April 23, 2021

111 Chris Voss: The Art of High-Stakes Influence & Negotiation

My next guest is Chris Voss, who is the CEO & Founder of The Black Swan Group Ltd

  • Author of Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. (1 million copies sold)
  • Most popular course instructor on masterclass.com
  • Former lead International hostage negotiator at the FBI

We talked about:

  • How he discovered tactical empathy as a superior negotiation method after dealing with cutthroat commodity dealers
  • Why hammering his opponent with empathy got him better deals
  • How his mindset around negotiation is fundamentally different than most people
  • How he maintained positive even after dealing with terrorists for 25 years
  • How tone is the single most overlooked superpower when it comes to negotiation
  • How practice is the path to mastery even for something as esoteric as a cold read and tonality
  • Chris’s morning rituals to setup his day for success
  • And his project 120 to stay healthy at age 120



Wisdom Quotes

"As soon as you take the better or worse out. It's actually a lot easier to be optimistic because you know, you're not as mad at people as much. You know, somebody doesn't work out on a company it's not good or bad on him or us. It just didn't work it out."


"Tone is a superpower tone may be the single most overlooked superpower out there."


"Small stakes practice for high stakes result. As soon as you start paying attention to your tone at all, it will immediately improve."


"Make a wild guess and say it in a nice way. And which gives you all the latitudes. And every time you make a guess, you're going to get feedback on how good your guess was"


"How am I supposed to do that? That's expressing 'no' gently, but it's saying that you're open to a better idea."


"Since everything is emotional, let's just drop a lot more empathy into this bare knuckle vicious bargaining with commodities dealers. On the other side, they were cutthroats and killers, the definition of a sociopathic commodity dealer, let's hammer them with empathy and the process of being less adversarial accelerated better and faster results."


"Jim Collins' book. Good to great doesn't mean that good failed, you know, the real problem with getting to the next level is you probably doing pretty well. The model doesn't fail, but they stop improving."


"Mario Cuomo demonstrated understanding on a consistent or regular basis. And even if people that disagreed with his policies trusted him because of his empathy."


"Negotiations is a tool set. Which means it's neutral. It's neither good, nor bad. It depends upon what you're using it for now. We're all collaborative. We all believe in long-term success. We want to build something with people. We want the people that work for our company to be happy. Happier than they'd been working anywhere else. So, yeah, we, we use these skills on each other all the time, constantly."


"Perfection is a fool's errand because you are always going to be disappointed and there's no success model out there that says being always disappointed is good for you."


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