This is another installment of The Self Care series, started in honor of Mac Miller, to address topics concerning our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Something that hits on all three is the art of negotiation. Every week, we encounter dozens of negotiation opportunities, big and small, that require listening, communication, and confidence. This week, we sit down with expert negotiator Brandon Voss. He is the director of training & operations at The Black Swan Group, the premier company and source for learning negotiation techniques when compromise is not an option. Chris Voss, the founder of Black Swan and Brandon’s father, has a quarter century’s worth of FBI experience, was the FBI Lead International Kidnapping Negotiator, and authored the best selling book Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.
As the Director of Training and Operations, Brandon has been instrumental in adapting FBI Hostage Negotiation Techniques to the Business World. In addition to Training Clients, Brandon has given talks at USC Marshall School of Business, Georgetown McDonough School of Business, and organizations like Policy Innovators of Education.
On this episode, Brandon breaks down many key tenets from the book Never Split The Difference, including how to actively listen, asking calibrated questions to discover more information, the power of silence, and how to get anyone to respond to an email. Personally, I’ve read this book once and listened to the audiobook on a separate occasion. I use many of these tactics daily and have gotten many interviews with bigger artists using things I’ve learned from this book. Even if you aren’t closing fortune 500 deals at the big table, you will find plenty of value in this episode. Life is a negotiation, whether you realize it or not. From bargaining baggage fees at the airport to asking someone out on a date, these principles apply to situations we encounter every day. Negotiation is a practice and what better way to start than with someone who’s made negotiation their life mission. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Brandon Voss.