Negotiating a Raise — and a Better Life | Chris Voss | EP 425

Negotiating a Raise — and a Better Life | Chris Voss | EP 425

Tour update 2024 (00:00:00)

  • Jordan Peterson announces his new tour for 2024, starting in early February and running through June.
  • The tour will visit 51 cities in the US.
  • Peterson will discuss ideas from his forthcoming book, "We Who Wrestle with God," which will be released in November 2024.

Coming up (00:00:41)

  • Peterson discusses a question he asks in job interviews: "How can I be guaranteed to be involved in projects that are critical to the strategic future of this organization?"
  • This question changes the outcome of the interview because it shows that the candidate is not only interested in their specific job role but also in the overall success of the organization.

Intro (00:01:15)

  • Chris Voss is an American author, teacher, and former hostage negotiator for the FBI.
  • The discussion focuses on negotiation, with a focus on the psychology of listening and the rationale behind it.
  • The goal of negotiation should be to establish a productive, long-term, generous, and mutual collaboration.
  • A good collaboration involves the joint pursuit of mutual desires and the ability to expand the understanding of those desires over time.
  • Listening to people allows you to understand their needs and wants, which enables you to provide for them and build a sustainable, productive, and generous relationship.

What it really means to negotiate (00:02:44)

  • Negotiation involves collaboration to find a better outcome.
  • Negotiating with someone means facing different aspects of the same problem and collaborating to solve it, potentially leading to a better solution.
  • Chris Voss became interested in negotiation because he wanted to be a hostage negotiator and saw crisis response as satisfying.
  • He realized that listening to people can lead to quick changes in behavior.
  • It's impossible to know the best outcome in advance due to limited information, so an open mind is essential.
  • Effective negotiation involves ensuring the other person wants to continue the conversation.

How to set yourself up for success in negotiating a raise (00:05:58)

  • To negotiate a raise effectively, update your CV, research the job market, and be prepared to present your value to your boss.
  • Focus on presenting your contributions and how you can contribute more if given the chance, rather than making threats.
  • Approach the conversation collaboratively, seeking a joint solution that benefits both you and your boss.
  • Provide your boss with all the necessary information and support if they need to make a case to their superior.
  • Negotiate without a net by having faith in the process, focusing on engagement, curiosity, and listening to discover a better outcome.
  • Avoid taking yourself hostage during a negotiation by using the Baton idea or the alternative's idea as a starting point.

Don’t take yourself hostage, adopting a success-oriented mindset (00:11:42)

  • Don't adopt a mindset that you have no alternatives and must accept any job offer.
  • Your value to a company and their ability to pay you are not affected by your lack of alternatives.
  • Ask calibrated questions to create thoughts in the other party's mind and get them to think about the value you can bring to the role.
  • Examples of calibrated questions:
    • "What happens if you don't fill this role?"
    • "How can I be most successful for you?"
    • "How am I supposed to accept a salary that's half of what I'm worth?"

Both sides should leave excited for their continued relationship (00:14:01)

  • Negotiate for an agreement that both parties are thrilled about.
  • Prioritize needs and wants, including salary, to ensure a landscape of opportunity and avoid resentment.
  • Offer a lower starting salary in exchange for a clear pathway to improved financial returns based on meeting specific standards.
  • Communicate the importance of optimal motivation and avoiding resentment to the person you're negotiating with.

Chris Voss’ favorite “calibrated question” for job interviews (00:17:04)

  • Ask: "How can I be guaranteed to be involved in projects that are critical to the strategic future of this organization?"
  • This question changes the perspective of the interviewer and shows that you want to advance everyone's life and play a big game.
  • It's a game-changing conversation that shows you're willing to learn, coachable, and want to make everyone's life better.
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Hope and opportunity require two things (00:21:00)

  • Hope and opportunity are experienced in relation to a goal.
  • To have hope and opportunity, you need a goal and observe yourself walking on a pathway to that goal.
  • Opening up the vision of the people you're speaking to and indicating that you want to be where the action is positions you in the company of those moving forward to the destination the company wants to achieve.
  • This opens the door to meaningful engagement with the company, but it comes with the responsibility of being more qualified than the position requires.
  • The best conversations with potential employees are those where they indicate they know where the enterprise is going and have an eye to the broader vision.
  • Surrounding yourself with people who are looking out for where you're going with fresh sets of eyes offers opportunities for you to go there too.
  • A negotiation is a collaboration, and if you're not collaborating with your boss, you should consider if it's your problem, his problem, or both your problems.
  • If it's an adversarial relationship all the way to the bottom, and you're being forced to do things you don't want to do against your wishes, you're not optimally situated in your life.
  • If you're stuck in a situation like that, you need to plot an escape route.

