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Chris Voss, Brandon Voss and Derek Gaunt on Leadership and Negotiation in COVID-19 (#264)

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Our Guest Today: Chris Voss, Brandon Voss, Derek Gaunt

Negotiation skills and effective communication are more crucial than ever before since the pandemic.

I’m not sure about you but I certainly find myself in MANY MORE negotiation situations in 2020. Most of my friends and client would say the same.

If you want to expand beyond the current state of your career, your business, please register for this event! You can ask questions live during our session.

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Chris Voss, Brandon Voss and Derek Gaunt on Leadership and Negotiation in COVID-19 – powered by Happy Scribe

Feisworld podcast helps independent creators live their creative and financial freedom. I’m your host, Fei Wu, and I’ll be taking you through a series of interviews with creators from around the world who are living life on their own terms. Each episode is packed with tactics, nuggets you can implement origin stories to make listening productive and enjoyable. We’re not only focused on the more aspirational stories, but relatable ones as well. We also have none interview based miniseries releasing throughout the year to help Deep dove into topics such as freelancing, marketing, even indie filmmaking that would benefit creators like you.

Show notes, lengths and ways to connect with the guests are available on Now onto the show. Hi, guys, this is Fei Wu from FeisWorld podcast. As you guys know, I’ve been live streaming all my podcast episodes with my guests, and I think it literally is one of the best decisions I’ve made related to my podcast and 20/20. So today I have a very special group of people joining me. They are Chris Voss and his team members from the Blackswan Group, specifically Brandon Voss, whom we have interviewed on the show.

But also I met Derek Gaunt for the first time. Now, Brandon and Derek, both are part of the team of Black Swan Group. And together, when I say that means the three of them together will coach these really large programs in person workshops. But at times, Brandon and Derek will also lead their individual sessions. What I mean by that is, you know, Brandon has been working with clients one on one. And Derek, as I have learned very recently, has been coaching a lot of different clients and different organizations as well.

So I have to say that I am so blessed and so spoiled because Chris not only brought himself into this conversation, but also, you know, led it with his team. And I noticed during the conversation, which you’ll find that he’s really good at navigating the conversation and be able to balance different questions to different people, in this case, Brandon and Derek. So I tried with another experiment. So if you come to my website, events with an S, you’re able to see a long list of live stream events.

And this one, as you’re listening to it, you know, if you scroll down, you’re going to see a an image with all four of us know four of them, including myself, in an image. So it just so liberating to be able to share those because I decided to turn this live stream into a webinar. That’s right. So I use Zoom to set up a webinar and I start promoting the event about a month beforehand. Honestly, I was like, who is going to show up for this?

I mean, I love the team, but will people show up to them because of me? Chris and his team are very active on the world stage of leadership and negotiation. So I titled The Conversation, this conversation to be how to demonstrate leadership virtually and develop a mindset of negotiation. This was held originally on September 10th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. They showed up and boom, I had forty five people who registered for the event. And the crazy part is, you know, we when we kicked it off, we had close to 40 people.

And towards the end of the conversation, we still had the same amount of people. I was so blown away. So I just want to share this moment with you guys. And if you are creative entrepreneur like myself, you have to experiment new things. And I don’t mean fancy, fancy things. You know, I’m just as downloading the Vimeo Studio six, which totally confused me, but I did it a very simple way. I use whatever is built into Zoom in this case webinar.

And the only thing I would change and for your information is I would always, always use when you have multiple people as part of the interview, I would always use the gallery view and the speaker view, which is something that I neglected and forgot. So I’m definitely going to do a video to teach you guys how to do that. If you go to our YouTube channel, by the time you’re listening to this, I’m sure it’s already there. But as a host for a Zoom webinar, you want to make sure that either you use change the setting to the right hand side, make sure that either your participants, where your attendees will follow your view or they simply look at the gallery of you.

The reason why this is so critical for interviews is because when somebody is answering the question, I realized that I’ve heard from other people that is so much more engaging to also see other people’s faces and their expressions as well, not just the speaker view, that’s all. So it’s a pretty long rant. And please know how much I appreciate you for being here. It means so much. I am, you know, recording this as of September and the pandemic is still not over.

So if you’re home, I hope that you choose to do something creative, whether it’s a podcast, starting your YouTube channel, showing us how you cook, what you’re cooking and making to feed your family, the smiles of everyone and just, you know, continue to live your life despite the pandemic. So I hope I know that will come out of this stronger than we were before. And I hope this conversation is beneficial for you on a personal, professional and organizational level.

So, so much love. And please be in touch. And I can be reached at Feisworld Media s w o r ld pretty much anywhere. And I’ll see you at the end of the show. Chris Derek Brant, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to kick it off and let’s have some fun. All right. Yeah, yeah. So, hi, everyone. This is Fei Wu Française world. I am seriously overjoyed right now. I am so happy, a little bit nervous.

This is the first webinar I’m doing not only with Chris, but the ateam Brendon, because I had the pleasure the interview once before and Derek Gon’s, whose book I’m listening right now on Audible. I’ve been doing that for a week. And Chris, I’ve met several times in person in my documentary, my favorite master class, a master class. I highly recommend you check it out. In fact, I know somebody among the audience member participants right now.

Watch your master class twice already. So. Yeah, and everybody. And speaking of Derek’s book, I heard that the guy that read it has a lisp, etc. I, I was telling Derek he has such an incredible voice. I thought, you know, you’re like, you know, like an opera singer or something with such a like such a voice. I love listening to so easy.

Not your case with so many things that I hate about him. How good.

All right, guys, though, in case you’re not familiar with their work, I know, I know everybody was attending this webinar is pretty much. But if you’re watching this on social media, my YouTube channel, Facebook, I don’t know Twitter. Well, they founded the Blackstone Group, this company. I’ve been falling for a long time. I love, love the blog section. They have a wonderful services section as well. A lot of my colleagues, people I’m connected with on LinkedIn everywhere have attended their live workshops and they’re absolutely in love with this.

And I’m such as this is such a privilege to have the entire team here. And so we’re going to kind of freestyle. There are a lot of questions. Thank you guys for submitting them. We’ll go through them for the first forty minutes. And if you guys have more questions, we’ll leave 15, 20 minutes in the end. And and just so you guys can drop more questions in the chat. So welcome, everybody. Thank you so much for coming.

