Never Split the Difference

  1. The New Rules
    • people want to be understood and accepted
    • the centerpiece of the book is tactical empathy by learning to listen
      • learning to listen is not a passive activity
      • it is the most active thing you can do
    • life is negotiating
      • negotiation serves two distinct purposes: information gathering and behavior influencing
      • you get what you ask for, you just have to ask correctly
  2. Be A Mirror
    • don’t go in with an assumption, have a hypothesis and try to validate by extracting and observing as much information as possible
      • don’t prioritize your argument, focus on the other person
        • identify what they need
        • get to talk and talk and talk
        • begins with validating their emotions and creating trust
      • slow things down
        • if rushed, people feel as if they’re not being heard
        • passage of time is one of the most important tools for negotiators
      • the voice
        • people focus on what to say or do, but it’s how we are (demeanor and delivery) that is the easiest thing to enact and most immediately effective
        • put a smile on your face
        • most of the time use positive/playful voice
        • FM DJ voice (downward inflection) conveys “I’m in control”
      •  Mirroring
        • repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words)
        • copying each other establishes rapport and leads to trust
        • not just words but the tone
  3. Don’t Feel Their Pain, Label It
    • emotions often derail communication
      • instead of denying them, good negotiators identify and influence them
    • tactical empathy
      • understanding the feelings and mindset of another at the moment and hearing what is behind those feelings
      • when we closely observe a person’s face, gestures, etc, our brain aligns with theirs in a process called neural resonance
      • lets us know more fully what they think and feel
    • Labeling
      • verbalizing the emotions of the situation
      • when you label the emotion you disrupt its raw intensity
      • usually starts with “It seems like…”, “It sounds like…”, “It looks like…”
      • last rule of labeling is silence / let the other person expand
      • label their fears to diffuse their power
    • accusation audit
      • list worst things they could say about you and say them before the other person can
      • prepares you to head off negative dynamics before they take root
      • accusations often sound exaggerated when you say them out loud
    • remember people want to be appreciated and understood
  4. Beware “Yes” –Master “No”
    • pushing hard for a “yes” doesn’t get a negotiator closer to a win
      • makes people defensive
      • if you force a “yes”, they will back out
    • “no” is where the negotiation starts
      • can’t be scared of no or else no progress
    • negotiation is about the other person
      • trying to cram logic to get to a yes will make them defensive
      • get someone feeling safe and in control by getting them to say “no”
    • “no” can mean a number of different things
      • not ready to agree
      • you are making me feel uncomfortable
      • I do not understand
      • I want something else
      • I need more information
      • etc
    • Figure out what about it doesn’t work for them or what would need to make it work
    • sometimes can get them to say no by mislabeling them
    • convince them the solution you want is their idea
      • ask questions that open paths to your goals
  5. Trigger the Two Words That Immediately Transform Any Negotiation
    • once you convince someone you truly understand her dreams and feelings the mental and behavioral changes become possible
    • that’s right
      • trigger with a summary: rearticulate the meaning of what is said and acknowledge the emotions
      • creates real understanding
    • “you’re right” means it’s not gonna happen
    • create unconditional positive regard
    • the more a person feels understood and positively affirmed the more likely that urge for constructive behavior will take hold
  6. Bend Their Reality
    • all negotiations defined by inner desires and needs
      • don’t be fooled by the surface
      • try to figure out root desires
    • don’t compromise
      • meeting halfway often leads to bad deals for both sides
    • Deadlines: make time your ally
      • the simple passing of time and its sharper cousin, the deadline, are the screw that pressures every deal to a conclusion
      • makes people do impulsive things
      • perception of the loss
      • they are usually arbitrary and flexible
      • keep in mind “no deal is better than a bad deal”
    • Fair
      • “fair” is an emotional term people usually exploit to put the other on the defensive and gain concessions
        • don’t get suckered in and give in to a concession
        • ask them to explain how you’re mistreating them
      • actual decisions are driven by emotion
      • people hardwired to reject unfairness even if illogical
      • prospect theory tactics for loss aversion
        • anchor their emotions. start with accusation audit and prepare them for loss
        • let other guy go first but watch out for extreme anchoring
        • establish a range and make the low range high
        • pivot to non-monetary terms. think about what they can offer you or you can offer them that is valuable
        • use odd specific numbers. they seem more calculated
        • throw in some gift
    • Salary negotiation
      • the more you talk about nonsalary terms, more likely you can hear the full range of their options
      • e.g. if they can’t give more vacation days, maybe offer more salary
      • make sure you define success for your position and metrics for next raise
