5 Reasons Fear-Based Leadership Is Ineffective

By Derek Gaunt | September 07, 2020

Show me a leader who uses fear to get the troops in line, and I’ll show you a toxic environment.

Unfortunately, far too many leaders use fear to get their employees to do their bidding. Maybe the leader constantly reminds employees about the company’s dire finances during COVID and suggests that it’s only a matter of time before someone needs to be let go. Or maybe the leader enjoys calling out an employee’s mistakes to the whole group—leading everyone to constantly worry about being embarrassed or belittled for not meeting the boss’s expectations.

Whatever the case, fear-based leadership is ineffective. There are leaders who might be tempted to use their ego and authority to torment their teams and remind them who’s boss, it’s impossible to get the best business outcomes when you take this approach. 

Read More >

Negotiation Skills Training: The Key to Disarming The Attack

By Brandon Voss | September 03, 2020

This blog was originally published on 7/23/2018 and updated on 9/3/2020.

When you go into a negotiation that is likely to be combative, there are strategies you can adopt to overcome those points of contention.

Most of these strategies involve ignoring your natural inclinations to right the wrongs, explain the why, and promise to make sure your counterpart won’t have to experience the irritation ever again.

Keep reading to learn five strategies you can use to disarm the attack.

Read More >

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.

Read More >

Negotiation Training: 3 Steps to Finding Out If You've Left Anything on the Table

By Chris Voss | August 27, 2020

This blog was originally published on 10/26/2015 and updated on 8/27/2020.

“How do I know whether I’ve gotten everything I could have out of a deal?”

This is one of the most common questions people ask me. To be fair, it’s a great question—and one that nags all of us.

What if I told you that you can make sure you haven’t left anything on the table by following a simple three-step process that requires very little energy on your end?

Read More >

What Is the Black Swan Accusation Audit™?

By Derek Gaunt | August 24, 2020

When you’re in the middle of a negotiation and the other side’s head is filled with negative thoughts and ideas, there’s a black hole vortex in their thinking. They can’t think clearly, and in many cases, they might not even be able to hear what you’re saying at all because their internal monologue is hogging the microphone.

The good news is that you can stifle these negative thoughts and make sure your counterpart is more receptive to your message by using a technique we created called the Accusation Audit™.

Read More >

How to Be More Persuasive Over Email

By Brandon Voss | August 20, 2020

This blog was originally published on 10/29/2018 and updated on 8/20/2020.

Most people have mixed feelings about email. 

On one hand, email allows us to instantly communicate with people around the world much more efficiently than sending a carrier pigeon. On the other, email can be incredibly overwhelming. One recent study, for example, found that the average U.S. worker spends nearly six hours each day checking their email.

Six hours!

(To be fair, that breaks down to 209 minutes on work email and 143 minutes on personal email. It turns out we’re not always focused on our responsibilities when we’re in the office. Who knew?)

The fact that email is a text-based form of communication is both its biggest asset and its greatest drawback. Unlike having a face-to-face conversation with an in-person human being, email is a blank slate. Though we can get our words across, it’s harder to convey our tone of voice and the nonverbal cues that are a critical component of constructive communication.

This makes email a very efficient communications tool—but also one that leaves a minefield of potential miscommunications.

In business, most emails are a form of negotiation. We ask someone to read our message and respond in a certain way or take a certain action within a specific time frame. 

To help you get better results, here are six tips that can help you be more persuasive over email.

Read More >

How to Demonstrate Leadership Virtually

By Derek Gaunt | August 17, 2020

If you’re like many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced your organization to work remotely and embrace the virtual office.

Because of the current state of the world, practically everything is relegated to the digital environment. If you’re used to managing a team in an office setting, you might be thinking that you’ll need to adapt your approach to the new way of working.

Not so fast: When you’re leading virtually, your roles and responsibilities stay the same

There are, however, a few different tactics you may want to prioritize to help your team adjust to “the new normal.” Try them out when you’re trying to demonstrate leadership virtually.

Read More >

Communication Skills: Did You Know There Are 5 Levels of Listening?

By Derek Gaunt | August 13, 2020

This blog was originally published on 5/14/2018 and updated on 8/13/2020.

Most people who think they are good listeners underperform—by as much as 60 percent, in fact, according to some research. It turns out that overconfidence actually impedes their success. 

Being too confident actually prevents you from truly understanding the motivation of the other side, which prevents you from being able to use Tactical Empathy™ to get the outcomes you’re going for. 

Read More >

How to Develop Your Mindset Before a Negotiation

By Brandon Voss | August 10, 2020

In a previous post, we outlined the important role mindset—the set of attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions that governs your behavior—plays in negotiation.

When you head into a negotiation expecting that there won’t be any issues, you’ll be knocked off balance when issues invariably rear their ugly head.

On the other hand, when you head into a negotiation expecting that there will be issues, you’ve come in with the proper mindset for navigating whatever obstacles arise with agility and dexterity.

Understanding the importance of mindset is one thing. Knowing how to develop your mindset before a negotiation is quite another. With that in mind, here are four steps that can help you get into the right frame of mind before you sit down at the table.

Read More >

Communication Skills: How to Use a Cold Read and Accusation Audit

By Derek Gaunt | August 06, 2020

This blog was originally published on 4/17/2017 and updated on 8/6/2020.

A few years ago, I was the only hostage negotiator in a room full of SWAT guys. 

The quarterly meeting was for SWAT guys, by SWAT guys, and I was an interloper in hostile territory.

Why was I there? To request a piece of their pie. 

The SWAT group had a training operations cache of about $78,000. Because they hadn’t spent any of the money over several years, I wanted to know whether I could grab $9,000 each year to train negotiators.

I used two communication skills—a Cold Read and an Accusation Audit™—to walk out of the room with what I wanted.

Read More >
Have questions about training, speaking engagements, or coaching?
Contact Us