Thank you for having us. I appreciate the invite.

Yeah, it’s just so wonderful. I’m going to throw the first question now there everybody’s desperate and just asking this question, because I notice you have this audience is a lot of discipline. Everybody is trying to practice negotiation on a regular basis. And the first challenge since the pandemic earlier this year is that people sort of lost touch with that daily practice. They really want to know, like how I saw examples, how to negotiate Starbucks, how to negotiate with a travel vendor or agency.

But what’s your advice right now in the pandemic that people can continue to hone in on their skills and practice their negotiation skills at home?

Well, you know, we use it with everybody we communicate with, we use it with each other. I mean, one of the questions that we all get a lot is, you know what? If you’re up against a Black Swan train negotiator and I fine. I mean, Brandon asked me all the time, is this is it a ridiculous idea? Are you against Derek? Ask me all the time. I can’t believe how stupid you are, stuff like that.

I mean, we’re sorry it’s going to be one of those days, but. Yeah, I mean, what do you guys think of my crazy.

No, and I think you’re right on the money, I mean, we have every opportunity to communicate is an opportunity to practice. And, you know, as of late, one of the ways you’ve been directing people is still paying utilities. Right. You got utility bills. Those are great people to call up and use your skills on and get your bills down. Right. That’s one perfect way to practice.

And the other thing is the foundation where this stuff came from, the world of hostage and crisis negotiation. Ninety five percent of the jobs that we did were on the phone we weren’t having we didn’t have contact, physical contact with the people that we were dealing with. So the fact that people are out of their normal environment and they don’t have that regular human to human contact should not diminish the opportunities that they have to practice the skills via Zoom calls or be your regular phone calls.

The environment has just changed slightly. But this is all of our stuff is predicated on hostage negotiation and we were rarely ever face to face.

Yeah, my I love that. Thank you for clarifying. So everybody who’s watching, starting negotiating start practicing right away. And, you know, there’s one question I love which came from Adam, which is which are the skills that you teach. Do people generally find most difficult to learn and why?

You know, I’m I’m actually kind of curious to hear what Derek has to say on this, because I got a couple of ideas that would fit your perspective.

I think you know where I’m going to go. I’m going to go with the accusations on. Yeah, hands down. The most effective skill that we have, the most potent, the most powerful, hands down, the most difficult to absorb and execute simply because when you talk about the black swan skills being counterintuitive and being awkward, the accusations are it is awkwardness on steroids. And because you’re pointing a negative light back at yourself and when you point to negative light at yourself, you’re making yourself uncomfortable and when you’re uncomfortable, what you want more than anything else is to be comfortable again.

So that’s where we find a significant amount of the pushback is with the accusations on because it’s hard to take that negative light and pointed at yourself and saying this is what you’re probably thinking about me and it’s all negative stuff. And so getting people to overcome that discomfort and execute anyway is probably the biggest challenge.

Yeah, yeah, there’s nothing there except that I would disagree with. However, I’m going to give you the classic negotiator’s answer as far as what it is to learn, it depends. And a lot of it just depends on the individual. And so if you’re part of the group that has read the book and have started trying to execute on your own, the thing that really is the sticking point is probably the accusations are that if you’re a novice and you’re just getting into and you’re just starting to learn, people really struggle with labels and really on the side of executing them at their highest degree.

Like surface labels are pretty easy for people to wrap their mind around. Seems like prices important to you, right? But being able to construct a label that actually identifies the motivation behind how they got to this price point, that’s a little bit more difficult. Labeling things that are actually said in the negotiation, you know, is is is tough, is a hard thing. And it, again, just takes practice. But, yeah, it depends it depends on who they are or how much knowledge they have and what they do.

Yeah. Christy, what do you want to add anything else?

You know, I mean, there’s so much on it depends on the situation. Drugs strategy, like Brain likes to say, where are you in your journey? Labels one of the first things to get over the hump with. You get to labels and depend upon how comfortable you are with calling on neighbors and then being proactive, and that that leads right into the accusations or the fear of that, I mean, probably the fear there’s a bigger set. That’s the single biggest fear based obstacle there is simultaneously.

If you’re getting good at labels, making a jump from labels into summer is hard because, you know, we’re and we teach people really hard, you know, to go sign up, to go dead silent. We used to call it effective pauses and never split the difference. But we are coming out collaboratively and I and a couple of other people are working on in the spring. They’ll be out late spring, early, early summer. We change ineffective policies to dynamic silence.

So getting people to go dead silent, like some people feel like they’re going to burst into flames a bit before they could go dead silent. Well, then if we get there, then we want to teach. The summer and summer is fire and everything. Summer is just letting go with everything, and that’s no dead silence at all. So that’s kind of where are you in your journey? And each each step of the way is going to take you to a new level of the game.

You know, it’s like a game and it’s all fun. As soon as you embrace how much fun it could be. It’s really cool. Hmm.

So funny. My friend Michael O’Brien, also part of my mastermind group, really likes Brandon’s jacket. First of all, I think he looks exceptionally handsome today.

Hey, hey, hey.

Oh, sorry, Chris. Take it easy. And I agreed, silence is the toughest thing for me to practice as well as for for Michael there. I remember going through an exercise as part of Al Temba by Seth Godin. And I remember that before we respond to anything, we have to count to five seconds or three seconds. They felt like hours. How? It was very awkward, a lot of resistance. So how do you practice? Like, how do you give yourself that patience?

I should bring one, you know, is a similar philosophy we talk about people count Mississippi’s or count one thousands, but exactly to your point, I mean, it’s creating an intentional void in the conversation is difficult to sit in. And that’s really what is designed to do. If you set up your dynamic silence properly, ideally it reveals a black swan at the same time. But that’s that’s exactly that is very hard. And counting is one of the great mechanisms to kind of keep yourself in your chair.

Yeah, it’s it’s very hard. I mean, I remember since the pandemic, like washing your you can wash your hands or sing Happy Birthday, those 15, 20 seconds just feels so long when you actually measure it.

So what do you do when you wash your hands? What do you think.

