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Former FBI Negotiator Teaches Business Negotiation Skills – 3 Emotional Intelligences that Lead to Success

ZUU Online SG logo ZUU Online SG 12/1/2019 ZUU
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Negotiation skills are essential for career progression as they allow you to build a relationship of trust, even in short-term negotiations such as sales, by exerting a positive influence.

The negotiation skills of former FBI negotiator Chris Voss, which put the focus on the relationships between one person and another, and place emphasis on influencing the other person’s opinion, are useful in business and even in one’s private life.

What are the 3 emotional intelligences useful for negotiation, persuasion and conflict?

Voss, in his FBI days, boasted a 15-year career as a kidnapping negotiator. The number of cases he handled exceeds 150, making him a top-class kidnapping negotiator among thousands of FBI agents around the world.

Opportunities to negotiate for hostages like Voss was doing do not come around that often, but opportunities to negotiate in a business setting and in one’s personal life will arise for everyone. The contents of the negotiations will vary, it might be “acquiring new customers”, “winning a large contract”, “getting a pay rise or annual leave” or “making children who want to play games study”.

Justin Bariso, who explains Voss’s experience and technique in the book “EQ Applied”, says that to manage relationships with influence, the three emotional intelligences of “self-recognition”, “self-management” and “social consciousness” become necessary. These skills are useful for negotiation, persuasion, and conflict management under many different circumstances.

The key to successful negotiation is “influence”

The key to making negotiations successful is “influence”. The result is decided by whether one is able to, without showing forceful or commanding behaviour, exert an influence large enough to change the other person’s mind or not.

How can one exert an influence on another person? For example, even if it is a short-term negotiation like sales, it is important to be aware of building human relationships through “interaction (mutually influencing each other)”.

Positive or negative influences such as “helping/being helped” and “harming/being harmed” are hidden in every human relationship. Human relationships change depending on your ability to influence the other person and the other person’s ability to influence you. For a faint-hearted salesman and a dictatorial negotiation partner who does not accept yes or no, it would seem that the negotiation partner is in a superior position from the beginning, but it is possible to reverse the situation.

Taking time, without forgetting the purpose of the negotiation

Take as much time as possible to complete the negotiation. The more time you spend with the other person, the more your influence on the other person increases, and the other person’s influence on you also increases. In other words, the longer the negotiation takes, the higher the possibility of the negotiation succeeding becomes, but conversely, the risk of being rejected by the other person also becomes higher.

When conducting negotiations, it is important not to forget the “purpose” of the negotiation, even for a moment. If the negotiation is prolonged, various thoughts that are not directly related to the negotiation tend to enter. For example, you are supposed to be negotiating a new contract, but, when trying to soften the other person, you have inadvertently ended up getting excited talking about golf, or where, intending to coax your children to study, have permitted only 15 minutes of gaming, but, when you noticed, as much as an hour had passed.

What should be applied to avoid negotiations becoming derailed are “self-recognition”, “self-management” and “social consciousness”. If you apply these three skills enough, you should be able to persuade or motivate the other person, manage confrontations more effectively, and receive maximum benefits.

Voss’s example of success using negotiation skills

Let us cite an example from a negotiation that Voss made successfully using his negotiation skills. In 1998, in New York’s Harlem, armed men took a woman hostage and barricaded themselves in an apartment. The crime group had already caused a dispute with a rival gang group a few days ago. While SWAT was on standby at the rear, Voss, at the end of over-the-door negotiations that extended to as long as 6 hours, succeeded in making the group release the hostage and come out voluntarily from the apartment. There were no casualties, and no shots were fired.

During the negotiation, the criminals did not respond to Voss’s communication even once, leading Voss to wonder, “Is the inside of the room empty?”

Voss, when negotiating, used “the tone of a DJ’s voice flowing in a late-night FM broadcast”, and repeated lines with strong psychological influence such as “You don’t seem to want to come out of there”, “Are you worried that when you open the door, we will rush in firing our guns in the end?” “You wouldn’t want to go back to prison?”

The criminals later said, “We didn’t want to be arrested or shot, but Voss calmed us down” and “We finally surrendered because we understood that we couldn’t escape even if we stayed here”.

There is no doubt that tenacity and proficient skills led the negotiation to succeed. How about people who say, “Even if I practice various negotiation skills, I am still poor at them”. Perhaps they should begin by reviewing their way of building relationships with people?

Here are some other interesting articles you should check out:

・Homeowners are choosing to improve their homes instead of moving. The cause is soaring house prices in the US

・Top 5 books to read before any negotiation

・Why do Students in the USA Use Loans with Annual Interest Rates of 400%?


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