F-bomb, don’t get suckered into a concession. Instead, ask them to explain how you’re mistreating them. ■​You can bend your counterpart’s reality by anchoring his starting point. Before you make an offer, emotionally anchor them by saying how bad it will be. When you get to numbers, set an extreme anchor to make your “real” offer seem reasonable, or use a range to seem less aggressive. The real value of anything depends on what vantage point you’re looking at it from. ■​People will take more risks to avoid a loss than to realize a gain. Make sure your counterpart sees that there is something to lose by inaction.”


36. “When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion – you fall to your highest level of preparation.”


37. There are certain situations in which you won’t demand the idea of the other person and this is one of the beautiful things that you can have.


38. “First, let’s talk a little human psychology. In basic terms, people’s emotions have two levels: the “presenting” behavior is the part above the surface you can see and hear; beneath, the “underlying” feeling is what motivates the behavior. Imagine a grandfather who’s grumbly at a family holiday dinner: the presenting behavior is that he’s cranky, but the underlying emotion is a sad sense of loneliness from his family never seeing him. What good negotiators do when labeling is address those underlying emotions. Labeling negatives diffuses them (or defuses them, in extreme cases); labeling positives reinforces them.”


39. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.


40. “[Empathy] is not about being nice or agreeing with the other side. It's about understanding them. Empathy helps us learn the position the enemy is in, why their actions make sense (to them), and what might move them.


41. “People will take more risks to avoid a loss than to realize a gain. Make sure your counterpart sees that there is something to lose by inaction.”


42. “But neither wants nor needs are where we start; it begins with listening, making it about the other people, validating their emotions, and creating enough trust and safety for a real conversation to begin. We”


43. “Bite your tongue. When you’re attacked in a negotiation, pause and avoid angry emotional reactions.”


44. Sometimes it is about convincing the people that the solution they want in their life should be their own and they should work on their ideas for a bright and smooth future ahead and this is the best thing that you can do.


45. “No matter how much research our team has done prior to the interaction, we always ask ourselves, “Why are they communicating what they are communicating right now?”


46. “Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible. ■”


47. “Life is negotiation. The.”


48. “The basic issue here is that when people feel that they are not in control, they adopt what psychologists call a hostage mentality. That is, in moments of conflict they react to their lack of power by either becoming extremely defensive or lashing out.”


49. “Don't be so sure of what you want that you turn down something better.”


50. “tell my students that empathy is “the ability to recognize the perspective of a counterpart, and the vocalization of that recognition.”


51. “When deliberating on a negotiating strategy or approach, people tend to focus all their energies on what to say or do, but it’s how we are (our general demeanor and delivery) that is both the easiest thing to enact and the most immediately effective mode of influence. Our brains don’t just process and understand the actions and words of others but their feelings and intentions too, the social meaning of their behavior and their emotions. On a mostly unconscious level, we can understand the minds of others not through any kind of thinking but through quite literally grasping what the other is feeling. Think”


52. “It comes down to the deep and universal human need for autonomy. People need to feel in control. When you preserve a person’s autonomy by clearly giving them permission to say “No” to your ideas, the emotions calm, the effectiveness of the decisions go up, and the other party can really look at your proposal. They’re allowed to hold it in their hands, to turn it around. And it gives you time to elaborate or pivot in order to convince your counterpart that the change you’re proposing is more advantageous than the status quo.”


53. “Truly effective negotiators are conscious of the verbal, paraverbal (how it’s said), and nonverbal communications that pervade negotiations and group dynamics.”


54. “Contrary to popular opinion, listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do.”


55. ​List the worst things that the other party could say about you and say them before the other person can. Performing an accusation audit in advance prepares you to head off negative dynamics before they take root. And because these accusations often sound exaggerated when said aloud, speaking them will encourage the other person to claim that quite the opposite is true.


56. “When he spoke again, the kidnapper seemed shell-shocked. But he went on. His next offer was lower, $10,000. Then we had the nephew answer with a strange number that seemed to come from deep calculation of what his aunt’s life was worth: $4,751. His new price? $7,500. In response, we had the cousin “spontaneously” say he’d throw in a new portable CD stereo and repeated the $4,751. The kidnappers, who didn’t really want the CD stereo felt there was no more money to be had, said yes.”


57. Get ready to take a punch. Kick-ass negotiators usually lead with an extreme anchor to knock you off your game. If you’re not ready, you’ll flee to your maximum without a fight. So prepare your dodging tactics to avoid getting sucked into the compromise trap.


58. “Minimal Encouragers: Besides silence, we instructed using simple phrases, such as 'Yes', 'OK', 'Uh-huh', or 'I see'.”


59. “This is listening as a martial art, balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence, to gain access to the mind of another person. Contrary to popular opinion, listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do. Once”


60. “To successfully gain a hostage’s safe release, a negotiator had to penetrate the hostage-taker’s motives, state of mind, intelligence, and emotional strengths and weaknesses. The negotiator played the role of bully, conciliator, enforcer, savior, confessor, instigator, and”


61. “The person across the table is never the problem. The unsolved issue is. So focus on the issue. This is one of the most basic tactics for avoiding emotional escalations. Our culture demonizes people in movies and politics, which creates the mentality that if we only got rid of the person then everything would be okay. But this dynamic is toxic to any negotiation.”


62. “How will we know we’re on track?” and “How will we address things if we find we’re off track?” When they answer, you summarize their answers until you get a “That’s right.” Then you’ll know they’ve bought in.”


63. “The key to getting people to see things your way is not to confront them on their ideas ('You can’t leave') but to acknowledge their ideas openly ('I understand why you’re pissed off') and then guide them toward solving the problem ('What do you hope to accomplish by leaving?').”


64. “The person across the table is never the problem. The unsolved issue is.”


65. “That they might help you extract what you want is a bonus; human connection is the first goal.”


66. You need to be sure that you are driven by two primal urges when you meet different people in the world and the intensity may differ from person to person.


67. “Your response must always be expressed in the form of strong, yet empathic, limit-setting boundaries—that is, tough love—not as hatred or violence.”


68. “Ka-ching! Notice”


69. “I’ll let you in on a secret. There are actually three kinds of “Yes”: Counterfeit, Confirmation, and Commitment.”


70. “people who had damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated, he found that they all had something peculiar in common: They couldn’t make decisions. They could describe what they should do in logical terms, but they found it impossible to make even the simplest choice. In other words, while we may use logic to reason ourselves toward a decision, the actual decision making is governed by emotion.”


71. “Yes,” as I always say, is nothing without “How?”


72. “one of the greatest-of-all-time calibrated questions: “How am I supposed to do that?”


73. “you get what you ask for; you just have to ask correctly.”


74. “The real beauty of calibrated questions is the fact that they offer no target for attack like statements do. Calibrated questions have the power to educate your counterpart on what the problem is rather than causing conflict by telling them what the problem is. But calibrated questions are not just random requests for comment. They have a direction: once you figure out where you want a conversation to go, you have to design the questions that will ease the conversation in that direction while letting the other guy think it’s his choice to take you there.”