I suppose I wish it was all sing Happy Birthday like two times to make sure that 20 seconds. Yeah. I am so proud of such a huge smile on my face because my next door neighbor Eric and Laura also watching this and Laura submittal a ton of questions, one of which I was thinking, wow, it’s it’s true. I mean, I can unfold that question to many parts, especially as as a woman, as women. Sometimes when you negotiate for yourself is particularly difficult, whether it’s negotiating time to be doing your own work on your own projects so that your kids need to kind of hang out on their own, especially during the pandemic or negotiating for your own, for a promotion, for a raise.

A lot of women left comments to say that is particularly challenging. Do you have any tactics to kind of go about that and the mindset of negotiation?

Yeah, I’m thinking this one’s Dax, I mean, he’s he’s doing a lot more of the individual coaching or anybody else’s right now, so they’re going.

Problematic is. Many women get in their own way. Their their their mindset is such that they create obstacles that aren’t really there. Some of the best negotiators on my previous team back in my law enforcement days, I don’t know if you can see this, so they got some of their pictures up on the wall. The top three negotiators on my team were all women. And once you get over. The fear of failure. The sky’s the limit, and that’s what made these three, because let’s let’s face the facts, there are terrible negotiators on both sides of the gender coin.

But these these three women were not afraid to fail. They took what was taught to them and they went out and they executed and let the consequences be whatever they are. And those are going to be the most successful negotiators, regardless of what side of the gender coin they’re on. Are you fearless? If you’re fearless, you’ll go out and apply. You stumble, you chalk it up to experience, and you move on. And and once you once you get that mindset.

The game changes for you once you stay in the position where you are genuinely curious about what’s going on with the other side, and that’s another skill trait characteristic that they all had. They were genuinely curious. They wanted to know more. They went into the conversation assuming they had something to learn. And so that is how I would encourage you to look at every difficult conversation, every negotiation, and that goes across the board. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman.

Stay genuinely curious. If you stay genuinely curious, your fear factor will diminish rapidly and you will be your mind will be more open to seeing the entire landscape from the other person’s perspective.

I feel very excited, but also very comfortable at the same time, you know, when when people are asking me that you’re going to be on the call with three professional negotiators and interviewing them, there is part of me, to be honest, there something I really try not to sound like a complete idiot, like during this. Am I even qualified to be talking to you? I read Chris’s book two years ago. Should I go back and study some of those elements?

There are definitely a lot of self doubts that comes with that. But like you said, if I just relax and knowing that I’m here to learn, I’m not here to be an expert, that definitely feels a lot better. There is there’s an added question, actually. Two questions coming in already. So a lot of us, a lot of people working in corporate right now. And by the way, you’re just joining the this webinar. I want to say that this conversation will help you on a personal, professional and organizational level.

So we’re going to answer questions really on this whole spectrum, the scope. So another question is that we find ourselves on the phone all the time, and that’s why our name is virtual leadership. It’s very different kind of leadership and engagement with your audience or with your colleagues. So, for example, Laura found herself to have to slow down when she speaks to someone, whether it’s a customer or maybe her colleagues whose first language is in English, there’s a time difference.

Shahzia pays down among the team. She finds it that it can be hard when a one on one conversations where you feel like there’s a lot of silence and you have to fill in the blank. What would you recommend for that?

I see you smile, Bran.

But as this couple, I got a lot of things coming to mind and I just I want to jump back into the mindset thing just real quick, take a couple of steps back. I think where people in general tend to kind of lose themselves is when you go into a negotiation hoping things go well. And the mind set needs to be expecting problems. And it gives you a huge leg up when you go in like, all right, things are going to go wrong and then I’m going to use a tactical empathy skill to get at it, which is one of the great things about why they’re built the way they are and then go into the virtual side.

It is very difficult and I think one of the things that we found is maintaining relationships virtually is much easier than starting a brand new relationship or starting straight. Fresh in a virtual environment is very, very difficult. Trying to cultivate that from the ground up is extremely hard. And so. Filling, filling the void of silence, well, again, it depends. Sometimes those those silences are needed. And then what’s great about the skill like labels, which is probably our most flexible skill as far as the way can be applied to different aspects of the communication.

You can only say it seems like I’m off base. It seems like I’m taking us in the wrong direction or seems like I might have made you uncomfortable. You can always throw those in to fill that silence to kind of get things going.

I love that, wow, I love all ballads, everything is like this is this is such a well oiled machine. Like I’ve been on webinars where people constantly talking to each other, like debating this is amazing.

And you want to go fast, go alone. You want to go far, go as a team. We’ve got a heck of a team.

Yeah, absolutely. So Nisreen Nisrine, I was like, can someone maybe talk a little bit deeper about the power of hearing the other side out on a psychological level and in terms of the progression that can cause in a negotiation? Wow. It’s a lot to unpack there.

And we’ll hear the other side out. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But the more you heard, the person being hurt is starting to get hints of some magical stuff, you know, dopamine and serotonin. I mean, we’re talking almost all of our conversations at some point in time these days about our skills. We don’t talk about psychology. We talk about neuroscience. We talk about the neurochemicals to drive human behavior and create your reactions.

And you start you start to get hurt and there’s you feel releases. These these are chemical changes. These are dopamine, serotonin. You’re very encouraged by that. You start getting attached to the person at some point in time if you hear somebody out well enough. They’ll discover something. And what they said, based on your feedback, just hearing them at summarize, and this is something that I was talking about earlier when we wrote the book The First Time Through Brandon until Ross wrote the book together.

Paul talked about that when somebody says, that’s right, it’s you know, they’ve experienced an epiphany, so I look up epiphany, what sort of neurochemicals released when you experience an epiphany and among them oxytocin. Oxytocin is the bonding drug. It’s how it’s what mothers feel bonded to their children. It’s what followers feel bonded to great leaders. Then once they get bonded to a leader, despite all sorts of evidence to the contrary, they will never give up on their leader.

They will always believe in them. That’s an oxytocin event. You when you get to that right out of somebody from from having fully heard them out and then repeated it back to them so that the only thing they could possibly say is a response is. That’s right. They’ve just experienced an epiphany. They’re bonded to you. That’s the maximum amount of influence you could ever have, and that’s why Derek and I, when we were hostage negotiators, we didn’t know what was going on, but we knew if we heard a bad guy out, he was going to come out, you know, and we didn’t know exactly.

