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Preview — Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
by Chris Voss
Read between November 02 - December 25, 2018
Contrary to popular opinion, listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do.
The problem was, we were in too much of a hurry, driving too hard toward a quick solution; trying to be a problem solver, not a people mover.
a smile on your face, and in your voice, will increase your own mental agility.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
He agreed, in theory, but he didn’t own the conclusion.
To get real leverage, you have to persuade them that they have something concrete to lose if the deal falls through.
failures plant the seeds of future success,
Kevin Dutton says in his book Split-Second Persuasion.
The good news is that there are rules for that. 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. But let me cut the list even further: it’s best to start with “what,” “how,” and sometimes “why.” Nothing else. “Who,” “when,” and “where” will often just get your ...more
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What about this is important to you? How can I help to make this better for us? How would you like me to proceed? What is it that brought us into this situation? How can we solve this problem? What’s the objective? / What are we trying to accomplish here? How am I supposed to do that?
With that in mind, I want to end this chapter with some advice on how to remain rational in a negotiation. Even with all the best techniques and strategy, you need to regulate your emotions if you want to have any hope of coming out on top. The first and most basic rule of keeping your emotional cool is to bite your tongue. Not literally, of course. But you have to keep away from knee-jerk, passionate reactions. Pause. Think. Let the passion dissipate. That allows you to collect your thoughts and be more circumspect in what you say. It also lowers your chance of saying more than you want to.
Negotiators have to be decision architects: they have to dynamically and adaptively design the verbal and nonverbal elements of the negotiation to gain both consent and execution.
Poor implementation is the cancer that eats your profits.
People always make more effort to implement a solution when they think it’s theirs.
“Yes” is nothing without “How.”
To be good, you have to learn to be yourself at the bargaining table. To be great you have to add to your strengths, not replace them.
The greatest obstacle to accurately identifying someone else’s style is what I call the “I am normal” paradox. That is, our hypothesis that the world should look to others as it looks to us.
The traditional “I” message is to use “I” to hit the pause button and step out of a bad dynamic. When you want to counteract unproductive statements from your counterpart, you can say, “I feel ___ when you ___ because ___,” and that demands a time-out from the other person.
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.
We must let what we know—our known knowns—guide us but not blind us to what we do not know;
Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has a great quote that sums up this concept: “You must accept the reality of other people. You think that reality is up for negotiation, that we think it’s whatever you say it is. You must accept that we are as real as you are; you must accept that you are not God.”