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Master the ART OF NEGOTIATION and WIN Any Exchange | Chris Voss

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

Whether we know it or not, much of our success in business and in life depends on our ability to negotiate effectively. From buying a house or car to negotiating your salary to coming to an agreement with your partner – negotiation is a game-changing skill that everyone should master.

In today’s episode of Impact Theory, master negotiator Chris Voss shares some of the most important takeaways he’s learned over the years, both as a 24-year veteran of the FBI, and as the founder and CEO of The Black Swan Group – a world-class negotiation consulting firm.

Chris has been on the front lines of some of the most high-stakes hostage negotiations of the last 20 years, and the depth of his knowledge of human psychology is apparent throughout the whole conversation.

To learn more about the art of effective negotiation, I highly encourage you to read Chris’ bestselling book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.

You can also find tons of free resources on how to reach your full potential as a negotiator at

00:00 | Introduction
01:04 | When Lives Are On The Line
04:33 | The Dos Palmas Kidnappings
10:50 | Teaching Your Kids Resilience
18:36 | Dos Palmas, Continued
29:20 | The Best Hostage Negotiation Tactic
37:24 | The Biggest Driver of Human Decision-Making
45:04 | Chris’ Views On Human Nature
1:04:15 | What Makes Someone a Good Negotiator?
1:12:18 | Applying Negotiation Tactics To Everyday Life
1:26:00 | Anger, Emotional Control, And Flow States
1:33:12 | The Power Of Open-Ended Questions
1:44:27 | Black Swan Negotiation Strategies

“When you’re in the battle, you can’t bail. People are looking at you to lead. There are people’s lives that are still on the line.” [09:29]

“Negotiation is not what it is to you. It’s what it is to the other side.” [25:13]

“Ultimately, people make up their mind principally on what they perceive the loss to be. And that’s human nature – doesn’t matter the scenario” [26:01]

“One of the crazy things that I learned a long time after the fact is, terrorists got moms. I mean, you’d be shocked at the emotional vulnerability across the board, to the power of a well crafted message from a mom.” [30:49]

“Loss is… the biggest impact on decision making of human beings across the board.” [38:05]

“You know, everybody’s gonna do stuff where they failed themselves, where they were fragile, they made a bad decision. They were heartless, either intentionally or accidentally, like, how do you pick it up after that?” [58:59]

“How every negotiation should go: script out your first two or three lines, and then you’re into an ad lib from that point on. You’ve got to prepare – it’s a dance, let the other person lead. And they’ll take you where you want to go.” [1:13:14]

“You cannot get to your peak performance in a negative state of mind. And anger is a negative state of mind.” [1:29:02]

“The more you encourage the other side to talk, the more likely it is that you’re going to get to this moment of collaboration quicker. Never be so sure of what you want that you wouldn’t take something better. How do you get something better? You get the other side to talk. You spend a lot less time talking, and appreciate that they’re bringing something to the table that you could use.” [1:46:52]

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