Chris Voss

Christopher Voss is the CEO of The Black Swan Group, a firm that solves business negotiation problems with hostage negotiation strategies. Chris founded the Black Swan Group, in 2008 upon his retirement from the FBI where he was the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Chris is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where he teaches business negotiation in both M.B.A. programs.
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Recent Posts

What Does a "Collaborative Negotiation" Look Like?

By Chris Voss | October 14, 2019

How do you set a tone of collaboration that sticks—especially with someone that sees the negotiation as win-lose, and they want you to lose?

It’s easier than you might think. 

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The Simple Negotiation Exercise You Can Try Today

By Chris Voss | October 07, 2019

The most dangerous negotiation is the one you don’t know you’re in.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to become aware of this: If the words I want or I need are about to come out of your mouth, then you’re about to enter into a negotiation.

Next time this is happening to you, try this little exercise that works like a charm every time. It’s easy peasy, and it’s great practice for the cold read and a quick accusations audit.

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The Top 12 Must-Read Books for Expert Negotiators

By Chris Voss | September 30, 2019

As MIT Professor Peter Senge once said, “the only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition.”

How do you learn faster than the competition? Read. 

As a bonus, reading is also enjoyable and fulfilling. 

With that in mind, here are 12 books that should be in any expert negotiator's library.

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How Expert Negotiators Use “No” to Close

By Chris Voss | September 16, 2019

Yes is a useless word.

When anything is really important, we don’t even bother with yes. It’s B.S. anyway and almost always fake.

When it’s important and we have to close, our goal is to get a no.

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How to Use the Key to Tactical Empathy

By Chris Voss | August 13, 2019

Everyone who grasps the importance of that’s right is making incredible breakthroughs in their negotiations. They are killing it. And you will, too. It’s the solid gold response that is 10x better than hearing yes could ever be.

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How To Win With Email: 4 Rules For Success

By Chris Voss | July 29, 2019

The business world runs on email. In fact, studies have found that the average professional receives 121 emails every day.

Winning with email starts with having the right approach. 

Use these four rules to guide your email efforts, and increase the chances your counterpart responds to each message you send as you hope they will:

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The Best Leadership Books of the Last Decade

By Chris Voss | July 22, 2019

Great leaders are always trying to develop new skills to increase their effectiveness.

One of the easiest ways to do that is by learning tips and tricks from other leaders who have a diverse set of experiences and applying their insights and teachings to your own life.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 10 best leadership books from the past decade. Whether you read one of them or all of them, you’re bound to sharpen your leadership skills.

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Bullsh*t On Compromise

By Chris Voss | July 08, 2019

The Black Swan Group is here to call “bullshit” on compromise—exactly as we did in our book. Here are two reasons why.

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How To Negotiate Your Utility Bills Down

By Chris Voss | June 24, 2019

Are you spending more than you need to on utilities?

Almost certainly, if we’re being honest. Renegotiating your utility bills on a regular basis is a great way to get low-stakes practice of our negotiation skills.

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How to Get a Refund with a Simple Email Mirror

By Chris Voss | June 10, 2019

The first two keys to effective emails are simple:

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