75. “I really am sorry, but how can I get you any money right now, much less one million dollars, if I don’t even know he’s alive?” It was quite a sight to see such a brilliant man flustered by what must have seemed unsophisticated foolishness. On the contrary, though, my move was anything but foolish. I was employing what had become one of the FBI’s most potent negotiating tools: the open-ended question.”


76. “1.​ Set your target price (your goal).


77. “Don’t commit to assumptions; instead, view them as hypotheses and use the negotiation to test them rigorously.”


78. “Tactical empathy is understanding the feelings and mindset of another in the moment and also hearing what is behind those feelings so you increase your influence in all the moments that follow.”


79. “The intention behind most mirrors should be “Please, help me understand.” Every time you mirror someone, they will reword what they’ve said. They will never say it exactly the same way they said it the first time. Ask”


80. “A successful hostage negotiator has to get everything he asks for, without giving anything back of substance, and do so in a way that leaves the adversaries feeling as if they have a great relationship. His work is emotional intelligence on steroids.”


81. “In any interaction, it pleases us to feel that the other side is listening and acknowledging our situation. Whether you are negotiating a business deal or simply chatting to the person at the supermarket butcher counter, creating an empathetic relationship and encouraging your counterpart to expand on their situation is the basis of healthy human interaction.”


82. “Your goal at the outset is to extract and observe as much information as possible. Which, by the way, is one of the reasons that really smart people often have trouble being negotiators—they’re so smart they think they don’t have anything to discover. Too”


83. “The implication of any well-designed calibrated question is that you want what the other guy wants but you need his intelligence to overcome the problem.”


84. How to Become the Smartest Person … in Any Room


85. “For a mirror to be effective, you’ve got to let it sit there and do its work. It needs a bit of silence. I stepped all over my mirror.”


86. “Playing dumb is a valid negotiating technique, and”


87. Sometimes you should apologize and then go back and start everything new.


88. “Let’s pause for a minute here, because there’s one vitally important thing you have to remember when you enter a negotiation armed with your list of calibrated questions. That is, all of this is great, but there’s a rub: without self-control and emotional regulation, it doesn’t work. The very first thing I talk about when I’m training new negotiators is the critical importance of self-control. If you can’t control your own emotions, how can you expect to influence the emotions of another party?”


89. How to Spot the Liars and Ensure Follow-Through from Everyone Else


90. “When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion—you fall to your highest level of preparation.”


91. “A deal is nothing without good implementation. Poor implementation is the cancer that eats your profits.”


92. Sometimes people are being disagreeable without disagreeing with a situation in life and it is one of the secrets of negotiation.


93. “Negotiation serves two distinct, vital life functions—information gathering and behavior influencing—and includes almost any interaction where each party wants something from the other side. Your career, your finances, your reputation, your love life, even the fate of your kids—at some point all these hinge on your ability to negotiate.”


94. Sometimes we don’t put ourselves in the shoes rather we spot our feelings and turn them into words.


95. ​Pause. After you label a barrier or mirror a statement, let it sink in. Don’t worry, the other party will fill the silence.


96. “We employed our tactical empathy by recognizing and then verbalizing the predictable emotions of the situation. We didn’t just put ourselves in the fugitives’ shoes. We spotted their feelings, turned them into words, and then very calmly and respectfully repeated their emotions back to them.”


97. “I’m just asking questions,” I said. “It’s a passive-aggressive approach. I just ask the same three or four open-ended questions over and over and over and over. They get worn out answering and give me everything I want.” Andy jumped in his seat as if he’d been stung by a bee. “Damn!” he said. “That’s what happened. I had no idea.”


98. “the sweetest two words in any negotiation are actually “That’s right.”


99. “Saying “No” makes the speaker feel safe, secure, and in control, so trigger it. By saying what they don’t want, your counterpart defines their space and gains the confidence and comfort to listen to you.”


100. “The implication of any well-designed calibrated question is that you want what the other guy wants but you need his intelligence to overcome the problem. This really appeals to very aggressive or egotistical counterparts. You’ve not only implicitly asked for help—triggering goodwill and less defensiveness—but you’ve engineered a situation in which your formerly recalcitrant counterpart is now using his mental and emotional resources to overcome your challenges.”


101. “Your goal at the outset is to extract and observe as much information as possible. Which, by the way, is one of the reasons that really smart people often have trouble being negotiators—they’re so smart they think they don’t have anything to discover.”


102. “But neither wants nor needs are where we start; it begins with listening, making it about the other people, validating their emotions, and creating enough trust and safety for a real conversation to begin.”


103. ”


104. “A woman wants her husband to wear black shoes with his suit. But her husband doesn’t want to; he prefers brown shoes. So what do they do? They compromise, they meet halfway. And, you guessed it, he wears one black and one brown shoe. Is this the best outcome? No! In fact, that’s the worst possible outcome. Either of the two other outcomes — black or brown — would be better than the compromise. Next time you want to compromise, remind yourself of those mismatched shoes.”


105. “Why are you there? What do you want? What do they want? Why?”


106. The genius of this system is that it incorporates the psychological tactics we’ve discussed – reciprocity, extreme anchors, loss aversion, and so on – without you needing to think about them.”


107. “Let me let you in on a secret: people never even notice.”


108. How to Create Breakthroughs by Revealing the Unknown Unknowns


109. “Research shows that the best way to deal with negativity is to observe it, without reaction and without judgment. Then consciously label each negative feeling and replace it with positive, compassionate, and solution-based thoughts. One.”


110. “But then I realized I did the same thing with my teenage son, and that after I’d said “No” to him, I often found that I was open to hearing what he had to say. That’s because having protected myself, I could relax and more easily consider the possibilities.”


111. ​A good negotiator prepares, going in, to be ready for possible surprises; a great negotiator aims to use her skills to reveal the surprises she is certain to find.


112. “Saying “No” gives the speaker the feeling of safety, security, and control. You use a question that prompts a “No” answer, and your counterpart feels that by turning you down he has proved that he’s in the driver’s seat.”


113. How to Gain the Permission to Persuade


114. “Set your target price (your goal). 2.​Set your first offer at 65 percent of your target price. 3.​Calculate three raises of decreasing increments (to 85, 95, and 100 percent). 4.​Use lots of empathy and different ways of saying “No” to get the other side to counter before you increase your offer. 5.​When calculating the final amount, use precise, nonround numbers like, say, $37,893 rather than $38,000. It gives the number credibility and weight. 6.​On your final number, throw in a nonmonetary item (that they probably don’t want) to show you’re at your limit.”


115. “My name is Chris. What’s the Chris discount?”


116. “offering. I’m sorry, this is really embarrassing. I just can’t do that price.” He stared at me in silence, a little befuddled now. Then he stood and went into the back for what seemed like an eternity. He was gone so long that I remember saying to myself, “Damn! I should have come in lower! They’re going to come all the way down.” Any response that’s not an outright rejection of your offer means you have the edge.”


117. “The goal is to identify what your counterparts actually need (monetarily, emotionally, or otherwise) and get them feeling safe enough to talk and talk and talk some more about what they want. The latter will help you discover the former. Wants are easy to talk about, representing the aspiration of getting our way, and sustaining any illusion of control we have as we begin to negotiate; needs imply survival, the very minimum required to make us act, and so make us vulnerable.”


