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Negotiation by Chris Voss

This artcile is copied from Github.

Chapter 1: The New Rules

No matter how we dress up negotiation in mathematical theories, we still act like animals, driven by our fears, needs, perceptions, and desires.
The book Getting to Yes assumes that the animalistic, emotional brain could be overcome through a rational, joint problem-solving mindset.
It focused on separating people from problems, on positions from interests, generating win-win options, and mutually-agreed upon standards for evaluating options.
Thinking Fast and Slow says our emotional response (System 1) to a suggestion or question informs and creates our logical answer (System 2).
By affecting a counterpart's System 1 thinking, you can guide his System 2 rationality and therefore modify his responses.
Emotions and emotional intelligence must be central to an effective negotiation, and not things to overcome.
The majority of interactions we have at work and at home boil down to a simple, animalistic urge: I want.
Negotiation is for information gathering and behavior influencing, and includes almost any interaction where someone wants something from somebody else.
The first step to achieving a mastery of daily negotiation is to get over your aversion to negotiating.
Effective negotiation is sizing someone up, influencing their sizing up of you, and using that knowledge to get what you want.
Negotiation is the heart of collaboration, and is what makes conflict potentially meaningful and productive for all parties.

Chapter 2: Be a Mirror

Good negotiators expect surprises; great negotiators use their skills to reveal the surprises they are certain exist.
Great negotiators question the assumptions that others accept on faith, and thus remain more emotionally open and intellectually agile.
Most people approach a negotiation so preoccupied by the arguments that support their position that they are unable to listen attentively.
The goal is to make your counterparts feel safe enough to talk about what they want, and then move on to identify what they actually need.
But we begin with listening, making it about the other people, validating their emotions, and creating enough trust and safety to begin a real conversation.
Going too fast makes people feel as if they're not being heard, thereby undermining all the rapport and trust that we've built.
When you slow the process down, you also calm it down.
It's not what we say, but how we are that is both the easiest thing to enact and the most immediately effective mode of influence.
A playful voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where parties thinking more quickly and are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.
A late-night FM DJ voice with a downward inflection says you're in control. Inflection in an upward way connotes uncertainty and invites a response.
Mirroring is an unconscious behavior in which we copy each other to comfort each other, building a kind of rapport that leads to trust.
Repeat back the critical one to three words of what people say. Your counterpart will elaborate on what was said and sustain the process of connecting.
To deal with forceful type A personalities, use the late-night FM DJ voice, start with "I'm sorry," mirror, sit in silence, and repeat.
Use mirroring to elicit the same response as "What do you mean by that?" while signaling respect and concern for what the other person is saying.

Chapter 3: Don't Feel Their Pain, Label It

Traditional negotiating advice says to separate people from the problem, but that's hard when their emotions are the problem.
Good negotiators precisely label emotions, belonging to others and themselves, and then talk about them without getting wound up.
Empathy is the ability to recognize the perspective of a counterpart, and the vocalizaiton of that recognition. It is not sympathy.
Tactical empathy goes farther by also hearing what is behind those feelings so you increase your influence on all following moments.
Most of us enter verbal combat unlikely to persuade anyone of anything because we only know and care about our own goals and perspective.
When we closely observe a person's face, gestures, and tone of voice, we align with theirs in a process called neural resonance.
With labeling, we turn someone's feelings into words, and then very calmly and respectfully repeat their emotions back to them.
It has a special advantage when your counterpart is tense because exposing negative thoughts to daylight makes them seem less frightening.
Labeling moves the brain from a fearful response to rational thinking. It disrupts the raw intensity of the emotion.
The first step to labeling is detecting the other person's emotional state, usually by inspecting their words, tone, and body language.
Then label it aloud with "It seems/sounds/looks like..." Don't use "I," which makes you seem self-interested, and makes you take personal responsibility for what follows.
The last rule of labeling is silence. Be quiet and listen.
Emotions have two levels: The "presenting" behavior you see and hear, and the "underlying" feeling that motivates the behavior.
Labeling reinforcing positives and diffusing negatives. It forces an angry person to acknowledge their feelings rather than continue to act out.
The fastest and most efficient way of establishing a quick working relationship is to acknowledge the negative and diffuse it.
Deal with negativity by observing it, then consciously label each negative feeling and replace it with positive, compassionate, and solution-based thoughts.
The faster you can label fears, the faster you can stop the swelling of fear, and the quicker you can build feelings of safety, well-being, and trust.
By digging underneath a mountain of details and logistics, labels help to uncover the primary emotion driving against your counterpart's behavior.
Never deny the negative; this is a crucial mistake that actually gives it credence.
An accusation audit lists every terrible thing your counterpart could say about you. This disarms them by "taking the sting out."
Going right after negativity brings us to a safe zone of empathy. Every one of us has an inherent need to be understood, and to connect.
Following on the heels of an argument is a great position for a negotiator, because your counterpart is desperate for an empathetic connection.
The first goal of these tools is human connection; that they might help you extract what you want is a bonus.

