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 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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Are You Tactical-Empathy Curious?

By Chris Voss | May 20, 2019

First things first: Watch this absolutely hilarious Chris Voss TEDx talk on tactical empathy.

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How to Tell If Someone Is Bluffing

By Chris Voss | April 22, 2019

How do we know whether our counterpart is serious or just taking a position to try to outmaneuver us? And how do we protect the relationship while we find out?

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The 3 Laws of Leverage

By Chris Voss | April 08, 2019

There are generally three ways to think about leverage in negotiations:

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How to Deal with a Liar During Negotiations

By Chris Voss | March 04, 2019

Our company used to say, “Yes is nothing without how.” But after years of negotiations, we’ve realized that this isn’t completely accurate. In reality, yes means nothing. How is everything.

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The Four-Step Process To Get You Better Offers

By Chris Voss | February 25, 2019

After receiving an offer, you may be asking yourself, “How do I know I got everything that I could have gotten?”

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3 Books You Must Read in the 1st Quarter of 2019 to Become a Better Negotiator

By Chris Voss | January 28, 2019

If you’re looking to sustain a competitive advantage, make a habit out of reading. Devoting yourself to just one chapter a night will keep negotiating tactics top of mind and turn you into a natural.

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3 Ways People Take Themselves Hostage in Negotiations and What to Do About It

By Chris Voss | January 07, 2019

As a professional negotiator, I’ve witnessed a fair share of negotiation mishaps and mistakes. When conversations and deals fall apart, it’s usually not because of anything the other side said. More often, it’s because the lead negotiator unintentionally sabotaged themselves. Below, I’ve outlined the three most common ways that people take themselves hostage in negotiations—and how to overcome them.  

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The 5 New Rules for Winning Negotiations

By Chris Voss | December 17, 2018

Who knew hostage negotiation actually uses the same principles that apply to all negotiations?! Hostage negotiation started in the 1970s, before Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, before neuroscience, and before emotional intelligence. We thought we were dealing with an aspect of human behavior that was the exception to everyday life. What we didn’t know is that we were dealing with the essence of everyday life and had the rules for all negotiations. Here are those five rules for winning negotiations:

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4 Steps to Gaining the Upper Hand in a Negotiation

By Chris Voss | December 03, 2018

The secret to gaining the upper hand in a negotiation is to give the other party the illusion of control. But how do you flip the control dynamic on its head?

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