And the bad guys would get so bonded to us that SWAT would see them bonded to us and always think that we were bonded to them and we cared about them. But the worry about the negotiator getting stuck home to the bad guy, the negotiator would always go, like, what? You know, what do you what are you guys talking about now that we have a clear understanding these days? The oxytocin event occurred. The bad guy got Barletta’s.

You hear somebody out, they you get a good, solid five star that’s right out of them. They are bonded to you, which then leaves you in a position of tremendous influence. Tremendous. And you’ve got to be careful with that because the amount of influence you had. But that’s what happens when somebody is fully hurt out. They feel bonded to the person that hurt them. And guys, what do you think? And then I talk that in circles to my face.

All right, I think you’re right, right in line and Sara, please go ahead.

Yeah, that’s thought I was going to say you’re right in line. It was a it was a a scientific infused way of saying. People love to have other people understand what they’re going through and the cheapest and most effective concession you can make is just to listen.

Mm hmm. Yeah, and I read in your book most recently, Derek, you know, it’s about listening and it’s not really about providing a solution right away, which I think it’s a most common mistakes. I see myself making a lot of people making it a mastermind situation where you hear a problem, you want to immediately relate to that problem and then offer your own solution, which may be irrelevant in some ways, even though you’re trying to be helpful.


I know sometimes they just want you to sit back and listen and then you’re you’re listening. Takes care of the negative emotions and dynamics that they have attached to the situation. And when you start to diminish those negative emotions and dynamics that they’ve attached to the situation, they’re more accepting of your solutions and your ideas when it’s time. Often we get the the sequencing in reverse where we want to lay out the solution at the beginning of the conversation and they’re not ready to hear it yet.

And so it’s just a matter of hearing them out, returning them to a normal functioning level so that they can hear what the right way to fix the problem is.

I love it’s not a metaphor. It’s a real situation. You said I can sell jail time and they will always take it. If you could sell jail time, I mean, you could really sell anything, almost anything. There’s a really interesting questions like, wow, this is a good one from Marcel. So she works at GoDaddy. Thanks for revealing the company, but not just GoDaddy. A lot of companies would say that the common objection or the comment answer you get is let me think about it.

Let me think about it or I’ll get back to you. And maybe the other side feels like I’m not being heard. There probably will be no further actions or next steps related to that. I hear that often, too, from some clients, from prospects. So how do you like dislike that word? Take that.

Pat Brown, I know you’re on top of that. Well, there’s is actually a couple of different ways that you can approach it. I mean, as everybody’s already figured out, my favorite skill is labels and that this there’s always a way to label your way out of or into any situation. But another another potential move here is this proof of life idea is fairly new idea. We allude to it in the book, but don’t go into great detail.

And if you haven’t done a proof of life up to that point and you get it, I’ll get back to or let me think about it. That’s probably a very primed moment to be using that skill. And the purpose of it is how do we get the other side to state our value proposition? And it’s the only time that we would suggest using a why question in negotiation. And it’s simply why us? So a lot of people you could have talked to, you know, it’s a big industry.

Why else?

Mm hmm. I love these. Come on, I love what we’re talking about here, because sometimes some people say, well, it seems like common sense. Even Chris, you write about like seems like common sense, but common sense isn’t always common. Practice often isn’t common practice. And that’s why I really enjoy your teaching. So I also personally find and I don’t know about people who are watching this, the fact that since I saw the launch of Master Class, I was very excited.

And some people said, please ask Chris about master class and to see a friend and mentor master classes at this whole new meaning. And it was so well executed. So, Chris, could you share maybe a bit about that? Because for me, it was another opportunity after meeting Brendon, reading your book, knowing your coaching there, just I feel like it really took me to the next level as well, so.

Yeah, well, you know, there’s a lot of things about masterclass, a lot of fun and when and when they approach this, I mean, first of all, is an important negotiation. We negotiate as a team. I engage every step of the way with Brandon. I am always better as a wingman with the wingman. If it’s important to throw on a phone together. We’re working together. So we turn masterclass down three times. And we meant it every single time, like when we say no, we mean no, we just say it nicely.

You don’t want to call people names. You know, the Brits have a saying. You can be as rude as you want as long as you’re polite about it. We’re polite. And and there were significant problems in each step of the way with the agreement and we’re like, oh, cool, we understand what you guys want, that you’re entitled to want that you’ve got all the reasons, your business model, it just doesn’t work for us. So thanks for the offer.

Every time we turn them down, we turn down really nicely. We meant that it was not a tactic, was not meant to get a better deal. And they came back and they kept working to improve the deal, finally wind up in a direct conversation, Brad and I and I was on the phone with with David Rogier, the founder. The same time we did that, she was part of the conversation. Yeah, we put we put our core team together and we’re on the phone with the master class founder, David Rogier, wonderful guy.

And we laid out the problem. And he was like, oh, yeah, I can fix that. He was the only one in the company with the authority to fix it. But yeah, I can fix that. So we fixed it and we cut the deal. Now they are all in you know, they come to one of our trainings to do the work. They did a massive amount of work. They committed sharp, sharp people to pull it together.

They gave us the opportunity to add it. And then when we got ready to to shoot. It was like being on a set of a movie, and it’s you feel wonderful now. Now they’re very smart about they’ve got to get this thing in the can in two days and they’ve got to keep me energized the entire time. How do you keep somebody energized? You treat them like a king is sign somebody walk around with them. I got it.

I got a system going everywhere with me except the bathroom. But that is keeping me from making a single decision all day long, because in point of fact, every human being suffers from decision. Fatigue can only make so many decisions in a given day. They don’t need me burning up my mental capacity, trying to decide whether or not I want ice in my water. They are scampering and giving me everything. They give me coffee if I have to look like I want something to run and get it for.

But they’re keeping me sharp. The entire time it was like being on a movie set. There were 50 people there. It was a movie set. But that committed to doing stuff right. So I’ve been happy with them every step of the way. And it’s insane how what a value a master class subscription is. I mean, it’s it’s insane how valuable that thing is. So very happy with the other thing is cool about it. We found out that super popular will win.

