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

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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How to Deal with Someone Who’s Using Black Swan Tactics on You

By Chris Voss | November 09, 2020

You enter a negotiation. What if there’s a Black Swan-trained ninja on the other side?

In such a scenario, you’re most likely dealing with one of three tactics:

  1. How am I supposed to do that?
  2. A No-oriented question™ 
  3. Some sort of Label™ (that’s giving you a bad feeling)
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2 Expert Negotiator Concepts That Have Evolved Since Never Split The Difference™ Was Published

By Chris Voss | November 02, 2020

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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Seven Seconds: How to Crush Your First Impression

By Chris Voss | October 22, 2020

This blog was originally published on 11/26/2018 and updated on 10/22/2020.

Seven seconds.

That’s all the time you have to make a first impression, and you need to make a good one.

But how?

Watch these short two-minute videos to find out what you need to do during those seven seconds. 

(Hint: It’s not confidence, and you don’t get there by asking yes-oriented questions. You also don’t get there by clubbing them with their first name over and over again.)

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How to Practice Negotiation Skills by Yourself

By Chris Voss | October 05, 2020

How can you practice negotiation skills by yourself? 

Read on to learn how to build yourself into an elite negotiator using a technique great athletes use: visualization.

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How to Negotiate When the Decision Maker Isn't Present

By Chris Voss | September 28, 2020

Everyone wants to get to the decision maker (the DM). They’re the person we need to persuade to get what we want, after all.

But the decision maker isn’t always at the table when we are. Here are three tips that will make you much more effective when you find yourself in that scenario.

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How to Make the Most of a Good Faith Negotiation

By Chris Voss | September 21, 2020

In a good faith negotiation, hope is high and relationships are great! 

What’s wrong with that? Hope is not a strategy.  

Keep reading to learn how to keep yourself from getting blindsided and losing when you find yourself in the throes of a good faith negotiation.

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How to Negotiate with Difficult People

By Chris Voss | September 17, 2020

I’m on the wrong side of customs in Australia, and my bags are still inside. I’m not interested in getting stranded or missing my connection, and I’m also not keen on wearing the same clothes for five days and brushing my teeth with the hotel-provided toothbrush.

Here’s how I got out of this jam: I’m here to sign up for the Stupid American of the Year Award.

But first: How did I get into this predicament to begin with?

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3 Things We've Learned About Negotiation During COVID-19

By Chris Voss | September 14, 2020

We’ve all learned many things due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, we’ve even learned three new things about negotiation:

  1. You will be faced with three types of counterparts.
  2. Safety, trust, and need are the keys.
  3. The Accusation Audit™ is the game changer.

Keep reading to learn more about each of these ideas.

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The Three Types of Yeses You’ll Hear During a Negotiation

By Chris Voss | August 31, 2020

In the world of negotiation, the word yes doesn’t always mean the same thing.

At The Black Swan Group, we teach that there are three different types of yeses:

  1. The confirmation yes
  2. The commitment yes
  3. The counterfeit yes

Here’s how to navigate each of them when you find yourself in the throes of a negotiation.

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