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Jan 23, 2019

Chris Voss. To get to the level of being a hostage negotiator for the FBI, you’ve got to be an skilled communicator. Chris Voss is just that and no stranger to making things happen. In this episode he shares communication insights and teaches that negotiation is perishable.

  • Look for how people tell the truth - we only tell the truth one way but we lie 7 or 8 different ways
  • Truth comes in the corrections - if you can get someone to correct you, they’ll feel authoritative and in charge and they’ll give more information
  • Smiling is a good business practice - smiling at someone positively changes their brain chemistry and makes them more open to communication
  • We are 31% smarter in a positive frame of mind
  • The old saying ‘seek first to understand and then to be understood’ can be expanded to seek first to show how/what you understand because that helps the other side open up
  • “You’re right” is a convo ender - the other side doesn’t feel understood so they just want you to stop talking
  • If you can call out the elephant in the room, you are seen as more authoritative, responsible and responsive
  • 63-64 reps build the skill in your head

In addition to the reps building the skill, Chris also had these great tips about becoming an excellent communicator:

  • Take your time and let the convos come to you
  • Low stakes practice for your high stakes performances
  • Make verbal observations ie, when someone says “do you have a minute to talk?” respond “sounds like there is something on your mind” - you’ll get to the root faster with a shorter conversation and the other party will feel understood
  • Whoever names price first loses; whoever is doing the most talking is losing
  • In conversations it should be 5:1 listening to talking. Use your five senses to listen

For more great information about communicating well and effectively, you can text FBIEMPATHY to 22828 - this gets you subscribed to Chris’ newsletter ‘The Edge’. You can also check out his book ‘Never Split the Difference; Negotiate like Your Life Depends On It.’ You can learn more about Chris at