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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Communication Skills: 3 Ways To Make “No” Work For You

By Chris Voss | June 06, 2022

Does yes really always mean yes?

Absolutely not.

When we say yes, we’re committing to something. And immediately after we’ve committed, we begin worrying about what we’ve just signed up for.

This means, at best, every yes is a conditional yes. And oftentimes, it’s even worse: a counterfeit yes that’s uttered simply to get the other side to shut up.

Would it be ridiculous to find out that getting the other side to say no is actually what you should be gunning for when you sit down at the table?

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How To Get Buy-In With The 3 Most Effective Communication Techniques

By Brandon Voss | May 16, 2022

This blog was originally published on 03/6/2017 and updated on 7/16/2020.

Negotiation is an information-gathering process. It’s not about getting your points across. It’s about using Tactical Empathy™ to uncover the information you need to understand exactly where your counterpart is coming from—and then making sure they know that you understand them.

The best negotiators never sit down at the table hoping to get the other side to understand them. Just like Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests, “Seek to understand before being understood.” 

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How to Deal with a Boss Who’s a Bully (and a Micromanager)

By Chris Voss | December 20, 2021

The secret to getting the upper hand in a negotiation is giving the other side the illusion of control. 

There is great power in deference, especially because bullies (and micromanagers) are fear-driven and afraid of being out of control. Keep reading to learn how to deal with them. 

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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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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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