Want to tax corporations without scaring them off, outsmart a calculating kid, or get rid of the world's nuclear warheads? Think like a game theorist.
I want something from you. You want something from me. How will we act out those agendas in a strategic situation? Unravelling and understanding this scenario is how game theorists make a living. Economist Roger Myerson, who co-won the Nobel Prize for his foundational work on game theory, defines it as "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers," and while the theory was born in the field of economics, it by no means stayed there. Today, game theory can be applied to everything from biology and international relations, to interpersonal relations like friendship and parenting. Here, philosopher and game theorist Kevin Zollman applies the science of strategic thinking to three questions: how can a parent get a kid to clean their room, how can we reduce the number of nuclear warheads in the world, and most pertinently in America at this moment: how would a game theorist respond to the Trump administration's corporate tax cuts? Kevin Zollman and Paul Raeburn are the authors of
The best career advice that you are not getting? Financial feminist and Wall Street powerhouse Sallie Krawcheck delivers.
Sallie Krawcheck is the current CEO of Ellevest (a digital investment platform for women), is a former CFO and CEO at Citigroup and Merrill Lynch respectively, and is a self-described "financial feminist". She speaks here to women, but this advice can be applied across the board to anyone who is marginalized in the workplace or wants to jumpstart their personal wealth. For Krawcheck, the best career advice no one is talking about is actually financial advice: invest. Make your money work while you do, so that you have more financial freedom to make confident decisions in your career: ask for a promotion, quit the job that doesn't treat you well, or test your own business ideas. If you have money in the bank, you are free to play looser with your decisions. Men do it, and women should too. Remember this: "Ladies, we will not be equal with men until we are financially equal with men," Krawcheck says. Her second piece of advice is to ask for more money from your very first job, and to plant the seeds of a 12-pronged pay-rise request far in advance. Twelve prongs? Yep. It will all makes sense once you hear out her incredible guide to negotiating a salary increase and closing the gender pay gap. Sallie Krawcheck is the author of Own It: The Power of Women at Work.
Former FBI negotiator Chris Voss sheds light on communication and indirect messages, the value of empathy in business and in life, and when and how to walk away from a deal.
Chris Voss, former FBI negotiator and current CEO of the Black Swan Group, knows a few things about striking a deal and equally as much about walking away from one that has soured or lost its direction.
Many of us have seen a lead go cold, in our personal and business lives. We have dreamed up collaborations and projects that have fizzled out, whether for a lack of motivation or because two parties have been unable to resolve an issue where cooperation was desperately needed. Voss knows from experience that the best way to negotiate with someone is through indirect messaging, by planting a seed of thought in someone’s mind that gets their thinking to where you’d like it to be. So if you’d like to reopen a deal, or know for sure that it’s dead, he recommends emailing or texting a simple question: Have you given up on this project? No one wants to admit that yes, they have given up, so this question will either lead to a renewal of cooperation, or if they come back with confirmation that they have indeed given up, then at least you move out of limbo, and you can examine your part in where the deal may have gone wrong (it’s rarely one-sided).
Another effective negotiation technique is summarizing. If you are really listening to the other person, and are able to condense their thoughts into a sentence or two, it is a huge acknowledgement of the fact that you understand their position. Voss states that many people – assertive negotiators – would prioritize being understood over making a deal. Being understood is such a basic human driving force, pervading everything from art and music to fashion and our personal relationships, so if you really want to think like an FBI negotiator, it’s not about force, or smarts, or an ace up your sleeve; it’s about empathy. A connection based on empathy is hugely powerful, and demonstrating that you understand someone may actually change their mind about something they seemed so stubborn on.
Chris Voss's book is Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended On It.