DIG Insurance & Business Magazine Fall 2020 - Page 15


Here ’ s how to negotiate with your vendors , clients , counterparts , and colleagues so we all survive and put ourselves in a position to pick up the pieces after the pandemic .

Here are three steps to fix your deals during this time :
1 . Deactivate the fears 2 . Use dynamic silence 3 . Shape new thinking with a “ How ?”
“ This is total chaos .”
This comes straight from a colleague ’ s description and then you add in some more deactivating labels to clear the mind as much as possible .
“ You guys are desperate . You ’ re scared this whole thing is going to get out of control and it ’ s going to destroy you and your company .”
This is exactly what people are thinking . You don ’ t get rid of the elephant in the room by a ) pretending it isn ’ t there or b ) ignoring it .
You also don ’ t get rid of the elephant in the room by explaining it away . As Ronald Reagan said , “ If you ’ re explaining , you ’ re losing .”
Calling out their fears in a fearless , deferential way is the best way to clear out someone ’ s thinking . This is the best chance of success and the key approach hostage negotiators have used for decades to return people to their Normal Functioning Level .
You may have also noticed we ’ ve removed the “ seems ” “ sounds ” “ looks ” “ feels ” portions of the labels and are going in much more directly . In times of higher emotions , it is effective to go straight in and remove any tentativeness .
This is the point you go dead silent . Count “ one-thousands ” ( one-one thousand , two-one thousand , etc .) in your head . You cannot go onto the next step while their thinking is still clouded with fear .
Wait until they signal that they are ready for you to proceed . If you do get to 10-one thousand say “ It seems like you feel it ’ s even worse than I ’ ve said .”
This is the wash-rinse-repeat cycle . They will give you the green light to go ahead if you repeat it enough .
Moving on to the “ how ” too soon is building a house on a foundation that will collapse .
Calibrated , targeted use of the word “ How ?” is a Thought-Shaping Question . ™ In a deferential tone of voice , we want to shape their thinking around collaboration . And not just surviving but thriving in the future .
Maslow ’ s Hierarchy of Needs taught us before people can consider thriving , they have to get over being worried about surviving .
Deference is the key . You don ’ t want your tone of voice to trigger their defenses and destroy the groundwork you ’ ve laid when you deactivated their fears .
“ How do we work our way through this so that we don ’ t destroy each other , and we put ourselves in a position to pick up the pieces and work together when this is over ?”
A deferential “ How ?” triggers what Daniel Kahneman would call “ Slow thinking ,” or in-depth , stop you in your tracks thinking . It is designed to activate deep contemplation .
And again , a deferential tone of voice is critical to this .
Vision drives decision . You specifically present them with the choice between the mutual assured destruction of the moment and uncertainty of what ’ s coming or picking up the pieces together on the other side .
Every time you sense the fear returning in the conversation , you have to go back to simply stating it out loud . Nothing drives a stake through the heart of fear better than calling it out .
“ You ’ re scared there is no upside .” “ It sounds like you ’ re scared there is no upside .”
“ It ' s scary to not know how long this is going to take to play out .”
No denials and no using “ but .” “ But ” is an erasing word and you don ’ t want it to erase the effectiveness of the Tactical Empathy™ you ’ ve implemented thus far . Tactical Empathy™ is a powerful two-way street , and to get it running two ways you ’ ve got to give it out in heavy doses first .
No “ we ” as in “ we ’ re all scared .” Statements like , “ We ’ re all scared ” is not the way to deactivate their fears . The harsh reality is , it ' s self-centered and implies “ Can ’ t you see I ’ m scared , too ?” The best activation of empathy is to give it first and let it sink in .
Now is the time for Tactical Empathy . ™ It ' s your best chance of success and leaves you in the best position to accelerate , not just after this time-period is over , to accelerate during it . +
Chris Voss is CEO of the Black Swan Group and author of the national best seller " Never Split The Difference : Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It ," which was named one of the seven best books on negotiation . A 24-year veteran of the FBI , Chris retired as the lead international kidnapping negotiator . Drawing on his experience in high-stakes negotiations , his company specializes in solving business communication problems using hostage negotiation solutions . BlackSwanltd . com
For those who are ready for a deeper dive into Never Split the Difference , Black Swan Group offers an online course with chapter videos delivered monthly that can be viewed at your convenience . With more than seven hours of content split across 12 chapters , this course offers updated concepts from the book , exercises for practicing the skills , and a dynamic final simulation to test your knowledge . This course is perfect for anyone who wants to develop the skills they need to get the best deal possible — on their schedule . blackswanltd . com / services / training-for-individuals / online-courses