How an FBI Agent Wins Negotiations and Influences People
Chris Voss’s blueprint for winning any negotiation session
After being educated by Harvard Law, Scotland Yard and the FBI, Chris Voss worked some 150 international kidnapping negotiations over more than two decades with the bureau.
To put it bluntly, Voss has a lot of knowledge about talking people into doing what he wants them to. And he’s willing to share.
According to Voss, the key to winning a negotiating session is as simple as managing emotions, both your own and your counterpart’s.
Here’s how he says to do it.
Hearing their own words bounced back at them will make you counterpart warm up to you, as well as make them feel comfortable and start to open up.
Let the person across the table from you know you understand where he/she’s coming from — it’ll get them to drop their guard much faster.
Get a “No” and create the illusion of control
Saying “No” will make your opponent feel safe and in control, even when they’re anything but. Creating the illusion of control is the secret to gaining the upper hand in a negotiation.
In addition to those tips, Voss also shared this advice for getting out of a ticket during a recent Reddit AMA:
“Police officers, like all other human beings, want you to see their point of view. A friend of mine got out of a ticket exactly like I told her to. She got stopped and the police officer said, ‘Do you know why I stopped you?’ She said (as I have when I’ve been stopped). ‘Because I’m an ass-****.’ The look on his face was shocked and completely changed. The real reason was because she was lost and the police officer gave her directions and he let her go. Say something someone doesn’t expect (against your seemingly better interest) and they will be so shocked they will listen to you and want to help you out!”
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