Ep. 138 – How You Can Use the FBI’s Field-Tested Negotiation Strategies in Business – with Chris Voss
Chris Voss is the CEO & Founder of the Black Swan Group and author of Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. But before Chris donned his entrepreneur hat, he was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group.
He has used his many years of experience in international crisis and high-stakes negotiations to develop a unique program and team that applies these globally proven techniques to the business world, and today we’re going to learn some of those techniques.
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” –Zig Ziglar
In reflecting on the Zig Ziglar quote above, I found myself pondering a question: do you need to know what you want before you can help other people get what they want?
“Absolutely not,” Chris answered without hesitation. “It’s much more a question of is that the beginning of your thinking or confining your thinking.” What Chris means is that we can’t allow goal setting to narrow our focus because “whatever goal you have in mind is, at best, maybe 80% of what’s out there.”
Let’s use an FBI negotiation as an example. In any negotiation, there are two problems: being focused on a goal and being focused on how you’re going to get there.
The inherent danger in these problems – things that some might consider common course in their business or life – is that when you know exactly what you want, you can become inflexible and miss out on unexpected opportunities that come up.
“Never be so sure of what you want that you wouldn’t take something better,” Chris says. It helps the FBI get the best information, and it can help you get the most of what’s available in business and in life.
What role does fear play in negotiation, in business, and in life? “THE role.”
Chris says the hardest thing for us to do is admit that we’re afraid of anything. So how do you conquer or overcome that? There are two hacks:
- Chris learned in his time on crisis intervention lines that if you can turn someone from grief to gratitude, regardless of what the issue is, they’ll be almost instantaneously healed.
- The identification of the negative diminishes it, “every single time.” A study highlighted in the book The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time demonstrates that when people simply identify what they’re feeling (whether it’s sadness, disparity, fear, or something else) the electrical activity in the negative part of the brain drops. Not some of the time, but every single time.
So how do you deal with a negative feeling like fear? Self-identify it and then reorient yourself towards gratitude!
You can learn more incredible hacks like this in Chris’ “The Edge” newsletter.
“The Edge” is a free newsletter that comes out every Tuesday. It’s a short, easy read that will help you keep your negotiation skills up-to-speed.
To sign up, head over to https://blog.blackswanltd.com/the-edge or text “fbiempathy” to 22828.
Don’t be a podcast junkie…
- Learn more at blackswanltd.com
- Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
- Connect with Chris: Facebook | Twitter
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Korb
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