118. “Does this look like something you would like?” can become “How does this look to you?” or “What about this works for you?” You can even ask, “What about this doesn’t work for you?” and you’ll probably trigger quite a bit of useful information from your counterpart. Even something as harsh as “Why did you do it?” can be calibrated to “What caused you to do it?” which takes away the emotion and makes the question less accusatory. You should use calibrated questions early and often, and there are a few that you will find that you will use in the beginning of nearly every negotiation. “What is the biggest challenge you face?” is one of those questions. It just gets the other side to teach you something about themselves, which is critical to any negotiation because all negotiation is an information-gathering process.”


119. It is proved that the people usually listen more to themselves than any others and sometimes people act like they are listening to you but they will listen mostly to them.


120. “What I am saying is that while our decisions may be largely irrational, that doesn’t mean there aren’t consistent patterns, principles, and rules behind how we act. And once you know those mental patterns, you start to see ways to influence them.”


121. “In practice, where our irrational perceptions are our reality, loss and gain are slippery notions, and it often doesn’t matter what leverage actually exists against you; what really matters is the leverage they think you have on them.”


122. There are some people who are always across the table and they are never a problem for negotiation.


123. “Black Swan theory tells us that things happen that were previously thought to be impossible – or never thought of at all.”


124. “1.​Set your target price (your goal). 2.​Set your first offer at 65 percent of your target price. 3.​Calculate three raises of decreasing increments (to 85, 95, and 100 percent). 4.​Use lots of empathy and different ways of saying “No” to get the other side to counter before you increase your offer. 5.​When calculating the final amount, use precise, nonround numbers like, say, $37,893 rather than $38,000. It gives the number credibility and weight. 6.​On your final number, throw in a nonmonetary item (that they probably don’t want) to show you’re at your limit. The genius of this system is that it incorporates the psychological tactics we’ve discussed—reciprocity, extreme anchors, loss aversion, and so on—without you needing to think about them.”


125. “Ask calibrated questions that start with the words 'How' or 'What'. By implicitly asking the other party for help, these questions will give your counterpart an illusion of control and will inspire them to speak at length, revealing important information.


126. “A trap into which many fall is to take what other people say literally. I started to see that while people played the game of conversation, it was in the game beneath the game, where few played, that all the leverage lived.”


127. “Once I’d anchored their emotions in a minefield of low expectations, I played on their loss aversion.”


128. “In court, defense lawyers do this properly by mentioning everything their client is accused of, and all the weaknesses of their case, in the opening statement. They call this technique “taking the sting out.”


129. “Never create an enemy.”


130. “Negotiation is the heart of collaboration. It is what makes conflict potentially meaningful and productive for all parties. It can change your life,”


131. ​Prepare, prepare, prepare. 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.


132. “If you feel you can’t say “No” then you’ve taken yourself hostage.”


133. “setting boundaries. Your response must always be expressed in the form of strong, yet empathic, limit-setting boundaries—that is, tough love—not as hatred or violence.”


134. “Even changing a single word when you present options—like using “not lose” instead of “keep”—can unconsciously influence the conscious choices your counterpart makes.”


135. “keeping your eyes peeled and your ears open, and your mouth shut.”


136. “In one brain imaging study, psychology professor Matthew Lieberman of the University of California, Los Angeles, found that when people are shown photos of faces expressing strong emotion, the brain shows greater activity in the amygdala, the part that generates fear. But when they are asked to label the emotion, the activity moves to the areas that govern rational thinking. In other words, labeling an emotion—applying rational words to a fear—disrupts its raw intensity.”


137. “I got a lousy proposition for you,” I said, and paused until each asked me to go on. “By the time we get off the phone, you’re going to think I’m a lousy businessman. You’re going to think I can’t budget or plan. You’re going to think Chris Voss is a big talker. His first big project ever out of the FBI, he screws it up completely. He doesn’t know how to run an operation. And he might even have lied to me.”


138. “He never heard my story but he taught me it wasn’t true. It was just pretend but pretending is hard.”


139. “The CEO answered by saying the bill was too high, that he’d pay half of it and that they would talk about the rest. After that, he stopped answering her calls. The underlying dynamic was that this guy didn’t like being questioned by anyone, especially a woman. So she and I developed a strategy that showed him she understood where she went wrong and acknowledged his power, while at the same time directing his energy toward solving her problem. The script we came up with hit all the best practices of negotiation we’ve talked about so far. Here it is by steps: A “No”-oriented email question to reinitiate contact: “Have you given up on settling this amicably?” A statement that leaves only the answer of “That’s right” to form a dynamic of agreement: “It seems that you feel my bill is not justified.” Calibrated questions about the problem to get him to reveal his thinking: “How does this bill violate our agreement?” More “No”-oriented questions to remove unspoken barriers: “Are you saying I misled you?” “Are you saying I didn’t do as you asked?” “Are you saying I reneged on our agreement?” or “Are you saying I failed you?” Labeling and mirroring the essence of his answers if they are not acceptable so he has to consider them again: “It seems like you feel my work was subpar.” Or “… my work was subpar?” A calibrated question in reply to any offer other than full payment, in order to get him to offer a solution: “How am I supposed to accept that?” If none of this gets an offer of full payment, a label that flatters his sense of control and power: “It seems like you are the type of person who prides himself on the way he does business—rightfully so—and has a knack for not only expanding the pie but making the ship run more efficiently.” A long pause and then one more “No”-oriented question: “Do you want to be known as someone who doesn’t fulfill agreements?” From my long experience in negotiation, scripts like this have a 90 percent success rate. That is, if the negotiator stays calm”


140. “Deadlines are often arbitrary, almost always flexible, and hardly ever trigger the consequences we think – or are told – they will.”


141. “Mirroring will make you feel awkward as heck when you first try it. That’s the only hard part about it;”


142. “if you know how to affect your counterpart’s System 1 thinking, his inarticulate feelings, by how you frame and deliver your questions and statements, then you can guide his System 2 rationality and therefore modify his responses. That’s what happened to Andy at Harvard: by asking, “How am I supposed to do that?” I influenced his System 1 emotional mind into accepting that his offer wasn’t good enough; his System 2 then rationalized the situation so that it made sense to give me a better offer. If you believed”


143. “Aggressive confrontation is the enemy of constructive negotiation.”


144. I will be having constructive behavior unless I get everything clear in my mind and take it positively.


145. “It comes down to the deep and universal human need for autonomy. People need to feel in control.”


146. “People who view negotiation as a battle of arguments become overwhelmed by the voices in their head. Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.”


147. You can frame the benefits at any deal when you know your emotional driver in your life.


148. “SECTION V: NONCASH OFFERS Prepare a list of noncash items possessed by your counterpart that would be valuable.”


149. “Negotiate in their world. Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you.”