And it’s the first time we’ve seen a negotiation product out there that skewed heavily in favor of women. Normally it frustrates the hell out of us because we believe the women ultimately are better negotiators and better. But we can’t get them to buy the negotiation products at the same level and found out that that massive skewing in the direction of women is one of the things that I read that, you know, the Bobby Brown makeup class is the most common class to be viewed before mine.

You mean that women are watching the makeup class, although that’s not entirely true all the time, but it’s cool that it resonates so much with one.

That’s so cool, that’s so cool, I got I got one follow up question, and regarding masterclasses, you were the whole execution was so seamless and I know there’s some editing involved, but you also talk for a long time, not just you, anybody who joined master class. It’s like pouring their life’s work out on the surface. And did you find yourself superfluid with every chapter, every point of view tactics, or how much of that is scripted versus kind of freestyle?

No, we put a lot of prep into it now. I don’t know if they’re just in for me or the way that they do with everyone, but they want to give you a lot of structure and a lot of room to be spontaneous. So we worked on the lessons. They came to one of our strengths, asked us a lot of questions. They immerse themselves. We had a couple of meetings with them and I sit down with them a couple of times.

You know, they want to get it like eighty five percent, right, and then prompt as much spontaneity in the moment as possible then. And so I think that, you know, I’m really I’m really happy with the job that they did.

Yeah, it is incredible. I love it. I feel like I need to watch it again after this. So. All right. So going back to. There are a lot of questions are pouring in. And I’m super thrilled because there’s a large portion of my audience in particular on YouTube who watching those right now are dance and fitness instructors who got hit hard during the pandemic. If you imagine someone who work full time getting close to what they consider as a full time salary to all of a sudden gyms closing down their home, and I’m teaching them everything from Zoom to audio video tactics.

So Francey, who I’ve been following, who’s a fitness instructor, said, how does negotiation apply to business building? She is a dance instructor, as in beyond the sales piece. What would you recommend? How do I negotiate and attract new people to my products, services and brand and stand out from the competition?

Brian, I’m thinking that’s true, man, because you’re building our business with these tactics, which is just like anything else, any other business to me, marketing and sales go hand in hand. And so very much like sales and marketing. Yes. Oriented questions like to be asked like, don’t you want to get better? Don’t you want to change your life, you know? Right. Just a series of yeses. And one of the small adjustments that we’ve made here, Black Swan, I think it applies across the board of marketing is have no change.

Yes. Oriented questions to a question that requires no answer from the potential customer. And we’ve been able to show on paper that the data is, in fact, better. And the response in order to questions, even from a marketing side when someone looks at an ad. And so that would be the first place I’d want to go. You know, just how how are you displaying your message and what adaptations are you using for the moment? And we are using like, have you given up on getting better at all those things?

All those things.

Yeah. To to share more. And I would personally add to that as well as to be seen, to be known. And I look at the word Black Swan has done and it’s crazy like people contacts I’ve lost in touch with someone would say ofay. I thought I’d give you a call because I’m currently Derek’s workshop. I am listening to Chris right now. I’m learning from Brendan and it’s just mind blowing. And some of them did listen to the podcast and learn more about the company.

But some of that certainly are, you know, as a result of blogging. And I encourage everyone to take a look, go to Black Swan website and we have all the descriptions. I even linked the URL, the blog section right there in wherever you’re watching this. And there’s so much work that goes into the curation of high quality content and how the content is interrelated and connected, I find myself usually reading one blog post. We like what is tactical empathy and there will be a separate call to action and links so I can learn more about that.

So I think there’s a lot that you could all learn about just how marketing strategies and how marketing works for Black Swan.

And I actually got a question. I just thought of it as we were working our way through that. Nor into question then is anybody can use it wherever they feel is necessary. But are you going to let the pandemic stop your progress? Here’s the link to my virtual session. Right. That would be that would be an example of something like we would use our.

Yeah, I definitely have heard that from fitness instructors in particular is the accountability piece, and someone even said, I don’t care if you want to go to another instructor, do something different in your basement. But I’m here to keep you accountable because fitness and health are just above and beyond what’s what’s even what’s more important than that. So I love that. So I I’m going to hop around because people have different questions right now. I’m going to go to Mintzer, who also sent me a ton of questions and one that he shared just now, that he found himself in a situation where he was heavily emotionally anchored and with an accusation, accusation, audit and the other person blew up.

And how do I know to find a balance and not think too bad of a picture where the accusation audit so the conversation won’t go downhill.

Wow. Wow. So, Chris, if I may. So. Characterizing it as a conversation going downhill might not be very accurate. The response that you’ve got from your counterpart may not have been the response that you want it. But it is definitely a response that he felt that he needed to share, right. And so part of our moving them to a normal functioning level is to have them vent, have them dump their buckets, and if they explode at you over and accusations are that you should be proud of yourself because you hit it right on the on the nose.

And again, going back to what we talked about earlier. People want other people to understand what they’re going through. And if you use the accusation properly, you verbalized something that he had yet to speak into the air, which puts you in the position of being almost a mind reader. And yes, you may throw out an accusation is ordered and it unloads or uncorks a torrent of vitriol from the other side. That’s great, all you have to do is hold on forty five seconds to a minute, unless you’re dealing with an outand out sociopath, they can’t they won’t be able to sustain it that long.

Sit in your chair, take it once it starts to diminish. You apologize. And then you stay in the moment to find out what caused the reaction, you apologize. Sounds like something I’m sorry. It sounds like I really underestimated how important this was to you. What caused that reaction? Those three techniques in a row will allow you to find out exactly what’s motivating behaviorally. Most of us, we get wrapped around the axle on the statement or the behavior.

And to Brandon’s earlier point, we don’t go after what’s motivating the statement or behavior, if somebody explodes at you like that, they’re telling you something is very important to them. They’re telling you that you’re not taking it up. It’s very important to them or they’re under tremendous pressure. You have to stay in the moment to figure out which one it is. Most of us want to pivot out of that moment because when we get blasted like that, we want to immediately change the topic because it was an adverse response.

And I’m telling you, you need to stay right there because that emotion is not going to go away until you identify it and you articulate that recognition.

