014: Chris Voss - Saving Lives Through Negotiation, The Quicksand of Negativity, & Wise Recklessness

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In this episode, I speak with the former FBI Lead Hostage and Kidnapping Negotiator and Head of the Black Swan Group (which, one an important note) is a badass group, Chris Voss. As the author of the negotiation bestseller, "Never Split the Difference" and with over 150 high-stakes negotiations under his belt ranging from bank robberies all the way to international terrorism, it's safe to say that he knows more than a thing or two about the nature of negotiation and more specifically, what is effective when you're dealing with the most dire of circumstance - when human lives are on the line. Now, the majority of us will hopefully never be placed into similar high-stakes situations like those that Professor Voss and others have been in, but the lessons still apply. They teach us something about human nature and predictibility, understanding others and ourselves, and - for the most pragmatic of listeners - securing better deals within the realm of business, having better relationships with our partners, friends, and family, and influencing others, for better or for worse. Now, this was actually recorded a long while back so some of the more topical things that we discuss may seem out of place chronologically, but nevertheless, the underlying themes that Sir Voss lays out are timeless and have aged quite well. Listening back, I was very nervous to have this conversation because I consider Mr. Voss to be one of the biggest inspirations for the concept of Mental Jiujitsu in the first place, so suffice to say that this was a huge honor for me and I hope that you enjoy listening to our conversation. Inside, we cover the misconceptions about empathy, the most brutally effective way to negotiate, his experience and stories in the field, understanding vs agreement, what he coins as 'wise recklessness', and a few good laughs here and there. I had a great time with The Black Swan himself and if you'd like to learn more about how to negotiate better to improve your communication or business skills, you can pick up his book, "Never Split the Difference" and sign up for The Black Swan weekly newsletter on blackswanltd.com. The last thing I'll say before we start - don't hold yourself back. Enjoy.

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