150. “Creating unconditional positive regard opens the door to changing thoughts and behaviors. Humans have an innate urge toward socially constructive behavior. The more a person feels understood, and positively affirmed in that understanding, the more likely that urge for constructive behavior will take hold. ■​“That’s right” is better than “yes.” Strive for it. Reaching “that’s right” in a negotiation creates breakthroughs. ■​Use a summary to trigger a “that’s right.” The building blocks of a good summary are a label combined with paraphrasing. Identify, rearticulate, and emotionally affirm “the world according to . . .”


151. “You’re going to have to embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation – and of life.”


152. “Why would you ever do business with me? Why would you ever change from your existing supplier? They’re great!”


153. “Deadlines are often arbitrary, almost always flexible, and hardly ever trigger the consequences we think—or are told—they will.”


154. “Review everything you hear. You will not hear everything the first time, so double-check. Compare notes with your team members. You will often discover new information that will help you advance the negotiation. ■​Use backup listeners whose only job is to listen between the lines. They will hear things you miss. In other words: listen, listen again, and listen some more.”


155. “Your offer is very generous, I’m sorry, that just doesn’t work for me” is an elegant second way to say “No.”


156. “But let me cut the list even further: it’s best to start with “what,” “how,” and sometimes “why.”


157. “No” is the start of the negotiation, not the end of it.”


158. How to Generate Momentum and Make It Safe to Reveal the Real Stakes


159. “Labeling is a way of validating someone’s emotion by acknowledging it. Give someone’s emotion a name and you show you identify with how that person feels. It gets you close to someone without asking about external factors you know nothing about (“How’s your family?”). Think of labeling as a shortcut to intimacy, a time-saving emotional hack. Labeling”


160. “This manipulation usually takes the form of something like, “We just want what’s fair.”


161. “A study of American lawyer-negotiators1 found that 65 percent of attorneys from two major U.S. cities used a cooperative style while only 24 percent were truly assertive. And when these lawyers were graded for effectiveness, more than 75 percent of the effective group came from the cooperative type; only 12 percent were Assertive. So if you’re not Assertive, don’t despair. Blunt assertion is actually counterproductive most of the time.”


162. “Research shows that the best way to deal with negativity is to observe it, without reaction and without judgment. Then consciously label each negative feeling and replace it with positive, compassionate, and solution-based thoughts. One”


163. How to Create Trust with Tactical Empathy


164. “The most powerful word in negotiations is ‘Fair.’”


165. “Most people in a negotiation are driven by fear or by the desire to avoid pain. Too few are driven by their actual goals.”


166. “If this book accomplishes only one thing, I hope it gets you over that fear of conflict and encourages you to navigate it with empathy”


167. “Ask calibrated “How” questions, and ask them again and again. Asking “How” keeps your counterparts engaged but off balance. Answering the questions will give them the illusion of control. It will also lead them to contemplate your problems when making their demands. ■​Use “How” questions to shape the negotiating environment. You do this by using “How can I do that?” as a gentle version of “No.” This will subtly push your counterpart to search for other solutions—your solutions. And very often it will get them to bid against themselves. ■​Don’t just pay attention to the people you’re negotiating with directly; always identify the motivations of the players “behind the table.” You can do so by asking how a deal will affect everybody else and how on board they are. ■​Follow the 7-38-55 Percent Rule by paying close attention to tone of voice and body language. Incongruence between the words and nonverbal signs will show when your counterpart is lying or uncomfortable with a deal. ■​Is the “Yes” real or counterfeit? Test it with the Rule of Three: use calibrated questions, summaries, and labels to get your counterpart to reaffirm their agreement at least three times. It’s really hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction. ■​A person’s use of pronouns offers deep insights into his or her relative authority. If you’re hearing a lot of “I,” “me,” and “my,” the real power to decide probably lies elsewhere. Picking up a lot of “we,” “they,” and “them,” it’s more likely you’re dealing directly with a savvy decision maker keeping his options open. ■​Use your own name to make yourself a real person to the other side and even get your own personal discount. Humor and humanity are the best ways to break the ice and remove roadblocks.”


168. Babysitting is sometimes relaxing in the evening rather than caring for the child.


169. “Compromise and concession, even to the truth, feels like defeat.”


170. “This is listening as a martial art, balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence, to gain access to the mind of another person. Contrary to popular opinion, listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do. Once.”


171. “The beauty of empathy is that it doesn’t demand that you agree with the other person’s ideas.”


172. “Notice we said “It sounds like . . .” and not “I’m hearing that . . .” That’s because the word “I” gets people’s guard up. When you say “I,” it says you’re more interested in yourself than the other person, and it makes you take personal responsibility for the words that follow—and the offense they might cause. But”


173. “By repeating back what people say, you trigger this mirroring instinct and your counterpart will inevitably elaborate on what was just said and sustain the process of connecting.”


174. “There are actually three kinds of “Yes”: Counterfeit, Confirmation, and Commitment.”


175. “In my short stay I realized that without a deep understanding of human psychology, without the acceptance that we are all crazy, irrational, impulsive, emotionally driven animals, all the raw intelligence and mathematical logic in the world is little help in the fraught, shifting interplay of two people negotiating.”


176. “don’t get wrapped up in the other side’s position (what they’re asking for) but instead focus on their interests (why they’re asking for it) so that you can find what they really want;”


177. “driven by two primal urges: the need to feel safe and secure, and the need to feel in control. If you satisfy those drives, you’re in the door.”


178. “How does this affect the rest of your team? How on board are the people not on this call? What do your colleagues see as their main challenges in this area?”


179. “The clear point here is that people operating with incomplete information appear crazy to those who have different information.”


180. “Becoming a member of the New Rich is not just about working smarter. It's about building a system to replace yourself.”


181. “The F-word—“Fair”—is an emotional term people usually exploit to put the other side on the defensive and gain concessions. When your counterpart drops the F-bomb, don’t get suckered into a concession. Instead, ask them to explain how you’re mistreating them.”


182. “Being right isn’t the key to a successful negotiation – having the right mindset is.”


183. “It's a dungeon, Leila. They're Supposed to smell."


184. “Distilled to its essence, we compromise to be safe. Most people in a negotiation are driven by fear or by the desire to avoid pain. Too few are driven by their actual goals.”


185. “Negotiation is the heart of collaboration. It is what makes conflict potentially meaningful and productive for all parties.”


186. “That is, “Yes” is nothing without “How.” Asking “How,” knowing “How,” and defining “How” are all part of the effective negotiator’s arsenal. He would be unarmed without them. ■ Ask calibrated “How” questions, and ask them again and again. Asking “How” keeps your counterparts engaged but off balance. Answering the questions will give them the illusion of control. It will also lead them to contemplate your problems when making their demands. ■ Use “How” questions to shape the negotiating environment. You do this by using “How can I do that?” as a gentle version of “No.” This will subtly push your counterpart to search for other solutions—your solutions. And very often it will get them to bid against themselves. ■ Don’t just pay attention to the people you’re negotiating with directly; always identify the motivations of the players “behind the table.” You can do so by asking how a deal will affect everybody else and how on board they are. ■ Follow the 7-38-55 Percent Rule by paying close attention to tone of voice and body language. Incongruence between the words and nonverbal signs will show when your counterpart is lying or uncomfortable with a deal. ■ Is the “Yes” real or counterfeit? Test it with the Rule of Three: use calibrated questions, summaries, and labels to get your counterpart to reaffirm their agreement at least three times. It’s really hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction. ■ A person’s use of pronouns offers deep insights into his or her relative authority. If you’re hearing a lot of “I,” “me,” and “my,” the real power to decide probably lies elsewhere. Picking up a lot of “we,” “they,” and “them,” it’s more likely you’re dealing directly with a savvy decision maker keeping his options open. ■ Use your own name to make yourself a real person to the other side and even get your own personal discount. Humor and humanity are the best ways to break the ice and remove roadblocks.”


