3 Negotiation Exercises to Sharpen Your Skills

By Milton “Troy” Smith | September 26, 2022

The skills we teach at The Black Swan Group can help you transform your approach to negotiation. But, just like anything else, the skills are perishable. If you want to unlock their full potential, you need to practice regularly.

Ultimately, the only way to become a more effective negotiator is by using the skills. In fact, everyone on the Black Swan team uses negotiation skills every day because it helps us stay sharp and continuously improve. The more you practice, the more confident you become—which is particularly helpful when the stakes are highest.

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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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How to Say “No” in a Negotiation

By Derek Gaunt | July 11, 2022

Saying no is the most assertive thing you can do in a negotiation, meaning you should only do it when absolutely necessary.

We encourage clients to embrace the concept of the “Phases of No,” in which we let no out a little bit at a time. This method enables us to let the counterpart hear and feel no without actually saying the word.

Now and again, however, you do need to say the word no. But you should only do that when you have dumped a heavy load of Tactical Empathy™ on the front end. That’s because Tactical Empathy encourages reciprocity. We go heavy on the front end because we want our counterpart to reciprocate when we ultimately make our ask.

When used correctly, the Phases of No does two things:

  1. It allows us to use that reciprocated Tactical Empathy.
  2. It encourages our counterparts to begin bargaining with themselves.

In other words, the Phases of No engages both sides of your counterpart’s brain, allowing them to get a better feel for you.

Keep reading to learn more about the Phases of No and how to say no most effectively:

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Negotiation Training: When to Walk Away

By Milton “Troy” Smith | July 04, 2022

The Black Swan Group has a saying: It’s not a sin to not get a deal, but it is a sin to not get a deal and waste a lot of time in the process.

Sometimes, negotiators overcommit to try to get the deal no matter the circumstances. Unfortunately, there isn’t always a deal to be made. Sometimes you’re the favorite, but other times you’re the fool, and the other side is just talking to you to get information they can use to get a better deal from somebody else.

How do you know whether you’re the favorite or the fool? Simple: Ask Proof of Life™ questions.

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Black Swan Negotiation Skills Training: Quick 2+1™

By Derek Gaunt | June 20, 2022

We start every Black Swan live training session with the same exercise: the Quick 2+1™. It’s our foundational skill set. 

At the end of the day, people know how to ask questions, provide summaries, and paraphrase their counterpart’s position. But they struggle with Labels™, Mirrors™, and Dynamic Silence™—the three tools that make up the Quick 2+1.   

These tools are incredibly effective. They’re the fastest way to demonstrate that you’re dialed in and present in the conversation. 

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How to Negotiate Without Saying a Word

By Chris Voss | May 09, 2022

Is it ridiculous to think you can negotiate without saying a word? 

The infamous ratio The Black Swan Method™ teaches is 7:38:55. This means that the meaning of a message is the sum of words (7 percent), tonality (38 percent), and body language (55 percent).  

Keep reading to learn how to use nonverbal communication in negotiation.

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What Type of Negotiation Are You Walking Into?

By Brandon Voss | April 18, 2022

At a high level, The Black Swan Group believes that all negotiations are the same. Whenever you find yourself in a negotiation, regardless of the circumstances:

  • You and your counterpart will both need something from each other. 
  • Both of you will also need to manage negative emotions. 
  • You’re going to look like a threat when the negotiation gets started.
  • Ultimately, you want to get to a place where your counterpart is solving problems for you.

These concepts apply to every single negotiation. 

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Becoming a Master Negotiator: Trigger Kindness Moments Everyday

By Chris Voss | February 21, 2022

Want to become a master negotiator? Do these two things: 

  1. Have a list of go-to phrases.  
  2. Never be mean to someone who can hurt you by doing nothing. 

Read on to develop your list and see how I dodged a bullet at a TSA screening point. 

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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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Negotiation Tactics: 3 Ways to Avoid Taking Yourself Hostage

By Chris Voss | August 30, 2021

A while back, I wrote about three ways negotiators take themselves hostage and what you can do to avoid making these same missteps. 

Since then, I’ve identified three additional negotiation tactics that end up putting you in a terrible position at the table. 

Read on to learn more about each of them and what you can do to avoid having these negotiation tactics derail your efforts.

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