When you ask a question, really mean it: “You gotta want to be diamond” (00:24:28)

  • Pressure can create diamonds, but success requires embracing challenges and hard work.
  • Blind spots and knots in one's life can hinder their desire for success.
  • Loving what one does motivates hard work, while a lack of passion indicates a need to reassess one's goals.
  • Most people want to succeed but fear the work and being forced into it without their own vision.
  • Developing a clear vision for one's life, encompassing personal relationships, friendships, business, education, health, and community service, can guide career decisions.
  • Specifying one's wants and understanding the conditions for success are crucial for setting achievable goals.
  • Having a vision during a job interview allows candidates to assess if the job aligns with their goals and strengthens their negotiating position.
  • Negotiation involves establishing the preconditions for collaboration, not deceiving the employer.
  • The interview should focus on determining if the candidate is the right fit for the job and the company.

First impressions are lasting (00:29:23)

  • First impressions are long-lasting and crucial in job interviews.
  • Lack of preparation, such as not knowing the company or the role, creates a negative impression.
  • A poor first impression indicates a lack of effort and commitment to the job.
  • It is important to be well-prepared for interviews to make a positive and lasting impression.
  • Honesty and admitting inadequacies is acceptable as long as they are not significant barriers to the job.

What it means to really listen rather than just “staying silent” (00:31:40)

  • Listening is not just staying silent, but actively engaging with the speaker.
  • Effective listening requires a set of skills to dig into information without making the other person feel interrogated.
  • Listening skills can lead to astonishing changes in behavior, as demonstrated in hostage negotiations.
  • The tone of voice and body language convey more information than words alone.
  • Negativity can cloud thinking, so it's important to listen for and anticipate negative emotions.
  • Listening helps in understanding the nuances of human behavior and leads to more durable agreements.

Why people bully and micromanage — and why you shouldn’t (00:35:18)

  • Micromanagement can result from an intrinsic distrust or a poorly negotiated agreement.
  • A bad agreement leads to escape routes and frustration, requiring constant enforcement.
  • Listening is crucial to understand what the other party truly wants and how to deliver it.
  • People often think while talking, and listening provides an opportunity for them to think.
  • Finding out what might sideline someone and circumventing it increases the probability of success.
  • A successful negotiation focuses on making it work, not on personal gain.
  • Screwing someone over verbally will lead to future problems and resentment.
  • People will hurt you by doing nothing, so silence is also undesirable.

The “Black Swan Technique” (00:38:57)

  • Chris Voss refers to a collection of emotional intelligence skills that originated from hostage negotiation.
  • These skills, initially known as active listening skills, were developed by the FBI and later refined by Voss and his son, Brandon.
  • The skills are based on the idea that human beings are wired with a limbic system that operates similarly regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, geography, or diet.
  • These skills work because they tap into the emotional components of the brain that are common to all humans.
  • Proactive listening involves anticipating, paying close attention, and understanding the other person's perspective.
  • People have limited time for those who don't listen.
  • Effective listening helps catch problems early and prevents them from becoming damaging.
  • Proactive listening accelerates conversations and establishes a relationship.
  • Selling involves establishing a relationship rather than just pushing a solution.
  • Understanding the customer's problems is crucial before proposing a solution.
  • Entrepreneurs can identify new product opportunities by listening to potential customers' problems.
  • Software designers collaborate with customers to ensure their products solve real problems.
  • Building a relationship involves iterability and a desire for ongoing conversations.
  • Great salespeople are relationship managers who listen and provide valuable solutions.

Tools for productive work relationships and common ground (00:47:24)

  • To negotiate effectively, focus on understanding the other person's perspective and building rapport simultaneously.
  • Use active listening and non-verbal cues to put yourself in the other person's shoes.
  • Approach negotiations with an open-ended mindset, seeking mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Avoid using formulaic small talk that might create a false sense of similarity.
  • Be proactive in your listening and pay close attention to the other person's words and body language.

Don’t deal with people who are “half” (00:53:02)

  • Avoid dealing with people who are "half" - annoying, lame, frustrating, and inefficient.
  • Aim for a long and prosperous collaboration with shared core values.
  • Listen carefully to understand the other person's perspective and avoid deluding yourself about the nature of the relationship.

Work somewhere that aligns with your core values (00:54:27)

  • Seek employment where your work is valued, and core values align.
  • Avoid trying to fix a bad employer, just as you would avoid trying to fix a bad significant other.
  • Move on to a team that better aligns with your values for greater happiness, productivity, and life fulfillment.