187. “Take the same person, change one or two variables, and $100 can be a glorious victory or a vicious insult. Recognizing this phenomenon lets you bend reality from insult to victory.”


188. “When people are in a positive frame of mind, they think more quickly, and are more likely to collaborate and problem-solve (instead of fight and resist). It applies to the smile-er as much as to the smile-ee: a smile on your face, and in your voice, will increase your own mental agility.”


189. “Politics aside, empathy is not about being nice or agreeing with the other side. It’s about understanding them. Empathy helps us learn the position the enemy is in, why their actions make sense (to them), and what might move them.”


190. “Remember: “Yes” is nothing without “How.” So keep asking “How?”


191. Silence is the last rule of labeling and you have to be quiet and listen when you are thrown out of the label.


192. ​People who view negotiation as a battle of arguments become overwhelmed by the voices in their head. Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.


193. “Good negotiators, going in, know they have to be ready for possible surprises; great negotiators aim to use their skills to reveal the surprises they are certain exist.”


194. “First off, calibrated questions avoid verbs or words like “can,” “is,” “are,” “do,” or “does.” These are closed-ended questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or a “no.” Instead, they start with a list of words people know as reporter’s questions: “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how.” Those words inspire your counterpart to think and then speak expansively.”


195. When you can question the assumptions, then you can be a great negotiator.


196. “I’d love to help,” she said, “but how am I supposed to do that?”


197. “Effective negotiation is applied people smarts, a psychological edge in every domain of life: how to size someone up, how to influence their sizing up of you, and how to use that knowledge to get what you want.”


198. When you have flexibility, the forefront of your mind comes into the negotiation and you come in with a winning moment.


199. “No communication is always a bad sign.”


200. “a label’s power is that it invites the other person to reveal himself.”


201. ​Get ready to take a punch. Kick-ass negotiators usually lead with an extreme anchor to knock you off your game. If you’re not ready, you’ll flee to your maximum without a fight. So prepare your dodging tactics to avoid getting sucked into the compromise trap.


202. “Feeling, they discovered, is a form of thinking.”


203. Films are usually based on real


204. “The last use of the F-word is my favorite because it’s positive and constructive. It sets the stage for honest and empathetic negotiation. Here’s how I use it: Early on in a negotiation, I say, “I want you to feel like you are being treated fairly at all times. So please stop me at any time if you feel I’m being unfair, and we’ll address it.” It’s simple and clear and sets me up as an honest dealer. With that statement, I let people know it is okay to use that word with me if they use it honestly. As a negotiator, you should strive for a reputation of being fair. Your reputation precedes you. Let it precede you in a way that paves success.”


205. Sometimes when you have a chance, then you should try as much as possible to fulfill your goal and grab everything that is necessary for you.


206. “Life is negotiation. The”


207. “I didn’t respect your time by coming in late, I’m so sorry”. “I should’ve sent that email earlier, I know how busy you are”. It’s all about Empathy.


208. “It seems like . . . It sounds like . . . It looks like . . . Notice we said “It sounds like . . .” and not “I’m hearing that . . .” That’s because the word “I” gets people’s guard up. When you say “I,” it says you’re more interested in yourself than the other person, and it makes you take personal responsibility for the words that follow—and the offense they might cause.”


209. “One group of waiters, using positive reinforcement, lavished praise and encouragement on patrons using words such as “great,” “no problem,” and “sure” in response to each order. The other group of waiters mirrored their customers simply by repeating their orders back to them. The results were stunning: the average tip of the waiters who mirrored was 70 percent more than of those who used positive reinforcement.”


210. “Creative solutions are almost always preceded by some degree of risk, annoyance, confusion, and conflict.”


211. “It seems like __________ is important. It seems you feel like my company is in a unique position to __________. It seems like you are worried that __________.”


212. life situations and hence we don’t need to learn from them since it is already made from our experiences and it is better if we learn from our own experience.


213. “SPARK THEIR INTEREST IN YOUR SUCCESS AND GAIN AN UNOFFICIAL MENTOR Remember the idea of figuring what the other side is really buying? Well, when you are selling yourself to a manager, sell yourself as more than a body for a job; sell yourself, and your success, as a way they can validate their own intelligence and broadcast it to the rest of the company. Make sure they know you’ll act as a flesh-and-blood argument for their importance. Once you’ve bent their reality to include you as their ambassador, they’ll have a stake in your success.”


214. “To-Do List Formula”: 67+ Inspiring Quotes


215. “Use the late-night FM DJ voice. 2.​Start with “I’m sorry . . .” 3.​Mirror. 4.​Silence. At least four seconds, to let the mirror work its magic on your counterpart. 5.​Repeat.”


216. People who view negotiation as a battle of arguments become overwhelmed by the voices in their head. Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.


217. “The first step to achieving a mastery of daily negotiation is to get over your aversion to negotiating. You don’t need to like it; you just need to understand that’s how the world works. Negotiating does not mean browbeating or grinding someone down. It simply means playing the emotional game that human society is set up for.”


218. “Negotiation serves two distinct, vital life functions—information gathering and behavior influencing—and includes almost any interaction where each party wants something from the other side.”


219. “THAT’S RIGHT” IS GREAT, BUT IF “YOU’RE RIGHT,” NOTHING CHANGES”


220. “When you inflect in an upward way, you invite a response. Why? Because you’ve brought in a measure of uncertainty. You’ve made a statement sound like a question.”


221. “In every negotiation there are between three and five pieces of information that, were they to be uncovered, would change everything. The concept is an absolute game-changer; so much so, I’ve named my company The Black Swan Group. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to recognize the markers that show the Black Swan’s hidden nest, as well as simple tools for employing Black Swans to gain leverage over your counterpart and achieve truly amazing deals.”


222. “Labeling is a way of validating someone’s emotion by acknowledging it.”


223. “The reasons why a counterpart will not make an agreement with you are often more powerful than why they will make a deal, so focus first on clearing the barriers to agreement. Denying barriers or negative influences gives them credence; get them into the open. Pause. After you label a barrier or mirror a statement, let it sink in. Don’t worry, the other party will fill the silence. Label your counterpart’s fears to diffuse their power. We all want to talk about the happy stuff, but remember, the faster you interrupt action in your counterpart’s amygdala, the part of the brain that generates fear, the faster you can generate feelings of safety, well-being, and trust.”


224. “In theory, leverage is the ability to inflict loss and withhold gain. Where does your counterpart want to gain and what do they fear losing?”


