Does Eye Contact Help or Hurt a Negotiation?

By Barbara Thomas | September 19, 2022

Eye contact can make or break a negotiation. 

Too much eye contact can make your counterpart very uncomfortable. If you are engaged in a conversation and you appear to be staring, you become a distraction. The consequence of this is that your counterpart may become disengaged and Instead of listening to what you are saying the concern will be about why you’re staring at them.

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3 Communication Skills to Close Deals Faster

By Milton “Troy” Smith | August 29, 2022

The Black Swan Group has a saying: It’s not a sin to not get the deal, but it is a sin to take a long time to not get the deal.

Next time you find yourself at the table, use these communication skills to close deals faster and enjoy better business outcomes.

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5 Ways to Control Your Emotions During Negotiations

By Sandy Hein | August 22, 2022

Even the most talented negotiators struggle with their emotions from time to time. 

At the end of the day, emotions are one thing we can’t fully control. We’re all human, and it’s only a matter of time before we respond to something or someone with emotion. That’s just the way it is.

Although you can’t prevent emotions from affecting negotiations, you can devise a plan to reduce their impact. With that in mind, let’s look at five ways to control your emotions during negotiations and experience better business outcomes.

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Communications Skills: Handling Objections

By Barbara Thomas | August 15, 2022

The best negotiators in the world are great at handling objections. 

When you find yourself operating in the world of high-stakes negotiations, it’s only a matter of time before your counterpart objects to what you’re saying. If your goal is making a deal regardless, you need to figure out how to overcome objections and keep the conversation moving.

In most cases, objections occur because of price. Your counterpart might not have room in the budget to cover your costs or the flexibility to give you a better deal. 

Either way, before handling objections, you must remain curious and figure out why your counterpart is pushing back. Once you’ve determined where the objections are coming from, you can defuse them using these three Black Swan skills.

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Navigating Language Barriers in International Negotiations

By Milton “Troy” Smith | July 25, 2022

As we continue coaching clients all around the world, there’s a tendency we see over and over again in which folks think that certain negotiation tactics only work in the United States. 

We remind these people that hostage negotiators are all trained the same way, whether they work in Tokyo, Jakarta, Berlin, Johannesburg, or Santiago. The underlying Black Swan skills are universal because human nature is the same regardless of where you go.

That said, international negotiations are not without their challenges. Chief among them is the fact that language barriers exist. Certain words don’t have the same meaning when translated into different languages. 

Keep reading to learn more about the challenges inherent in international negotiations and what you can do to get your desired outcomes.

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Why Is Listening the Key to Active Communication?

By Milton “Troy” Smith | June 27, 2022

Every person on this planet—regardless of where they hail from or their culture, ethnicity, or gender—wants someone else to understand their perspective, environment, and circumstances. 

This is precisely why listening is the key to active communication.

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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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