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Mock Negotiation: Teenager

Chris Voss

Lesson time 10:19 min

Chris plays the part of a father whose teenage daughter wants to spend the weekend with her boyfriend at his parents’ vacation home; he doesn’t trust the boyfriend. Chris demonstrates techniques to get his “daughter” on his side.

Chris Voss
Teaches The Art of Negotiation
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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[MUSIC PLAYING] - All right. Pam, what we're going to do now is we're going to do another negotiation exercise. This time I'm going to be your dad, you're going to be a 16-year-old girl. Your boyfriend, Ryan, has invited you to go to the lake house with his family for the weekend. It's Labor Day weekend. And you previously got an invitation to go to the lake house for a party, and I found out that his parents weren't going to be there, so I wouldn't let you go. And you want to go and be with your boyfriend over the weekend at the lake. - OK. - All right. And since you're a trained actor, then I would like you to do as much as you can to channel your inner 16-year-old girl. - - And react as much as you think a 16-year-old girl would actually react. - OK. Hey Dad? Ryan's parents invited me to their lake house for the weekend, for Labor Day weekend. - Ryan? - Yeah, Ryan. - Ryan's parents. - Yeah, his parents. His parents are going to be there for the weekend. - For the weekend. - Uh-huh. Yeah. For Labor Day weekend. - For the whole weekend. - Uh-huh. With him and his parents. - For Labor Day weekend. - Yeah, for Labor Day weekend. They wanted to know if I could go. - So you're going to think that I'm the worst father that ever lived. You're going to hate me. You're going to tell me that I'm ruining your life. I want to spend the weekend with you. Labor Day weekend is a big deal to me. - Dad. I mean, I just want to go with them, OK? This is kind of a big deal that they asked me, OK? To spend the weekend on the lake. Like we can spend the weekend together anytime. And it's important that I go. - It's important that you go. - Yeah. It's important that I go. - What makes it important? - Because it's like, you know, a big step in Ryan and-- you know, it's-- - A big step? - Yeah, because his parents are accepting me or whatever. They asked me to go, they're being nice. They like me. - They like you. - Yeah, they like me. And Ryan likes me, and they want me to spend the weekend with them. - How am I supposed to go along with that? - I don't know what the big deal is. Yeah, so I go away for the weekend. It's not like we're staying in the same room or anything. - How do I know where you're going to stay? - Because his parents are going to be there. - They're going to be there the whole time. - Yeah. His parents are going to be there the whole time. - They're all going to sit around in the living room together and stare at each other for the entire weekend. - I guess, or go on the lake on the boat or whatever. - Have you been there before? - No, because you won't let me go before. Remember? They had a party there and I couldn't go to the party? - Yeah, so it sounds like Ryan's parents don't actually keep that close track of him. - They do. They're going to be there this whole weekend. - They let him t...

Take control of the outcome

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.


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

A LOT - i have a lot of negotiations daily this is tremendous

Practical, logical, achievable - with a nice dose of personal. And the stories and mock examples really brought it all into 3D life. Amazing! Simply amazing!

I am a self employed teacher who leads group trainings of 100 to 200 hours. People say Im a natural born teacher. I would say Chris Voss is a gifted teacher with a flawless gift of communication. I will watch his whole class at least two more times all the way through. That was amazing.

I need to og through this class 10 more times.... I need every point to root deep in my conciousness before I move on.


A fellow student

It would be much better with a real exercise. Having an actor makes it very shallow

A fellow student

Great actress! If that was me a few years ago I would have been a lot more moany and mad xD

A fellow student

The actress was really good. I like how she stood her ground for a relatively long time. This shows that using these techniques will not give you instant success. The conversation wasn't as fluid as I imagined. You can see that Chris gets stuck at several points and changes approach to get the conversation going. You have to be patient and sometimes hit the adversary with the same questions over and over again to crack it open. Also "how" questions seem to be really tricky as they can trigger your counterpart just like "why" questions. I believe designing calibrated questions is the hardest out of all the techniques shown so far.


The case study is so awkward... Plus, there's zero give in his stance on things. He seems far too committed to his own agenda than the relationship with the other person, or what is reasonable and good in the situation.


Entertaining and interesting mock negotiation, but this lesson is out of order. It made a lot more sense after watching the following lesson, Lesson 10: "The Accusations Audit".


I found the how to what questions very interesting and often felt a issue with why questions causing universal defensiveness. Very often triggering conflict over collaboration. I am interesting in trying these techniques out in conversation to see if I can build more relationships around and empathy and collaboration.

Daniel R.

He sounds silly in the end. Give me a real case, a real business case where you have to talk like a real person, not a FBI agent.

Bernardo F.

Is this the best way to show it? Because there's a huge gap between negotiating with a teenager and doing it with a businessman. I'd rather to see a case study, because sure, we can direct the conversation the way it's convenient to us when we have "superiority" but that doesn't happen all time.


Oh man. If only this is how actual conversations happened between parents and their kids....

Dustin B.

I really think this should have been done with someone who wasn't an actor. If this could have been a hidden camera situation with someone who's unaware, I think there would be a lot more variance in the conversation. I can see how, as an actor, it could automatically be difficult to have an argument when you don't know the scope of the world that can be created. She often repeats things that she's said, where as a real teenager sincerely asking for a favor would probably draw on other evidence as to why they should. I think this applies to almost any negotiation. One that is believed to have real stakes, small or large, is a much better example to learn from. In both this and the mirroring example, I do find it interesting that there is more fluidity in the conversation as the techniques are applied. I also appreciate the lower thirds naming the technique.