225. “When you are verbally assaulted, do not counterattack. Instead, disarm your counterpart by asking a calibrated question.”


226. “Instead of addressing his grumpy behavior, you acknowledge his sadness in a nonjudgmental way. You head him off before he can really get started. “We don’t see each other all that often,” you could say. “It seems like you feel like we don’t pay any attention to you and you only see us once a year, so why should you make time for us?” Notice how that acknowledges the situation and labels his sadness? Here you can pause briefly, letting him recognize and appreciate your attempts to understand what he’s feeling, and then turn the situation around by offering a positive solution. “For us this is a real treat. We want to hear what you have to talk about. We want to value this time with you because we feel left out of your life.” Research shows that the best way to deal with negativity is to observe it, without reaction and without judgment. Then consciously label each negative feeling and replace it with positive, compassionate, and solution-based thoughts.”


227. “Imagine yourself in your counterpart’s situation. The beauty of empathy is that it doesn’t demand that you agree with the other person’s ideas (you may well find them crazy). But by acknowledging the other person’s situation, you immediately convey that you are listening. And once they know that you are listening, they may tell you something that you can use.”


228. “Tactical Empathy. This is listening as a martial art, balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence, to gain access to the mind of another person.”


229. “Labels can be phrased as statements or questions. The only difference is whether you end the sentence with a downward or upward inflection. But no matter how they end, labels almost always begin with roughly the same words: It seems like … It sounds like … It looks like … Notice we said “It sounds like …” and not “I’m hearing that …” That’s because the word “I” gets people’s guard up.”


230. “Analysts hate surprises.”


231. ​To quiet the voices in your head, make your sole and all-encompassing focus the other person and what they have to say.


232. “Analysts are methodical and diligent. They are not in a big rush. Instead, they believe that as long as they are working toward the best result in a thorough and systematic way, time is of little consequence. Their self-image is linked to minimizing mistakes. Their motto: As much time as it takes to get it right.”


233. “Psychotherapy research shows that when individuals feel listened to, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and to openly evaluate and clarify their own thoughts and feelings.”


234. Sometimes life is like a tailor calibrating questions to know to unearth the motivations behind the table.


235. Prepare, prepare, prepare. 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.


236. You should always disarm the counterpart by a calibrated question.


237. “Concentrate on the next step because the rope will lead you to the end as long as all the steps are completed.”


238. “Your business, basically your entire life, comes down to your performance in crucial conversations, and these tools will give you the edge you need. . . It’s required reading for my employees because I use the lessons in this book every single day, and I want them to, too.“ —Jason McCarthy, CEO of GORUCK


239. “Negotiation serves two distinct, vital life functions – information gathering and behavior influencing – and includes almost any interaction where each party wants something from the other side.”


240. “Unbelief is the friction that keeps persuasion in check,” Dutton says. “Without it, there’d be no limits.” Giving your counterpart the illusion of control by asking calibrated questions—by asking for help—is one of the most powerful tools for suspending unbelief.”


241. “liars use more words than truth tellers and use far more third-person pronouns”


242. “In a recent study,4 Columbia Business School psychologists found that job applicants who named a range received significantly higher overall salaries than those who offered a number, especially if their range was a “bolstering range,” in which the low number in the range was what they actually wanted.”


243. “As long as she stayed cool, they would hear it as a problem to be solved.”


244. When you are verbally assaulted, you should try to stay calm and cool and do not try to attack suddenly or at that moment and it is considered as a simple rule.


245. “I was employing what had become one of the FBI’s most potent negotiating tools: the open-ended question. Today,”


246. “Don’t be so sure of what you want that you turn down something better.”


247. When you are in the middle of the negotiation and start thinking that the guy opposite to you is thinking the same as you and then you start approaching him, then you are wrong because it is not empathy since it is always a projection.


248. “To make my point on compromise, let me paint you an example: A woman wants her husband to wear black shoes with his suit. But her husband doesn’t want to; he prefers brown shoes. So what do they do? They compromise, they meet halfway. And, you guessed it, he wears one black and one brown shoe. Is this the best outcome? No! In fact, that’s the worst possible outcome. Either of the two other outcomes—black or brown—would be better than the compromise.”


249. ​Mirrors work magic. Repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said. We fear what’s different and are drawn to what’s similar. Mirroring is the art of insinuating similarity, which facilitates bonding. Use mirrors to encourage the other side to empathize and bond with you, keep people talking, buy your side time to regroup, and encourage your counterparts to reveal their strategy.”


250. “To get real leverage, you have to persuade them that they have something concrete to lose if the deal falls through.”


251. “In an fMRI brain-scan experiment, researchers at Princeton University found that neural resonance disappears when people communicate poorly. The researchers could predict how well people were communicating by observing how much their brains were aligned. And they discovered that people who paid the most attention—good listeners—could actually anticipate what the speaker was about to say before he said it.”


252. “Break the habit of attempting to get people to say “yes.” Being pushed for “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. ■​“No” is not a failure. We have learned that “No” is the anti-“Yes” and therefore a word to be avoided at all costs. But it really often 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. ■​“Yes” is the final goal of a negotiation, but don’t aim for it at the start. Asking someone for “Yes” too quickly in a conversation—“Do you like to drink water, Mr. Smith?”—gets his guard up and paints you as an untrustworthy salesman. ■​Saying “No” makes the speaker feel safe, secure, and in control, so trigger it. By saying what they don’t want, your counterpart defines their space and gains the confidence and comfort to listen to you. That’s why “Is now a bad time to talk?” is always better than “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” ■​Sometimes the only way to get your counterpart to listen and engage with you is by forcing them into a “No.” That means intentionally mislabeling one of their emotions or desires or asking a ridiculous question—like, “It seems like you want this project to fail”—that can only be answered negatively. ■​Negotiate in their world. Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you. ■​If a potential business partner is ignoring you, contact them with a clear and concise “No”-oriented question that suggests that you are ready to walk away. “Have you given up on this project?” works wonders. CHAPTER 5 TRIGGER THE TWO WORDS THAT IMMEDIATELY TRANSFORM ANY NEGOTIATION”


253. “Instead of prioritizing your argument—in fact, instead of doing any thinking at all in the early goings about what you’re going to say—make your sole and all-encompassing focus the other person and what they have to say. In that mode of true active listening […] you’ll disarm your counterpart. You’ll make them feel safe.”


254. “SECTION II: SUMMARY Summarize and write out in just a couple of sentences the known facts that have led up to the negotiation.”


255. Set boundaries, and learn to take a punch or punch back, without anger. The guy across the table is not the problem; the situation is.


256. “Yes” is the final goal of a negotiation, but don’t aim for it at the start. Asking someone for “Yes” too quickly in a conversation—“Do you like to drink water, Mr. Smith?”—gets his guard up and paints you as an untrustworthy salesman.


257. ​Remember you’re dealing with a person who wants to be appreciated and understood. So use labels to reinforce and encourage positive perceptions and dynamics.”


258. “Even something as harsh as “Why did you do it?” can be calibrated to “What caused you to do it?” which takes away the emotion and makes the question less accusatory.”


