Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Service Spring 2021 - Page 17

SIMPLE NEGOTIATION said to themselves , It ’ s not my job to tell some idiot how to find the event .
You can shatter that disposition by using a cold read and an accusations audit effectively . This will put the other side in a pleasant mood , and help you figure out how to get to where you ’ re going faster .
Here ’ s a real-world example of how these tactics work .
A while back , I was on my way to a LEAP Foundatwion mentoring event for youth at UCLA . ( LEAP is an awesome organization founded by Dr . Bill Dorfman ).
It ’ s a Saturday , and the event is a pretty big one ( thanks to Dr . Bill ). LEAP does amazing work , and kids come from literally all around the world to attend these events because Dr . Bill gets celebrities like Mark Wahlberg and Paula Abdul to speak at them .
Although I was a little lost , I knew I was in the right parking ramp on the UCLA campus . But I also realized that if I went out the wrong way , I would have to travel all the way around the entire university complex to get to where I needed to be .
I started driving around inside the garage looking for a security guard or a maintenance person .
Because of the high-profile nature of the event , every employee had to have been aware it was going on . That , plus the fact that there ’ s probably no shortage of people like me looking for the entrance because we didn ’ t follow the directions closely enough . At this point , I assumed that most regular employees were probably hiding from the wandering “ tourists ” because they didn ’ t want to answer the same questions over and over again .
The phrase I don ’ t know was likely their ready response to any question that started with Can you help me .
Sure enough , as I passed by a number of parking spaces , I saw a maintenance guy at the far end of the garage , and I sped up to reach him .
“ Hey man , I know it ’ s not your job to give directions to some bozo who ’ s lost and can ’ t find his way to where he ’ s going ,” I said .
“ Sure man ,” the guy said , smiling . “ No problem . What do you need ?”
I told him and he happily gave me clear and concise directions .
Victory !
I repeat that basic script all the time .
One of my favorite uses for it is to find a good restaurant at an airport . You know the TSA guys know which restaurant serves the best food . And you also know that they ’ re asked for their recommendations all the time .
Like most people , when the agents see someone approaching them , they think to themselves : It ’ s not my job to give directions . So , many times , instead of telling these travelers what their favorite restaurant is , they respond with I don ’ t know .
Here ’ s a tried-and-true method of getting these agents to help you figure out which restaurant is best .
I go up to TSA agents and say this : I ’ m sorry . Then I pause for one second and say I know it ’ s not your job to give recommendations .
Then I pause for a while — creating true dynamic silence . I wait for the agent to respond positively because I know they will .
This approach works every time , and you end up brightening their day .
People feel appreciated when you approach them this way . And as a general rule , people really want to help others . They just don ’ t want to be taken for granted in the process .
The cold read and the accusations audit are subcategories of tactical empathy .
In every negotiation , whether it ’ s low stakes or high stakes , we use empathy because it works . Quickly . And it makes people feel better .
Put yourself in the other side ’ s shoes . They ’ ll notice , and they ’ ll reward you f or 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 / trainingfor individuals / online-courses