Chris, yeah, and Matt, stay in the moment, and the only thing that I could think possibly to is like if you if if there was an explosion, was your accusations on it probably feel or I don’t want you to feel. How did how how are you tuning it up, making sure, as Derek said, if you’re delivering it properly, how you top each one of those emotions really is critical. You probably feel is the way to go with it as opposed to I don’t want you to feel the denial is always gasoline on a slight.

And actually, I love that just another piece of that as well, being erring on the side of the glass and half full. One of the wonderful things about someone jumping in to correct you like that with gusto is it also means that they’re being extremely honest with you. And it’s a great way of you trying to force honesty or you’re trying to reveal honesty at the table. Rest assured, when someone is in that state, they’re being very truthful with their is no lie and what they say.

I could just feel like my blood pressure is like, you know, going from very excited just to hearing you talk, it’s very soothing. And definitely I find that even for me as a content creator, as an interviewer, sometimes when I hear the other side slow down or that who could potentially be arguing with me, I definitely find myself wanting to jump in and kind of have breath in and rushing through. And but I think I need to practice a little bit more, too.

Well, we’re going live. And so here’s another question from Michael for old panelists here. Can we hear more on what team and negotiation looks like? Any basic pillars of the philosophy on that topic of teamwork, especially in the online space?

The doctor got question right there. He is our resident team expert and is constantly coaching corporation corporate teams to operate more effectively.

So I’ll take exception to the resident expert, because I think that all of us have chipped in to flesh out what it looks like to use the Black Swan method as a part of the team. Well, a couple of things I wanted to mention. First of all, what Chris said earlier. You want to go you want to go fast, go alone. You want to go Fargo as a team, you should be you should keep that mantra in the back of your head.

Any time you engage in the difficult conversation, whether you’re in person or whether you’re virtual, understand that. The world that we came from, it was all about the team. And so what does that look like in a corporate environment, you should have your primary negotiator, your number one, your primary talker, that talker should be assisted by a wingman, a coach, if you will, secondary negotiator. You should have someone on the call who’s there just to listen and take notes so that you can debrief the call after the fact.

And you should have. For lack of a better term, a team leader who’s flying at about twenty thousand feet above everything else that’s going on, offering input and suggestion, the primary dialog. Is with the primary negotiator, the coach’s job is to. Pick up on things of import, that’s the primary negotiator is invariably going to miss, you’re going to be so engaged in the conversation that they’re just your human things are going to get by you. And the coach’s job is to label those important things that you miss when we say every third to fourth turn in the speaking, the coach should be offering a label.

Outside of that, the primary negotiator handles the dialog. Equally important is the listener in the scry. If you are not debriefing your calls, Zoom or otherwise, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’re making you’re doing some things that are right on the call. You’re making mistakes on the call. You need to keep track of both so that when you get on future calls, the mistakes you make are not going to be mistakes that you’ve already made. They’re going to be brand new ones.

You’re going to make mistakes on the call. But again, operating as a team is just a smarter way to work. And that’s what I believe in. Working smart, not working hard. You want to work hard, go and buy yourself now. Resources, time, personnel may. May preclude you from having an entire team with you. You should have at least another pair of ears in the room. To pick up on those things that you’re likely to miss.

What did I miss, Brandon?

Well, I don’t think you really missed anything. The only thing I would probably add is one small nuance around the team dynamic is the coach, for all intents and purposes, is really the linchpin of the team. And we actually would suggest with a lot of our corporate clients that your most first individual and tactical empathy, whoever’s got the best grasp of the skills, needs to be in the coach’s seat. Which is counterintuitive, you would think you’d want that person to be the primary and actually that person should be the coach and your second best person should be a primary and then more so if there’s information that the primary needs, it never goes directly to the primary negotiator.

They got enough to worry about trying to listen and keep up and pay attention and formulate their next skill. All information runs through the coach. The coach really handles a lot of the activity that’s going on, which is why they need to be the linchpin.

I love this approach is such a team and team event happening right now, and I just saw a comment from Gustavo Seraphine, a big shout out who? Someone a dear friend of mine who joined your workshop. You said one of the best lessons he learned from Derek is don’t just get defensive when people get angry. It’s not about use about them and it means so much. I’m not going to embarrass Gustavo on the call right now, but your coaching meant so much to him and really transformed his organization.

So really, thank you for that.

Yeah. And it changed his thought process because he’s contacted me subsequent to that with some very profound questions based on the state of the world today. So his thought process has changed. So good for him.

Awesome. And I saw Marc raise his hand. Mark, if you don’t mind sending us a question via Q&A, we’re in the comment. I’ll be sure to pass that along. So while you do that, we have another question from Dean Cooper. The Blackphone approach is based on nine tools and techniques based on what you have learned in the past few years. If you could have a tenth, what would it be?

I don’t know, we had a tent. I mean, we’re combining the skills in different ways and we’re involving them in our calibrated questions. He’s got a new subset that we refer to as thought shaping questions. But that’s finding a way to ask how or what question and add in an emotional an element to deactivated negative emotion and the same question. So I don’t know that we’d had any new skills. We’re combining them into really interesting ones. I mean, what do you guys think?

Yeah, I don’t and that’s a tough one and one of the one of the conclusions we’ve come to this was a few years back is if we continue to add to the list, it won’t be long before it’s like the negotiation. Fifteen hundred. You know, it’s just that the list is just way too long. And there’s a lot of you probably already noticed. Right. Accusations that it is something we talk about all the time and it’s not technically on the negotiation list.

And so if I was going to add personally one more thing, it’d probably be the accusations on it. If I was going to put one more on the list is probably what I choose.

Mm hmm. Wonderful. All right, so I’m excited about the next question from Adam, because it speaks to a couple of projects I’m currently working on. So in a few weeks, I’m going to do something similar to this, but not a webinar with three very dear friends to talk about disabilities and body image, the idea of able bodied versus disabled bodies. And and I’m getting, frankly, to be really nervous. I’ve been feeling really nervous about that.

And at the same time, another project I’ve been invited to start a podcast, even though I’m the host, but it’s really about and for childhood cancer, it’s called Hall of Champions. So I may be talking to some of the kids alongside their parents or parents who have lost their children. So in both scenarios, I am sweating up because I feel like it’s so important to me as initiatives. But at the same time, what do I do in a situation where people are watching this?

