Chris Voss

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

How to Improve Your Communication Skills to Network Effectively

By Chris Voss | November 29, 2021

We’re all drawn to interesting people. Here’s how to improve your communication skills and become the most interesting person in the room.

Start with this three-step opening:

  • Simultaneously hold out your hand, smile, and introduce yourself with your first name only—nothing more.
  • Use Dynamic Silence™. Let them react. Wait for them to give their first name.
  • While smiling, ask them: “What about (one-second pause) what you do makes you passionate?”

Here’s your fourth follow-on step: Mirror™ and Label™ from this point on, using Dynamic Silence liberally. This is a version of the one-on-ones we use as the foundation for mastery of the Black Swan Method™—also known as the quick 2+1.

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Negotiation Training: The Top 4 ‘No-Oriented’ Questions

By Chris Voss | November 08, 2021

Yes doesn’t always mean yes. This is why shrewd negotiators don’t aim for yes, but instead try to get their counterparts to say no.

In this installment of our negotiation training series, we examine the top four no-oriented questions™ from The Black Swan Group, what they replace, and why you should use them.

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Negotiation Training: The Top 10 Black Swan Go-To Labels™

By Chris Voss | October 04, 2021

At Black Swan, we’re huge proponents of using Labels™ to arrive at the best outcomes. With an effective use of Labels, you’re able to unearth what the other side isn’t saying and identify a dynamic in the conversation that isn’t obvious. 

Keep reading to learn more about when, where, and how to use Labels to accomplish your objectives every time you sit down at the table.

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Negotiation Tactics: 3 Ways to Avoid Taking Yourself Hostage

By Chris Voss | August 30, 2021

A while back, I wrote about three ways negotiators take themselves hostage and what you can do to avoid making these same missteps. 

Since then, I’ve identified three additional negotiation tactics that end up putting you in a terrible position at the table. 

Read on to learn more about each of them and what you can do to avoid having these negotiation tactics derail your efforts.

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10 Phrases That Reveal (Dangerous) Hidden Negotiations

By Chris Voss | August 09, 2021

“The most dangerous negotiation is the one you don’t know you’re in.” What hidden negotiations drain your time (your most valuable commodity) each and every day? 

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The Conflict Resolution Strategies That Will Save Your Relationships

By Chris Voss | June 07, 2021

To get your point across AND save your relationships, implement this mechanism when you’re in a disagreement:

“Before I disagree, let me make sure I can summarize your point of view …”

They will listen. And they will be warned in advance that you have an opposing viewpoint. No one is misled, and your integrity is intact. (Although your integrity was intact anyway. Tactical Empathy™ isn’t agreement. Those of you who have used Tactical Empathy have already found this to be true.)

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How to Make the Seemingly Impossible Real: Two Must-Read Books for Negotiators

By Chris Voss | March 29, 2021

What makes a good negotiator? Constant practice and a dedication to learning. And what’s one way you can continue learning? Read. Here are two must-read books for negotiators.

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Negotiation Training: The 7 Deadly Sins of Negotiation

By Chris Voss | February 22, 2021

What are The Black Swan Group’s 7 Deadly Sins of Negotiation™ and how can you ensure you don’t fall victim to them? Here’s what you need to know.

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Dealing with a Cut-throat Negotiator

By Chris Voss | January 04, 2021

The Black Swan Method™ was originally designed for the cut-throat negotiator. Check out this quick clip to learn how to deal with these folks (and keep reading through to the end of the article for a bonus tip): 

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3 Ways You’re Stacking The Odds Against Yourself in Negotiations

By Chris Voss | November 16, 2020

At Black Swan, we teach our clients all sorts of tactics they can employ to achieve better outcomes in their personal and professional lives.

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to flip the script a bit and talk about tactics to avoid. Here are three common negotiating tactics that make it that much harder for you to get the results you want:

  1. Cutting your price
  2. Emulating the lizards
  3. Not finding out

Let’s explore each of them so you can learn what to do to avoid stacking the odds against yourself.

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