Chapter 4: Beware "Yes", Master "No"

"Yes" is often a meaningless answer that hides deeper objections.
"No" provides an opportunity for both parties to clarify what they don't want, and is a safe choice that maintains the status quo.
By giving someone permission to say "no" to your ideas, emotions calm, effectiveness increases, and the other party can really look at your proposal.
"No" is not rejection. It means the other party is uncomfortable, does not understand, wants to consult someone else, and so on.
After pausing, ask solution-based questions or simply label their effect.
There are actually three kinds of "yes": counterfeit, confirmation, and commitment.
A counterfeit yes is where your counterpart feels it is an escape route or uses it to continue the conversation for some edge.
A confirmation yes is a reflexive response to a black-and-white question, a simple affirmation with no promise of action.
A commitment yes is a true agreement that leads to action.
The job of a good negotiator isn't to put on a great performance, but to gently guide their counterpart to discover their goal as his own.
The other party should feel equally responsible, if not solely responsible, for creating the connection with you and the new ideas that they have.
While we can't control others' actions, we can influence them by inhabiting their world and seeing and hearing exactly what they want.
Primal needs are urgent and illogical, and so arguing them into a corner is just going to push your counterpart to flee with a counterfeit yes.
Nice, employed as a ruse, is disingenuous and manipulative. In the context of a negotiation, feigned sympathy can backfire.
Saying "no" gives the speaker the feeling of safety, security, and control. It is a sign that the other party is engaged and thinking.
No is not an abuse of power, an act of rejection, a manifestation of stubbornness, or the end of a negotiation.
If the other party is not listening, antagonize them into "no" by mislabeling their emotions or desires, or by asking what they don't want.
If despite all your efforts, the other party won't say "no," then they are indecisive, confused, or have a hidden agenda. Walk away.
If your emails are being ignored, provoke a "no" with the one sentence email: "Have you given up on this project?"

Chapter 5: Trigger the Two Words That Immediately Transform Any Negotiation

Psychologist Carl Rogers proposed unconditional positive regard, or that real change can only come when the therapist accepts the client as he or she really is.
But because most of us experience conditional positive regard, we instead calibrate our words to gain approval but disclosing little.
Before you convince someone to see what you're trying to accomplish, you must say the things to them that will get them to say "that's right."
A good summary is the combination of re-articulating the meaning of what is said plus acknowledging the emotions underlying that meaning.
When your adversaries say "that's right," they feel they have assessed what you've said and pronounced it as correct of their own free will. They embrace it.
If your adversaries say "you're right," then they won't own the conclusion. Their behavior won't change.
"You're right," like "yes," is a social lubricant that is not in any way a substitute for real understanding between two parties.

Chapter 6: Bend Their Reality

Negotiation is never a linear formula. We all have irrational blind spots, hidden needs, and undeveloped notions.
There are always ways to bend our counterpart's reality so that it conforms to what we ultimately want to give them, not to what they initially think they deserve.
Splitting the difference, or a "win-win approach," at best satisfies neither side, and at worst fails against an adversary with a win-lose approach.
We don't compromise because it's right, but because it's easy and we save face. Distilled to its essence, we compromise because it's safe.
Never split the difference. Creative solutions are almost always preceded by some risk, annoyance, confusion, or conflict.
A deadline creates an environment of reactive behavior and poor choices, allowing our counterpart can let it do all the work for him.
Deadlines are the boogeymen of negotiation. They are often arbitrary, almost always flexible, and never as consequential as we think.
If you internalize "No deal is better than a bad deal," then your patience can become a powerful weapon.
Deadlines cut both ways. When the negotiation is over for one side, then it's over for the other side too.
Hiding your deadline increases the risk of an impasse, because having a deadline pushes you to speed up your concessions, but the other side, thinking it has time, will just hold out for more.
While we may use logic to reason ourselves toward a decision, the actual decision making is governed by emotion.
The most powerful word in negotiations is "fair." We comply with agreements if we feel we have been treated fairly, and lash out if we don't.
The phrase "We just want what's fair" destabilizes the other side. Instead of conceding irrationally, apologize, and offer to go back to where the unfairness began and fix things.
The phrase "We've given you a fair offer" is nefarious. Mirror with "Fair?" and label with "It seems like you're ready to provide evidence to support that."
The phrase "I want you to feel like you're being treated fairly at all times. Please stop me at any time if you feel like you're being treated unfairly, and we'll address it" is empowering.
While our decisions may be largely irrational, there are consistent patterns, principles, and rules behind how we act.
The certainty effect says that we are drawn to sure things over probabilities, even when the probability is a better choice.
Loss aversion says that people will take greater risks to avoid losses than to achieve gains.
Real leverage in a negotiation is not delivering what the other party wants, but convincing them that they have something concrete to lose if the deal falls through.
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