You know, I feel like maybe they feel like they can relate to me or something. I don’t understand that they’re in this unique experience. What can I do to relate and build rapport rather quickly and authentically?

You know, just start taking emotionally intelligent, educated guesses on how people are feeling. And that requires you to dial in and that’s the first thing that people want you to do is dialing. Most most people don’t try to dial. Most people start saying, why don’t you do this or you shouldn’t feel this, you should move on. Should you know, it’s a shooty world if somebody uses a word, should in a phrase, they just should all over.

So it shouldn’t be you start taking good, solid guesses what people are going through in all the instances you’re talking about, it’s some form of loss, which means grief. And with human beings, there’s there’s a progression of grief to gratitude. That’s the healing process. And some people think I had a heck, am I supposed to be grateful over this loss? Well, I’m grateful. Grateful that you had some to lose in the first place. You know, you’re grateful that you knew the person at all.

I can I still I still feel the loss of my father’s death. I’m grateful for the time that I had with. So when you begin to interact with people known as some version of loss, you have to say things like it’s got to be devastating, it’s got to be real quick. And it. I mean, you’ve got to feel isolated, alone, afraid, angry. You start looking for these and then the news a person are all of us, the more able the benefit for you here is as much for you as it is for them.

I saw something recently on called net negative emotion differentiation. The more that you have the ability to call it the subtle shades in hues of negative emotions and other people and observe it and call it a. The more capable you are of dealing with just one of the things that were really getting turned on to recently process of putting new material out between Fran and Derek and I. The benefits to you of doing this stuff is enormous. It does it does more for you than it does for them, and it does a lot for them.

So the more that you work at it, the more the better off. Everybody is going to be a little bit of a bit of a soap box in their brand. What do you guys think? I agree, I’m probably going to sound like I’m getting up on my soapbox as well, but especially when someone has a has experienced intense loss. Probably the worst response you could have to them is I’m sorry, or how are you doing? Those are those are those are things people say often, but are probably some of the worst things you could say.

Well, how does that benefit you as a negotiator? Well, you know that people are saying that to them all the time and approaching them with I bet you’re tired of people saying I’m sorry and asking you, how are you doing? In addition to I know this is this is something that is inconceivable, right, all all the all the examples that Chris just laid out, you can throw that into an. I haven’t personally run into someone that’s experienced a deep personal loss and lead with that question, and it didn’t immediately lighten the mood.

They’re all like, oh yeah. I mean, everybody says, I’m so tired of it. I wish they would just I wish they’d say nothing at all and then follow with that. And so you can actually put that to your benefit because, you know, the rest of the world is doing you can use this as an advantage.

And one of the biggest problems is it smacks of insincerity. When it’s used over and over again. It’s not authentic and people know it, people, especially people who have experienced loss to that magnitude, they are hyper vigilant for in authenticity and it sets them off. And what does that do for you, Faith, that puts you at a tremendous advantage because you’re going to separate yourself out by just using those words in the manner that Chris talked about? Personally, I like when when you’re talking about extreme emotional response.

Phrases like punch in the gut, stab in the back. Hit by a truck, something that visually starts a movie to play in their head. It you get more bang for the buck and you start to establish that rapport earlier, which will lead you to trust based influence, which will get you where you need to go, get you the information that you need, get you to close the deal, get you to get the story, et cetera.

Thank you so much for that. And definitely the hot topic that’s occupying a lot of my mental space right now. And, you know, sometimes we pick up these project are so excited about and then again, as a woman say, am I inadequate? And how can I I want to do my best and I want all these outcomes. But I also like what I’m learning from all of you is holding that space is to pause is to listen. So, so grateful.

I know we have about five, six minutes left and there’s one more question related to culture, but also related to accusation. Again, that’s something I feel like I need to learn more about. We have a group of people very focused on this topic. So. So I miss Sova ask in my culture in Brazil accusation Ortez is usually perceived as a very annoying sense. They just want you to say what you want right away without stalling. How do I go around that?

And I have to admit, that’s not just Brazil. I’ve seen that experience and the many different cultures.

Well, a couple of things. Alix’s out of throw it out. I threw it out to the rest of the team here. We have found, especially when you’re translating the accusations ordered out of English, into Portuguese, into Spanish or whatever, a lot of people mistakenly translated to. I don’t want you to think. Which is actually improper, you’re supposed to you should say, I know you think, as opposed to I don’t want you at the I don’t want you is in denial.

And so that’s the first thing to be aware of is the translation the way it should be. And then the second part of it is. Based on the culture, people that are just time is money, and I don’t want to sit here and listen to you rattle on for 20 minutes, give me what you got, Sean. Your accusations are down to what we refer to as a cold read, which is simply one or two lines. And you can lead in with I’m not going to waste your time.

What I’m going to say next is going to feel like a punch in the face and then lay it out for.

And the only thing that I would add to that is when you throw out your accusations are. And regardless of culture, they tell you to stop, I don’t have time for this, let’s get down to brass tacks. That’s OK. Because the conversation now turns into the direction that you ultimately want it to go anyway, and it’s not your idea, it’s their idea. And so what have you done? You’ve protected their autonomy because you didn’t ask for the conversation to jump into the brass tacks portion of the conversation, it was their idea.

So getting them to stop you, cut you off. That’s great.

I love how transferable these skills are because I have deficits. Knowing Chris, I’ve practiced those skills in China and you know, where I live permanently here. And it’s for 20 years in Boston. And people like you, you’re so Americanized. But I try these skills absolutely works. And I already told Chris, like immediately after our documentary of how I negotiated the budget, I was able to make this project the reality. So thank you so much for that.

And I got to tell you, having spent a lot of time in New York City and and Brain pretty much grew up there, and I often wonder what’s a more difficult environment where the people are crazy or in China or Boston, I think.

Yeah, it’s not untrue. Oh, my God. It is lot to deal with here for sure. So one more question from Michael. Last question. I’d like to hear his his last question. I have many more, but I won’t keep you here forever. I love to. He said he’d like to hear real quick from each one of you guys. A couple of favorite lines just to toss out at any time. Some good lines that keep coming in handy.

I’ll go first before these guys steal it, because I don’t know, and it’s going to be a label, right? Surprise, surprise, I love labels and you can use this over and over again in every conversation you have. And it’s simply it seems like you have a reason for saying.

