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Knowing how to get what you want and need from other people is crucial to your happiness. Yet most people avoid conflict, hate bargaining, fear confrontation and capitulate to get along. This is bad for business and harmful to relationships. Writing with award-winning journalist Tahl Raz, former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss recounts his role in nail-biting negotiations with kidnappers and hostage-takers in which victims’ lives hung in the balance. His spots of self-promotion aside, Voss teaches professional negotiating techniques including “active listening,” “tactical empathy” and “calibrated questions.” getAbstract particularly likes the way he uses case studies to share the valuable lessons he learned. Voss’s real-world advice will show you how to manage a full range of negotiation scenarios at work and at home.


Getting Past “Getting to Yes”

Negotiation theory coalesced as a formal study in 1979 with the formation of the Harvard Negotiation Project. The project set out to study, develop and teach negotiation techniques for use in business contracts, hostage negotiations and more. The bestseller Getting to Yes by the project’s co-founders Roger Fisher and William Ury argues that in a negotiating session you can overcome irrational emotional responses with thoughtful reasoning.

The four tenets of their system are separating the problem from the emotion, focusing on the “why” not the “what,” coming up with mutually beneficial options and agreeing on evaluation standards for possible solutions. The FBI, the New York Police Department (NYPD), and other agencies hailed the book as a negotiation bible and adopted its practices. When the theories in Getting to Yes didn’t hold up in the field – for example, at Ruby Ridge and Waco – the FBI formed its Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) to develop tactics focused on hostage-takers’ psychological needs during crises. CIRG focused on crisis intervention and the skills negotiators need for coping with fluid situations...

About the Authors

Former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss founded The Black Swan Group, a consulting firm that supports major companies during complex negotiations. Award-winning journalist Tahl Raz co-authored the New York Times bestseller Never Eat Alone.

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