What crosses your mind when you read negotiation?
An image of bored suits fighting for hours around a mahogany table?
A warning, Red alert! Avoid at all costs.?
An ego boost, Why discuss anything? I know I'm right.?
A couple days ago I started Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz. For years, Voss was an international hostage negotiator for the FBI. Now he shares counter-intuitive solutions that made him so successful.
It's a fun, helpful peek inside actual life-or-death encounters...and how we can use them in our seemingly life-or-death encounters, like getting a better airplane seat.
Here are a couple lessons I've learned so far.
Instead of viewing negotiating as miserable, sweaty, and anxiety-ridden, Voss sees it as "playing the emotional game" humanity is arranged for. Oh, that sounds better.
Apparently, “listening is the cheapest, yet most effective concession we can make…” so others feel understood and accepted. Who knew? No one on talk shows.
While planning a negotiating strategy or approach, people focus 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.”
Isn't that cool? Go listen!