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

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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Seven Seconds: How to Crush Your First Impression

By Chris Voss | November 26, 2018

How much time do you have to make a first impression? Seven seconds.

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How to Negotiate with Difficult People

By Chris Voss | September 17, 2018

“I’m here to sign-up for the stupid American of the day award.”  

What made me say that? I’m on the wrong side of customs in Australia and my bags are still inside. And I’m not interested in getting stranded and missing my connection, or wearing the same clothes for five days and brushing my teeth with the hotel provided toothbrush.

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5 Tricks To Repair A Bad Business Relationship

By Chris Voss | September 10, 2018

The ability to repair suffering relationships is a vital business skill. Cultivating emotional intelligence and control will give you a competitive edge in the negotiation and empower you to be effective under pressure.

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Fine-Tune Your Business Negotiation Skills in 6 Steps

By Chris Voss | July 31, 2018

To be a compelling and consistent negotiator, it’s important to keep learning new skills and evolving your approach as you grow. Even veteran negotiators can benefit from some expert tips. We’ve laid out six tried-and-true methods to help you fine-tune your negotiation skills and improve your effectiveness in business dealings.

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How To Easily Improve Your Negotiation Skills Every Day

By Chris Voss | June 18, 2018


“Do the homework, and the test is easy.” Dr. Jeff Spencer


You need about 63-65 repetitions of use of a skill to build the neural pathway, so its use is comfortable, to put you on the path to mastery. But how? Where can you get your low stakes practice for your high stakes performance?

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The #1 Way to Perfect This Key Skill

By Chris Voss | May 07, 2018

This is also the #1 way to deal with everyone who wants to suck up your time on the phone, from colleagues to cold-calling sales-people with “Have you got a few minutes to talk?”

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The 3 Best Tactics To Not Name Price First

By Chris Voss | April 16, 2018

When someone asks you “How much?”, what’s the worst thing you can do?

Answer with a price.

The traditional wisdom is “He (or she) who names a price first loses.” The academics will advise you the opposite! They say seize the initiative and set the price range with an anchor!

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How to Gain Control in a Negotiation in 4 Steps

By Chris Voss | April 02, 2018

The secret to gaining the upper hand in negotiation is to give the other side the illusion of control.  If knowledge is power, what you really want to gain is knowledge in the interaction without really giving much information away. 

Here’s how to flip the control dynamic on it’s head and enjoy the process. 

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