259. “in fact, instead of doing any thinking at all in the early goings about what you’re going to say—make your sole and all-encompassing focus the other person and what they have to say. In that mode of true active listening—”


260. ​Don’t commit to assumptions; instead, view them as hypotheses and use the negotiation to test them rigorously.


261. ​Label your counterpart’s fears to diffuse their power. We all want to talk about the happy stuff, but remember, the faster you interrupt action in your counterpart’s amygdala, the part of the brain that generates fear, the faster you can generate feelings of safety, well-being, and trust.


262. “In a tough negotiation, it’s not enough to show the other party that you can deliver the thing they want. To get real leverage, you have to persuade them that they have something concrete to lose if the deal falls through.”


263. “WHEN YOU DO TALK NUMBERS, USE ODD ONES”


264. Popular opinions are also a part of the controversy.


265. “Notice we said 'It sounds like . . .' and not 'I'm hearing that . . .' That's because the word 'I' gets people's guard up. When you say 'I,' it says you're more interested in yourself than the other person, and it makes you take personal responsibility for the words that follow—and the offense they might cause.”


266. “If you were able to take an armed kidnapper who’d been surrounded by police and hook him up to a cardiac monitor, you’d find that every calibrated question and apology would lower his heart rate just a little bit. And that’s how you get to a dynamic where solutions can be found.”


267. It is a valid negotiating technique and that is called remaining dumb.


268. “If I just ask for a volunteer, my students sit on their hands and look away. You’ve been there. You can almost feel your back muscles tense as you think, Oh please, don’t call on me. So I don’t ask. Instead, I say, “In case you’re worried about volunteering to role-play with me in front of the class, I want to tell you in advance … it’s going to be horrible.” After the laughter dies down, I then say, “And those of you who do volunteer will probably get more out of this than anyone else.” I always end up with more volunteers than I need.”


269. “What does a good babysitter sell, really? It’s not child care exactly, but a relaxed evening. A furnace salesperson? Cozy rooms for family time. A locksmith? A feeling of security. Know the emotional drivers and you can frame the benefits of any deal in language that will resonate. BEND”


270. “the secret to gaining the upper hand in a negotiation is giving the other side the illusion of control.”


271. “ASSERTIVE The Assertive type believes time is money; every wasted minute is a wasted dollar. Their self-image is linked to how many things they can get accomplished in a period of time. For them, getting the solution perfect isn’t as important as getting it done. Assertives are fiery people who love winning above all else, often at the expense of others. Their colleagues and counterparts never question where they stand because they are always direct and candid. They have an aggressive communication style and they don’t worry about future interactions. Their view of business relationships is based on respect, nothing more and nothing less. Most of all, the Assertive wants to be heard. And not only do they want to be heard, but they don’t actually have the ability to listen to you until they know that you’ve heard them. They focus on their own goals rather than people. And they tell rather than ask. When you’re dealing with Assertive types, it’s best to focus on what they have to say, because once they are convinced you understand them, then and only then will they listen for your point of view. To an Assertive, every silence is an opportunity to speak more. Mirrors are a wonderful tool with this type. So are calibrated questions, labels, and summaries. The most important thing to get from an Assertive will be a “that’s right” that may come in the form of a “that’s it exactly” or “you hit it on the head.” When it comes to reciprocity, this type is of the “give an inch/take a mile” mentality. They will have figured they deserve whatever you have given them so they will be oblivious to expectations of owing something in return. They will actually simply be looking for the opportunity to receive more. If they have given some kind of concession, they are surely counting the seconds until they get something in return. If you are an Assertive, be particularly conscious of your tone. You will not intend to be overly harsh but you will often come off that way. Intentionally soften your tone and work to make it more pleasant. Use calibrated questions and labels with your counterpart since that will also make you more approachable and increase the chances for collaboration. We’ve seen how each of these groups views the importance of time differently (time = preparation; time = relationship; time = money). They also have completely different interpretations of silence. I’m definitely an Assertive, and at a conference this Accommodator type told me that he blew up a deal. I thought, What did you do, scream at the other guy and leave? Because that’s me blowing up a deal. But it turned out that he went silent; for an Accommodator type, silence is anger. For Analysts, though, silence means they want to think. And Assertive types interpret your silence as either you don’t have anything to say or you want them to talk. I’m one, so I know: the only time I’m silent is when I’ve run out of things to say. The funny thing is when these cross over. When an Analyst pauses to think, their Accommodator counterpart gets nervous and an Assertive one starts talking, thereby annoying the Analyst, who thinks to herself, Every time I try to think you take that as an opportunity to talk some more. Won’t you ever shut up?”


272. “Labeling has a special advantage when your counterpart is tense. Exposing negative thoughts to daylight—“It looks like you don’t want to go back to jail”—makes them seem less frightening.”


273. “Though the intensity may differ from person to person, you can be sure that everyone you meet is driven by two primal urges: the need to feel safe and secure, and the need to feel in control. If you satisfy those drives, you’re in the door.”


274. “them. By far the best theory for describing the principles of our irrational decisions is something called Prospect Theory. Created in 1979 by the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, prospect theory describes how people choose between options that involve risk, like in a negotiation. The theory argues that people are drawn to sure things over probabilities, even when the probability is a better choice. That’s called the Certainty Effect. And people will take greater risks to avoid losses than to achieve gains. That’s called Loss Aversion. That’s why people who statistically have no need for insurance buy it. Or consider this: a person who’s told he has a 95 percent chance of receiving $10,000 or a 100 percent chance of getting $9,499 will usually avoid risk and take the 100 percent certain safe choice, while the same person who’s told he has a 95 percent chance of losing $10,000 or a 100 percent chance of losing $9,499 will make the opposite choice, risking the bigger 95 percent option to avoid the loss. The chance for loss incites more risk than the possibility of an equal gain.”


275. “The other side might not be able to do something because of legal advice, or because of promises already made, or even to avoid setting a precedent.”


276. “As George removed the cork and began very slowly to pour the thick brown stuff into the spoon,”


277. “This really juices their self-esteem. Researchers have found that people getting concessions often feel better about the bargaining process than those who are given a single firm, “fair” offer. In fact, they feel better even when they end up paying more—or receiving less—than they otherwise might.”


278. The primary language of conversation is the language of the negotiation.


279. “Imagine yourself in your counterpart’s situation. The beauty of empathy is that it doesn’t demand that you agree with the other person’s ideas (you may well find them crazy). But by acknowledging the other person’s situation, you immediately convey that you are listening. And once they know that you are listening, they may tell you something that you can use. ■​The reasons why a counterpart will not make an agreement with you are often more powerful than why they will make a deal, so focus first on clearing the barriers to agreement. Denying barriers or negative influences gives them credence; get them into the open. ■​Pause. After you label a barrier or mirror a statement, let it sink in. Don’t worry, the other party will fill the silence. ■​Label your counterpart’s fears to diffuse their power. We all want to talk about the happy stuff, but remember, the faster you interrupt action in your counterpart’s amygdala, the part of the brain that generates fear, the faster you can generate feelings of safety, well-being, and trust. ■​List the worst things that the other party could say about you and say them before the other person can. Performing an accusation audit in advance prepares you to head off negative dynamics before they take root. And because these accusations often sound exaggerated when said aloud, speaking them will encourage the other person to claim that quite the opposite is true. ■​Remember you’re dealing with a person who wants to be appreciated and understood. So use labels to reinforce and encourage positive perceptions and dynamics”


280. “The Rule of Three is simply getting the other guy to agree to the same thing three times in the same conversation.”