      • spark their interest in your success and gain an unofficial mentor
  7. Create the Illusion of Control
    • the listener has control in the conversation
    • avoid questions that can be answered with yes or tiny pieces of information
      • they will want something in return
    • ask calibrated questions that start with “How” or “what”, but not “why” (people get defensive)
      • gives them the illusion of control
      • inspires them to reveal important information
      • ask questions that lead your counterpart to solve your problem
    • avoid angry emotional reactions
    • there is always a team on the other side
      • you are vulnerable if you’re not influencing them as well
  8. Guarantee Execution
    • “yes” is nothing without “how”
    • ask calibrated “how” questions, keep them engaged, and lead them to contemplate your problems
    • “how” questions can be a gentle “no” that pushes counterpart to search for other solutions (your solutions). gets them to bid against themselves
    • try to identify motivations of other people “behind the table”
      • ask about how this affects other people
      • or if everyone is on board
    • 7-38-55 Rule
      • 7% of the message is based on the words
      • 38% comes from tone of voice
      • 55% comes from body and face language
      • if the tone and body language don’t align, they can be lying or are unconvinced
    • Rule of Three
      • use calibrated questions, summaries and labels to get them to reaffirm the agreement at least three times
      • hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction
    • pronoun use
      • if someone is saying “I”, “me” “my” too much the power probably lies somewhere else
      • if they say “we” “they”, “them” a lot, they are likely the decision-maker
    • use your own name to make yourself a real person to the other side
      • humor and humanity are the best way to break the ice and remove roadblocks
  9. Bargain Hard
    • different types of negotiating styles: accommodators, assertive, analysts
    • assertive styles generally don’t do that well
    • analyst
      • use clear data to drive your reason
      • warn them of issues early and avoid surprises
      • if you’re an analyst, be worried about cutting yourself off from the counterpart
      • smile and try to build rapport
      • time is preparation
    • accommodator
      • thinks of time spent as building relationship
      • want to be on great terms with counterpart
      • sociable, peace-seeking, optimistic, poor time managers
      • ask questions that point to an implementation
      • try to translate their talk into action
      • uncovering their objections can be difficult
      • time is relationship building
    • assertive
      • they want to be heard
      • focus on what they have to say
      • mirroring is a great tool for this type
      • get them to say “that’s right”
      • if you’re an Assertive, be conscious of your tone
      • time is money
    • don’t treat others the way you want to be treated; treat them the way they need to be treated
    • taking a punch
      • deflect a punch by saying no (with “how” or “why”)
      • “strategic umbrage” show controlled anger at the proposal, not the person
      • people will think they were being too assertive
      • don’t fall victim to it yourself when counterpart does it
    • have a ready-to-walk mindset
      • no deal is better than a bad deal
      • never be needy for a deal
      • set boundaries show tough love
      • never look at counterpart as the enemy
      • focus on the issue to avoid emotional escalations
    • ackerman bargaining
      • set target price, offer 65%, then give raising increases in 85, 85, 100
      • for each counter use lots of empathy and different ways of saying “no”
      • use precise numbers to give number credibility and weight
      • on last offer throw in a nonmonetary item (shows you’re really giving everything you can)
      • makes them feel like they got every last drop
    • prepare, prepare, prepare
      • when pressure is on you fall to your highest level of preparation
  10. Find the Black Swan
    • let your known knowns guide you, but keep an open mind and stay flexible
    • black swans are leverage multipliers
    • positive
      • ability to provide or withhold things your counterpart wants
      • you control what they want
      • why negotiators delay making offers
    • negative
      • the ability to hurt someone
      • be careful don’t want to take away their autonomy
      • be subtle e.g. “It seems like you don’t care about the position you’re leaving me in”
    • normative
      • using the other party’s norms and standards
    • work to understand the other person’s religion or world view
      • figure out what they truly want out of life
      • employ those aspirations
    • review everything about the counterpart
    • exploit similarity principle
      • more likely to concede to someone they are similar with
      • dig for what makes them tick and show you share common ground
    • when someone seems crazy try to understand them
      • can discover their vulnerabilites
      • they can be ill-informed
      • they may be constrained
      • they may have other interests
    • get facetime with your counterpart
      • reveals more information
      • can pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues
    • overcoming fear and get what you want out of life
      • people fear conflict so they avoid useful arguments
      • will need to embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation
      • pushing hard for what you believe in is not selfish
      • listen and speak clearly and empathically
      • treat counterparts with dignity and respect

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