Blog: The Negotiation Edge

Brandon Voss

Brandon Voss is the Director of Operations and an Instructor/Consultant with The Black Swan Group. Brandon has been instrumental in adapting the FBI’s hostage negotiation techniques to the business world. In addition to training clients, Brandon has guest lectured at USC Marshall School of Business and Georgetown McDonough School of Business.
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Recent Posts

3 Ways to Influence Behavior

How can you close deals without influencing the other side? You simply can't. Influencing behavior is key to success not just in business, but in life. It's important to remember when trying to influence behavior is that human nature reaction is the beginning of decision making. Here are 3 ways you can use human nature to help influence behavior. 

3 Keys to Negotiation

No matter who you talk to there is an agenda. Even if that agenda is on a personal level and it happens to be catching up or shooting the breeze. 

How To Continue to Maintain and Build Your Negotiation Competency

The standard answer is practice, practice, practice. Repetition; however, is the mother of skill, but what you are practicing is just as important. If you want to be better at basketball, you aren't doing yourself many favors on the golf course. If you want to be better at negotiation, you aren't doing yourself much good reverting to bad communication habits like "tell me more" and trying to convince the other side by exposing them to your logic.

3 Guidelines For Negotiating Like a Pro

Traditionally speaking negotiation is seen as a focused comparison of ideas/results, in some circles, this can easily be construed into an argument over points.  

Typically a negotiation begins with one side stating what their issues are and what they want. Next, the other side does the same thing. In the end, if a deal is made both sides feel like they could have gotten more or they stuck it to the other side. Here are 3 guidelines for negotiating better outcomes. 

3 Ways To Uncover Black Swans That Will Boost Your Deals

However you get into an interaction, whether you have had ample time to prepare or you have been thrown into the fires of Mount Doom, it is always good to have basic guidelines to abide by. Here are three we tend to lean on because of their influence on human nature reaction.

3 Negotiation Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Deals

People always want to increase their odds of success. It's simply human nature to want to do everything you can to avoid failure. Here are 3 common communication mistakes that are hurting your deals. 

3 Ways To Create Space For Yourself In A Negotiation

It is always nice to have breathing room in a negotiation. Not monetary breathing room, breathing room in the conversation. What we refer to as breathing room is this moment or space in time, during the interaction, where you can collect your thoughts and refocus your attention.

How to Find Fairness In A Negotiation

The old saying – “the first step to solving a problem is being aware that the problem exists.” On that same token, the first step to finding fairness in a negotiation is understanding that the other side’s view of fairness doesn’t even remotely resemble yours, their view of what is fair will probably seem crazy and illogical to you.

How To Get Buy-in With The 3 Most Effective Calibrated Questions

As you know by now, a negotiation is an information gathering process. It is a bad move to try and start a negotiation by attempting to get the other side to understand you. Just like Stephen Covey says "seek to understand before being understood."

How To Disarm The Attack

There comes a time in almost every negotiation where we may get a counterpart that is trying to influence our decisions by making an ultimatum type offer (take X or this bad thing is going to happen to you).  Sometimes it may be something they say out of desperation, other times  they were going to hit you with it one way or another.  At the end of the day, everyone we meet in a negotiation has a plan of attack.  Even if you're only information going into an interaction is a cold read, you can start to draw lines between what they may want and why.  Usually the reasons for coming to the table that are more than what appears on the surface.  If you go into an interaction thinking the other side has only one reason for being there than you are sorely mistaken.  There are always things going on in the other side's position, the way they operate as a team or company that has brought them to the table.  If we take a real honest look at the reasons they would take a certain position, we can start to form a statement summary that defines their approach, consequently removing all the reasoning for cementing themselves over a certain point.

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