Bending Reality

Chris Voss

Lesson time 11:09 min

A negotiation can succeed or fail depending on how you frame your case. Chris walks you through the subtle art of perspective and how to understand a counterpart’s key emotional drivers in order to make a compelling case.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Use Loss Aversion to Your Benefit • Appeal to Their Sense of Fairness • Responding to the F-Bomb • Deadlines Are Meaningless • Responding to Deadlines • The Last Impression


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I refer to losing something, loss aversion, as bending reality. Fear of loss and what people loss completely distorts their perception so much that it effectively bends their reality. You have to take that into account, and you have to find out how they feel they are losing because that's going to be the single dominating factor in their decision-making. What are they going to lose if they don't make the deal? What are they going to lose if they do make the deal? It's never rational, and it's always bent based on their distortion of reality. Now any given situation can be offered as a gain or loss. For example, you're a company that's going to make them 23% more money. You can say, work with us, and you'll make 23% more money. There will be a 23% gain. The return on your investment will be 23%. Or you can say, choose not to work with us, stay where you are, don't change anything, and it's going to cost you 23% every day. While you sleep not working with us is going to cost you 23% day in and day out. Fear of loss is what keeps people up at night. Nobody loses sleep, nobody gets insomnia because life is good and they're making money and tomorrow is going to be more profitable than today was. They sleep like a baby over gains. Fear of loss is what keeps people up at night because you get a loss in your head, and it burrows into your psyche, and it eats at you, and it keeps you awake. And that's why it's one of the dominating factors in human decision-making. [MUSIC PLAYING] All right, now, I'm going to tell you about the F word-- fair. The F bomb. Fair comes up in nearly every single negotiation. As soon as you look for the word fair and aware of how much it comes up, rarely does it not come up. People use it to manipulate other people. People use it when they're backed into a corner. The concept of fairness is fundamental to what we are as human beings, and that's why it comes up all the time. A classic example is something called the ultimatum game. Let's say two people are walking down the street. $10 falls out of the sky. It's $10 in found money. They have the opportunity to split the $10. One of the two people gets to propose how it's going to be split. The second of the two people gets to only accept or reject. They get to throw out one number. The proposer can only propose a split one time. There's no back and forth. There's no debate. There's no convincing. There's no subsequent rounds of negotiation. This game has been played around the world. One of the things I love about this game is that it drives game theorists crazy. They hate it because people react as human beings. People say 5/5 is the only fair way to do it. And I say, all right, so you wouldn't take 3? You know, I might say to you, what about 2, what about 4? No, that's not fair! Well, how is 0 better than 3? You're saying I, you know, I feel disgusted if I'm asked to take 3. I should get 5. Well, if 3 makes you feel disgusted, how does ...

About the Instructor

As an FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss persuaded terrorists, bank robbers, and kidnappers to see things his way. Now he’s teaching you his field-tested strategies to help you in everyday negotiations, whether you’re aiming to improve your salary, the service you receive, or your relationships. Get stronger communication skills, game-changing insights into human nature, and more of what you want out of life.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Chris Voss

Former FBI lead hostage negotiator Chris Voss teaches you communication skills and strategies to help you get more of what you want every day.

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