281. “Have you given up on this project? The point is that this one-sentence email encapsulates the best of “No”-oriented questions”


282. “It’s almost laughably simple: for the FBI, a “mirror” is when you repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said.”


283. “The Rule of Three is simply getting the other guy to agree to the same thing three times in the same conversation. It’s tripling the strength of whatever dynamic you’re trying to drill into at the moment. In doing so, it uncovers problems before they happen. It’s really hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction.”


284. “the key to getting people to see things your way is not to confront them on their ideas (“You can’t leave”) but to acknowledge their ideas openly (“I understand why you’re pissed off”) and then guide them toward solving the problem (“What do you hope to accomplish by leaving?”).”


285. “Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight.1 To.”


286. “If you take a pit bull approach with another pit bull, you generally end up with a messy scene and lots of bruised feelings and resentment.”


287. “Among hundreds of such clients, there’s one single, solitary gentleman who gave the question serious consideration and responded affirmatively. Deadlines are often arbitrary, almost always flexible, and hardly ever trigger the consequences we think—or are told—they will.”


288. To fake, a conviction repeatedly is really hard and it is near impossible to do it.


289. “The reasons why a counterpart will not make an agreement with you are often more powerful than why they will make a deal, so focus first on clearing the barriers to agreement.”


290. “In two famous studies on what makes us like or dislike somebody,1 UCLA psychology professor Albert Mehrabian created the 7-38-55 rule. That is, only 7 percent of a message is based on the words while 38 percent comes from the tone of voice and 55 percent from the speaker’s body language and face.”


291. “centerpiece of this book, is called Tactical Empathy. This is listening as a martial art, balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence, to gain access to the mind of another person. Contrary to popular opinion, listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do.”


292. “If you can’t control your own emotions, how can you expect to influence the emotions of another party?”


293. “Great negotiators are able to question the assumptions that the rest of the involved players accept on faith or in arrogance, and thus remain more emotionally open to all possibilities, and more intellectually agile to a fluid situation.”


294. “QUESTIONS TO IDENTIFY BEHIND-THE-TABLE DEAL KILLERS When implementation happens by committee, the support of that committee is key. You’ll want to tailor your calibrated questions to identify and unearth the motivations of those behind the table, including: How does this affect the rest of your team? How on board are the people not on this call? What do your colleagues see as their main challenges in this area?”


295. “Once you’re clear on what your bottom line is, you have to be willing to walk away.”


296. “you should always be aware of which side, at any given moment, feels they have the most to lose if negotiations collapse.”


297. ​Prepare an Ackerman plan. Before you head into the weeds of bargaining, you’ll need a plan of extreme anchor, calibrated questions, and well-defined offers. Remember: 65, 85, 95, 100 percent. Decreasing raises and ending on nonround numbers will get your counterpart to believe that he’s squeezing you for all you’re worth when you’re really getting to the number you want. CHAPTER 10”


298. “Why are they communicating what they are communicating right now?”


299. “one of the reasons that really smart people often have trouble being negotiators—they’re so smart they think they don’t have anything to discover.”


300. “The last rule of labeling is silence. Once you’ve thrown out a label, be quiet and listen.”


301. “What were needed were simple psychological tactics and strategies that worked in the field to calm people down, establish rapport, gain trust, elicit the verbalization of needs, and persuade the other guy of our empathy. We needed something easy to teach, easy to learn, and easy to execute.”


302. “After all, kidnappers are just businessmen trying to get the best price.”


303. ​“That’s right” is better than “yes.” Strive for it. Reaching “that’s right” in a negotiation creates breakthroughs.”


304. “psychological tool that works most effectively with assertive guys like me: the mirror.”


305. You could sometimes talk about psychological judo.


306. “When people are in a positive frame of mind, they think more quickly, and are more likely to collaborate and problem-solve (instead of fight and resist). It applies to the smile-er as much as to the smile-ee: a smile on your face, and in your voice, will increase your own mental agility. Playful”


307. “Now, think about how my client’s question worked: without accusing them of anything, it pushed the big company to understand her problem and offer the solution she wanted. That in a nutshell is the whole point of open-ended questions that are calibrated for a specific effect.”


308. You can have many strategies but you can depend upon hope and consider hope as the strategy.


309. “It’s a “how” question, and “how” engages because “how” asks for help. Best of all, he doesn’t owe the kidnapper a damn thing. The guy volunteers to put the girlfriend on the phone: he thinks it’s his idea. The guy who just offered to put the girlfriend on the line thinks he’s in control. And the secret to gaining the upper hand in a negotiation is giving the other side the illusion of control.”


310. Negotiation is a process of discovery and not the act of the battle.


311. There will be a situation when people prefer no rather than yes and it is best sometimes for them.


312. “What is the biggest challenge you face?”


313. “What’s the biggest challenge you faced? What are we up against here? What do you see as being the most difficult thing to get around?”


314. Always try to evaluate and clarify the thoughts and feelings in life.


315. “Have you given up on this project? The point is that this one-sentence email encapsulates the best of “No”-oriented questions.”


316. “Too often people find it easier just to stick with what they believe. Using what they’ve heard or their own biases, they often make assumptions about others even before meeting them. They even ignore their own perceptions to make them conform to foregone conclusions. These assumptions muck up our perceptual windows onto the world, showing us an unchanging—often flawed—version of the situation.”


317. “views the importance of time differently (time = preparation; time = relationship; time = money).”


318. “For those people who view negotiation as a battle of arguments, it’s the voices in their own head that are overwhelming them.”


319. “No” question you’ll use is some version of “How am I supposed to do that?” (for example, “How can we raise that much?”). Your tone of voice is critical as this phrase can be delivered as either an accusation or a request for assistance. So pay attention to your voice.


320. “No deal is better than a bad deal.”


321. “He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.”


322. “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.”


323. “Asking for help in this manner, after you’ve already been engaged in a dialogue, is an incredibly powerful negotiating technique for transforming encounters from confrontational showdowns into joint problem-solving sessions. And calibrated questions are the best tool.”


324. “A surprisingly high percentage of negotiations hinge on something outside dollars and cents, often having more to do with self-esteem, status, and other non-financial needs.”


325. “In a negotiation, that’s called labeling. Labeling is a way of validating someone’s emotion by acknowledging it. Give someone’s emotion a name and you show you identify with how that person feels. It gets you close to someone without asking about external factors you know nothing about (“How’s your family?”). Think of labeling as a shortcut to intimacy, a time-saving emotional hack.”


326. “How am I supposed to do that?”


327. ​When calculating the final amount, use precise, non-round numbers like, say, $37,893 rather than $38,000. It gives the number credibility and weight.


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