How Cultural Barriers Can Impact Negotiations

By Derek Gaunt | August 08, 2022

The most obvious cultural barrier that impacts negotiation is the language barrier. But beyond that, there are nearly 200 countries on the planet, and each has its own unique culture. 

If you were to spend your time trying to learn every detail about each culture, you would be inundated with notebooks full of material. This would keep you from focusing on the true cultural barrier: one-on-one communication.

It’s not by accident that hostage negotiators in Tokyo, Tel Aviv, London, Johannesburg, Montreal, and Colombia are all trained in the same skill set. 

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The First Steps to Becoming a Skilled Negotiator

By Barbara Thomas | August 01, 2022

If you’re new to negotiation and The Black Swan Method™, the first step to becoming a skilled negotiator is enrolling in our online class, Negotiation 9™ (N9™). This class teaches the nine core skills that are foundational to becoming a world-class negotiator.

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Navigating Language Barriers in International Negotiations

By Milton “Troy” Smith | July 25, 2022

As we continue coaching clients all around the world, there’s a tendency we see over and over again in which folks think that certain negotiation tactics only work in the United States. 

We remind these people that hostage negotiators are all trained the same way, whether they work in Tokyo, Jakarta, Berlin, Johannesburg, or Santiago. The underlying Black Swan skills are universal because human nature is the same regardless of where you go.

That said, international negotiations are not without their challenges. Chief among them is the fact that language barriers exist. Certain words don’t have the same meaning when translated into different languages. 

Keep reading to learn more about the challenges inherent in international negotiations and what you can do to get your desired outcomes.

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Negotiator Concepts That Have Evolved Since Never Split The Difference™ Was Published

By Chris Voss | July 18, 2022

Accusation Audits™ and Labels™ (more specifically, Asking Labels™) are two expert concepts that have evolved significantly since Never Split the Difference was published. 

Read on to learn how we’re advising our best clients.

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How to Say “No” in a Negotiation

By Derek Gaunt | July 11, 2022

Saying no is the most assertive thing you can do in a negotiation, meaning you should only do it when absolutely necessary.

We encourage clients to embrace the concept of the “Phases of No,” in which we let no out a little bit at a time. This method enables us to let the counterpart hear and feel no without actually saying the word.

Now and again, however, you do need to say the word no. But you should only do that when you have dumped a heavy load of Tactical Empathy™ on the front end. That’s because Tactical Empathy encourages reciprocity. We go heavy on the front end because we want our counterpart to reciprocate when we ultimately make our ask.

When used correctly, the Phases of No does two things:

  1. It allows us to use that reciprocated Tactical Empathy.
  2. It encourages our counterparts to begin bargaining with themselves.

In other words, the Phases of No engages both sides of your counterpart’s brain, allowing them to get a better feel for you.

Keep reading to learn more about the Phases of No and how to say no most effectively:

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Negotiation Training: When to Walk Away

By Milton “Troy” Smith | July 04, 2022

The Black Swan Group has a saying: It’s not a sin to not get a deal, but it is a sin to not get a deal and waste a lot of time in the process.

Sometimes, negotiators overcommit to try to get the deal no matter the circumstances. Unfortunately, there isn’t always a deal to be made. Sometimes you’re the favorite, but other times you’re the fool, and the other side is just talking to you to get information they can use to get a better deal from somebody else.

How do you know whether you’re the favorite or the fool? Simple: Ask Proof of Life™ questions.

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Why Is Listening the Key to Active Communication?

By Milton “Troy” Smith | June 27, 2022

Every person on this planet—regardless of where they hail from or their culture, ethnicity, or gender—wants someone else to understand their perspective, environment, and circumstances. 

This is precisely why listening is the key to active communication.

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Black Swan Negotiation Skills Training: Quick 2+1™

By Derek Gaunt | June 20, 2022

We start every Black Swan live training session with the same exercise: the Quick 2+1™. It’s our foundational skill set. 

At the end of the day, people know how to ask questions, provide summaries, and paraphrase their counterpart’s position. But they struggle with Labels™, Mirrors™, and Dynamic Silence™—the three tools that make up the Quick 2+1.   

These tools are incredibly effective. They’re the fastest way to demonstrate that you’re dialed in and present in the conversation. 

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Overcome Your Weakness as a Negotiator: Accommodator Personality

By Milton “Troy” Smith | June 13, 2022

No matter how sharp your skills are, you’re bound to have some weaknesses as a negotiator. By identifying those weaknesses and getting in enough low-stakes reps as practice, you can strengthen your skills and achieve better negotiation outcomes.

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Communication Skills: 3 Ways To Make “No” Work For You

By Chris Voss | June 06, 2022

Does yes really always mean yes?

Absolutely not.

When we say yes, we’re committing to something. And immediately after we’ve committed, we begin worrying about what we’ve just signed up for.

This means, at best, every yes is a conditional yes. And oftentimes, it’s even worse: a counterfeit yes that’s uttered simply to get the other side to shut up.

Would it be ridiculous to find out that getting the other side to say no is actually what you should be gunning for when you sit down at the table?

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