You can’t fix a bad employer or a bad employee (00:55:50)

  • Fixing a bad employee is difficult, time-consuming, and uncertain.
  • Managers should focus their time on their best employees rather than trying to fix bad ones.
  • Firing people who engage in negative behaviors, such as kissing up and punching down, taking credit, not sharing benefits, manipulating, or lying about motivations, can be beneficial for both parties.
  • Severing a bad relationship can be difficult but ultimately better for both parties.

When to sever a bad relationship (00:58:22)

  • Severing a bad relationship can be beneficial for both parties, even if it is initially devastating.
  • There is no gentle way to end a bad relationship.
  • Hanging on to a bad relationship does not benefit either party.
  • It is better to make a clean break rather than prolonging a bad situation.

You should be able to summarize what the other person has said (01:00:31)

  • Proactive listening involves verbal observations, mirroring, paraphrasing, and calibrated questions.
  • Summarizing the other side's perspective aligns both parties and creates a shared understanding.

Conflict deferred is conflict multiplied (01:02:33)

  • Conflict avoidance can lead to prolonged discomfort and unresolved issues.
  • Addressing problems directly, even if uncomfortable, can lead to a resolution and prevent future conflict.
  • Empathetic people may experience more pain when seeing others in pain, making conflict difficult.
  • Avoiding necessary conflict can result in a downward spiral and potentially lead to more significant problems in the future.

The power of “what” and “how” questions (01:05:48)

  • Asking open-ended "what" and "how" questions can help people explore and realize the costs of inaction.
  • "What" questions can trigger people into a narrow mental state without them feeling confined.
  • Asking "what do you love about what you do for a living" instead of "what do you do for a living" can help people focus on the positive aspects of their work and reveal their core values.

Acknowledging fear and obstacles (01:09:29)

  • Fear is a substantial motivating factor in people's lives.
  • It's important to become aware of fears in a collaborative way.
  • Fears can overcome love if not carefully managed.
  • Obstacles often stem from fears and can be cleared by identifying and addressing them.
  • Sometimes, simply listening to someone describe their fears can help alleviate them.

Carl Rogers, the mirroring technique (01:12:09)

  • Mirroring and summarizing are effective techniques in conversations.
  • Mirroring shows respect and indicates that you've been paying attention.
  • It compresses information, making it easier to remember and understand.
  • Mirroring can be particularly useful in high-stake situations like hostage negotiations.

What drives adverse reactions and how to right the conversational ship (01:13:41)

  • Adverse reactions are often caused by people feeling unheard.
  • Listening can help deactivate adversarial responses and identify deep-seated problems.
  • Describing negativity, without denying or explaining it, can diminish its impact.
  • Turning to face a problem rather than running from it can produce positive emotions and diminish negative emotions.
  • This transformation can be seen at the DNA level and affects the entire person.
  • By confronting reality and listening, you can build trust with others.

De-escalating a hostage situation during a bank robbery (01:16:29)

  • Chris Voss shares a story about a bank robbery with hostages in New York City involving two bank robbers with different motivations.
  • Voss used gentle confrontation to build trust with the second bank robber, who eventually surrendered.
  • The first bank robber, Dominic MSO, was known for his closing skills and maintained control by releasing hostages one by one.
  • After 12 hours of the siege, Dominic agreed to come out of the bank, possibly due to fatigue.
  • Dominic attempted to hide some of the stolen money by setting a portion on fire and concealing the rest in the construction walls.

Balancing truth and deception (01:24:02)

  • Deception is always a bad idea in negotiation and sales.
  • If you deceive someone, they will find out and your credibility will be gone.
  • People want to know that you will tell them the truth and that you are a straight shooter.
  • Deception by commission or omission will always cost you far more than sticking to your integrity ever will.

Never split the difference (01:29:31)

  • Aim to understand the other party's wants, be honest about your own, and work towards a mutually beneficial outcome in negotiations.
  • Listen attentively to identify the other person's interests and potential for a win-win solution.
  • Avoid fixating on specific goals and adopt the mindset of exceeding them.
  • Building relationships involves pursuing a sequence of mutual goals that can expand over time.
  • Prioritize learning the art of negotiation, focusing on creating value for both parties.
  • Active listening helps understand the other person's needs and desires, leading to sustainable and mutually beneficial agreements.
  • Building strong relationships and collaborating with others creates a network of people willing to work with you.
  • Integrity and honesty are crucial for successful collaborations.

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