Want to make someone an offer they can't refuse? Understand how our minds are hung up on loss aversion, says former FBI negotiator Chris Voss.
In 2002, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky won the Nobel Prize in Economics for a behavioral theory they created and refined between 1979 and 1992: prospect theory. It explained how people weigh up risks in decision making, and part of its findings revealed that we are inherently loss averse, meaning we give at least twice as much decision-making weight to the idea of losses than gains. Losing $5, explains former FBI negotiator Chris Voss, feels like losing $10, and the prospect of gaining $5 will feel joyless coompared to the fear of losing $5. This can be leveraged in negotiations simply by pointing out what is going to be lost if a deal isn’t made, or something isn’t done. The "crazy mathematics" we do in our heads isn’t rational, but understanding it will give you an upper hand in your next negotiation. Chris Voss's book is Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended On It.
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.
Ex-FBI crisis negotiator Chris Voss explains the golden question that will give you the upper hand in a negotiation.
Negotiating is hard, and it's even harder when there is something you really want. The stakes are higher, and you may not know how to get the upper hand. Negotiating takes skill, it's something that a person needs to hone over time through practice, so they can carefully judge when to swoop in for a win and when to hold back. It's a delicate, instinctual art. But it can definitely be learned.
Our brains react subconsciously to what is said during business negotiations. To succeed, it's important to choose your words carefully and be aware of the tone of your voice.
Mirroring is a phenomenon frequently observed between two people in conversation. When a person is mirroring who they talk to, mimicking their body language and enthusiasm, it is a signal that the two people are at ease with each other and have taken a similar point of view.
Chris Voss is the Founder and CEO of the Black Swan Group Ltd. He has used his many years of experience in international crisis and high stakes negotiations to develop a unique program and team that applies these globally proven techniques to the business world. Prior to 2008, Chris was the was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI's hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council's Hostage Working Group. During his government career he also represented the U.S. Government at two (2) international conferences sponsored by the G-8 as an expert in kidnapping. Prior to becoming the FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, Christopher served as the lead Crisis Negotiator for the New York City Division of the FBI. Christopher was a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force for 14 years. He was the case agent on such cases as TERRSTOP (the Blind Sheikh Case – Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman), the TWA Flight 800 catastrophe and negotiated the surrender of the first hostage taker to give up in the Chase Manhattan bank robbery hostage taking.
During Chris's 24 year tenure in the Bureau, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI, but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service. Chris currently teaches business negotiation in the MBA program as an adjunct professor at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. He has taught business negotiation at Harvard University, guest lectured at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland and The Goethe School of Business in Frankfurt, Germany. Since 2009 Christopher has also worked with Insite Security as their Managing Director of the Kidnapping Resolution Practice.