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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Communication and Negotiation Techniques When Dealing with a Board

By Brandon Voss | October 11, 2021

When you deal with a board, you’re in a high-stakes negotiation. Whether your goal is buying a company, getting investment in a fund, or encouraging a pharmaceutical company to pivot from one drug to the next, there is a lot on the line, so you need to bring your A game to get the deal you’re after.

Next time you head into the boardroom, keep these communication and negotiation techniques in mind to increase the chances you achieve your desired outcome.

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5 Tips for Improving Communication in the Workplace

By Sandy Hein | August 23, 2021

Poor communication can have a devastating impact on any workplace environment. Not only does it derail productivity, frustrate employees, and damage morale, but it also takes a massive bite out of your bottom line. 

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The Conflict Resolution Strategies That Will Save Your Relationships

By Chris Voss | June 07, 2021

To get your point across AND save your relationships, implement this mechanism when you’re in a disagreement:

“Before I disagree, let me make sure I can summarize your point of view …”

They will listen. And they will be warned in advance that you have an opposing viewpoint. No one is misled, and your integrity is intact. (Although your integrity was intact anyway. Tactical Empathy™ isn’t agreement. Those of you who have used Tactical Empathy have already found this to be true.)

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How to Approach Difficult Conversations with Co-workers

By Milton “Troy” Smith | May 17, 2021

Though I’ve retired from active duty, I’m still a reserve deputy in my local county. Recently, a new assistant chief came into the department and wanted to show the rest of the crew that he had power. So he met with the reserves and talked about 10 different projects he wanted to get off the ground.

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4 Ways to Get Everything You Want in a Contract Negotiation

By Brandon Voss | March 01, 2021

Every negotiator wants the same thing: getting exactly what we want every time we sit down at the table.

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The Most Underutilized Negotiation Skill

By Milton “Troy” Smith | February 15, 2021

The first time I ever handled a hostage negotiation, the whole thing was over in five minutes. I thought that negotiation was easy and that I was a natural.

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What Is The Black Swan Group's Negotiation 9™ (N9™)?

By Sandy Hein | February 08, 2021

The Black Swan Group’s Negotiation 9™ (N9™) are the nine skills that make it easy to achieve Tactical Empathy™ (TE™) —the best way to accomplish trust-based influence, which should be your primary goal every time you step to the table. 

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Why Good Cop, Bad Cop in a Negotiation is a Terrible Idea

By Brandon Voss | February 01, 2021

If you’ve ever seen practically any movie that involves police officers, you’re familiar with the good cop/bad cop negotiation strategy. During an interrogation, one cop is super nice and the other is a complete jerk.

Though this strategy might lend itself nicely to the silver screen, it’s not something you should ever rely on in the world of high-stakes negotiation. Here’s why:

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Communication Skills: How to Deliver Bad News

By Derek Gaunt | January 11, 2021

In an ideal world, everything would be rosy, and you’d never have to deliver bad news to your direct reports. But there comes a time when every leader needs to give negative feedback or share news the team doesn’t want to hear. The way you approach these delicate conversations will make all the difference in the world.

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