7 Negotiating Tips From Hostage Negotiator

February 13, 2021

Difficult conversations are a part of our life. Whether it is having a discussion with family members or negotiating a raise, persuasion is a skill that can help you sail through those difficult conversations.

During these tough scenarios, what is something that can tip the scales in your favour? Well, according to some of the leading hostage negotiators, it is the emotions. It completely changes the game and gets people to solve your problems in a way that makes both teams happy. Here are seven

1. Listen

Being honest and straight forward are great qualities. But, not during a discussion. When you are too direct during a heated discussion or a negotiation, you might come off as rude or blunt. It might sound like you don’t care about the other side. Don’t skip listening and slow it down.

2. Don’t get them to say yes

Some people believe that if you get people to yes during a conversation, they are more likely to say yes to what you want. It might have worked in the past, but it doesn’t anymore. Instead, you can phrase the question in a way that makes them say no. If people feel that they can say ‘no’, they feel autonomous and get more collaborative.

3. Acknowledge the accusation

If the other side is accusing you of something and you deny their feelings, you lose the conversation. They assume that they can’t trust you. Instead, you can defuse the situation by acknowledging the negative.

4. Make them feel in control

Negotiation is not about emphasising dominance. You need an atmosphere of collaboration. This doesn’t mean that you are letting yourself be pushed around and giving them everything. When the other side feels like they are in control, they will relax.


5. Listen to the magic words

‘That’s right’ are the magic words you need them to say. When the other side says this, they know that you understand them. You now have emotions on your side and a powerful connection with the other side.

6. Find the leverage

There is always some leverage. All you have to do is find it. You need to listen and ask questions that not only builds rapport but also makes the other side feel in control. Remember that negotiation is not fighting. You need to understand their needs and the reasons why they are resisting you.

7. Play helpless or dumb

Playing helpless can be deceptively powerful. When you act helpless, you get the other side to solve the problem for you in a way that both sides deem acceptable. Ask questions and get the other side to think. This will make them more likely to grant concessions.

Emotions are crucial during a negotiation. Usually, deals end due to negative closings and close successfully because both sides have an understanding. So, don’t alienate them, and you will be able to have a successful negotiation.

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