Chris Voss was an FBI agent for 24 years and the agency’s lead international kidnapping negotiator from 2003 to 2007. His book, “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It,” will be published this month.
I don’t use the phrase “win-win” because most of the time whoever uses that phrase is either trying to cut your throat or is a horrible negotiator. But the reality is that in a relationship both sides have to gain. And negotiation can improve all of your relationships. The closer someone is to you, when they win, you win. When you negotiate a win for your spouse, you win.
I’m 58. I’ve got 30 years left.
The number one rule is don’t take yourself hostage. You can take yourself hostage when hearing ”yes” will make you do anything. You can take yourself hostage by being afraid to find out what they actually feel or what their point of view is or that they might actually be right. And you can take yourself hostage by being so sure of what you want that you wouldn’t take something better.
You need to recognize that your customer service rep is really a sales rep. And he wants to give you a better deal if you would just not yell at him. So you have to just disarm the guy and say that you appreciate the fact that the last 75 people he was on the phone with were yelling at him. Now you’ve opened the door.
The problem with that is that’s the tactic that has been used with them 10 billion times and they caught on.
No. You don’t want to gather enemies and have that be your currency. I don’t think winning through intimidation is a long-term strategy. He’s doing nothing but getting people who are looking to pay him back. And as they say, revenge is a dish best served cold. People will wait forever to get you back.
Exactly. Because we make decisions based on what we care about and that makes decision-making an emotional process. You care about something, you have a feeling about it, it matters to you on a personal level, and that’s where we make up our minds.
Coming to a place where my son and I are working together better all the time. He works for me full-time, and that can be both wonderful and horrifying for both of us. I’m working really hard to respect him, to listen to him and to value him. And he’s working harder to not feel like I’m always trying to be the alpha male.
I think so. My mom is the original tough Midwestern woman. One of my favorite jokes is, “What’s the difference between an Iowa mom and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist.”
For stories, features such as Date Lab, Gene Weingarten and more, visit WP Magazine.
Follow the Magazine on Twitter.
Like us on Facebook.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.