Key Principles

  • Decision making is first and foremost emotionally driven. As human beings, we are all inherently emotional creatures. Therefore, in order to elevate your negotiation skills you must tune into the emotional needs (and fears) of your rival. 
  • Rational Win-Win negotiating is not enough. Most people struggle to even identify what is a true “Win” for them, let alone achieve one. 
  • Most people have one key basic need: to feel safe and in control. In the context of negotiation, people are afraid of a loss more than they value an equal gain. Knowing this, you can frame your preferred solution as one that promotes more safety and control.
  • Establishing rapport and trust is a necessary condition for good negotiation. As human beings, we want to connect with people who understand us, who we believe are similar to us, and who allow us to feel less alone. Therefore, a key for negotiation is to get your counterpart to feel comfortable with you and see you more as a partner than a rival.
  • Being emotionally empathetic allows you to create rapport and reveal information otherwise unknown.
  • Understanding our cognitive biases can lead to better decision making. This is fundamental to good negotiation and getting what you want. 
  • Turning human emotions to your advantage by using active listening, mirroring, summarizing, reframing, and labeling (vocalizing someone else’s emotions and words) is vital during negotiation. People are drawn to similarities and those who understand them.
  • Asking good questions and paying attention to subtle verbal and nonverbal cues will allow you to reveal “Unknown Unknowns” or “Black Swan” bits of information. This can also help you spot dishonest or unscrupulous counterparts.

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The above is inspired from the bestselling book "Never Split The Difference" by  Chris Voss.

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