I will go next before Chris steals mine and accusations it. Right before and ask. I’m about to make your day that much harder. I like that because as soon as I say that, I let it sit, followed by silence, their brain goes to the far end of the fear spectrum and they’re imagining all of the worst case scenarios so that when I ultimately make my aske, it’s a relief. That’s that’s all it is. And I’m more likely to get it.

And I get a version of that, I use a lot of money from the direct guy know, I think of myself as direct and honest and what other people feel like is are getting in the face of a brick. So quite a lot I will leave by saying this is going to sound harsh. It gives them the opportunity to brace themselves and it’s it’s amazing how resilient human beings are. If you give them just a second and a half, two seconds to brace themselves to amazing what people can do if you give them a chance to brace themselves.

Look at that, people are saying, oh, we’ve got to do a part two of those sometimes I love I love all these questions coming in and I’m reading this, Chris, I’m not sure if you could actually see what Jared sent for. I don’t even know how to say that myself, so, well, this is this is great, but I do you guys have to bounce off like it’s three o’clock. Do you have a three o’clock starting right now.

So also red pearl there. How is it sexiest color on a black.

Jarrett is very happy right now, very happy.

I think we’re probably going to war. I’m giving my time to.

I first of all, I want to thank thank all of you so much for your time. I seriously can wait to do this again if I do have one more question. If you guys do have five more minutes to spare. But for those of you who have to bounce off right now, this is a recording session and we went live. But this is also within our own demands. I’ll be sure to send all 40 people who signed up for this recording of this so you can what I be sure we’re getting will be getting a transcript because I want to study a lot of these things for sure.

So can I squeeze in one more question for myself? I think we got time for one more. Oh, one more. OK, so this question, as I realize, is a lot of people since the pandemic, some may pivot to teaching at the gym, to teaching from home. But I’ve also noticed a lot of people pivot even more drastically across industries. And let’s say, for example, there may be doctors who are working in hospitals, too, now, working from home or setting up their own practice.

One thing, Chris, I will never forget, as you were sitting there talking and you actually said into my documentary is you thought originally, hey, negotiation, this is so applicable, so transferable to business, but it’s not always that apparent or always that easy. And this question is for everyone. So if someone is thinking about pivoting to adjacent possible or slightly different career aroud, what is the mindset? What are some things they can think about?

Were your recommendations at a high level?

I’m going to I’m going to start to answer and probably asprin to add to it and and Derek obviously, too, but because I was thinking earlier today, our first hire somebody into the company that we didn’t have a previous relationship with, Brandon hired Brandon hired debut, our director of business. She’s a superstar, an absolute superstar. She’s a millennial and a female, which means she probably starts out with lots of advantages. But the really cool thing about David was, is it’s not relevant to experience.

She she’s a Mormon. She goes on a Mormon mission in Ecuador. She speaks Spanish. And so they she wants to get fluent Spanish so she can be effective and what do they tell her is going to take her six months to get to get conversational at least, right? At least probably a year to be fluent. Six months to be able to work our way through the city without any help. Yeah, so but but in the process, they say, no, candidly, you’re going to have to make ten thousand mistakes.

This is ten thousand. No, ten thousand is ten thousand hours. Ten thousand mistakes. And the person teacher says you’re going to make at least ten thousand mistakes before you slow babies like. Oh. Well, I’ll just make them sooner, so she went after it, not being afraid to fail, not being afraid to make mistakes, but actually looking at each mistake as a learning experience that would accelerate her journey. How long did it take her to get full breath, as I understand it?

She set a goal for herself of eight weeks to be fluent. And she was found and said, Oh, my goodness. Wow, so the problem with pivoting is to be scared of making mistakes, that’s what will stop you, is soon as you look at mistakes as an opportunity to accelerate your journey. And by the way, so David goes to actually learn Spanish, she comes on board with us under Brandon’s tutelage, she’s learning a black swan method.

She points back to Brand after she’s been with us for, I don’t know, three or four weeks. She was like, you know, when I first started, it seemed like a lot of the people they called were jerks. And there aren’t as many jerks in calling. Because she’s a learner and she got better, she wasn’t scared of making mistakes, is it is that unfair? Brad, how did I know? Yeah, I think that’s extremely accurate.

I think it’s funny that she attributed to the environment changing around her as opposed to her adapting to the environment. It’s very much for adaptation, the change, the quality of phone calls that she was having. And then, you know, as we’re talking about that, I’m a huge fan and she’s she’s my right hand. So I’m clearly a huge fan. But, yeah, she learned so fast. I think within the first forty five days of her being in the company, she cut one of the largest deals since black swans inception in twenty ten.

And so she’s she’s a sponge and she’s just really absorbed this stuff very well.

Girl power here that out, so I love. Thank you so much for sharing this story. It means so much and everybody is kind of some people feel like they’re in trenches. This is kind of unstable ground and unfamiliar ground and super, super encouraging. I’ve seen so many comments just now to say, please have a part two and literally until three o’clock we had still like twenty nine out of the thirty something people who joined. And this is so wonderful.

Very inspiring indeed. Thank you so much, Chris, Brandon and Derek. I am so excited. Once again, Derek has a new book and I’m an audible person, so I highly recommend everybody to download this, get a hard copy. Huge, huge fan and. Oh yeah, exactly. Its poster right behind Derek as well. So I’m going to take us offline and, you know, just I can’t wait to see you guys again. This is so wonderful.

We love us some Fei Wu. That’s right. That’s right.

Yeah, absolutely. I am so, so happy you guys can be here. Please let me know. Let you know people are watching this and let me know. I just include in a follow up anything that we can do to help you guys, anyone, anybody who has seen this, please let me know, because I think that you’ve helped us so much and it’s. This episode of the First World podcast is brought to you by Fey’s World LLC, our marketing service agency created for independent creators and businesses.

We offer website development, video production, marketing, mentorship to people who want to tell better stories, level up and create a profitable brand phasor podcast team or chief editor and producer Herman Silvio’s associate producer Adam Lefort, social media and content manager Rosta Leon transcript editor Allena Almodóvar. And lastly myself, the creator and host of Face World. Thank you so much for listening.

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