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Agree to Disagree...

Yes or No?

Successful negotiation is not about getting to 'yes;' it's about mastering 'no' and understanding what the path to an agreement is. -Christopher Voss

Christopher Voss and The Black Swan Group are known primarily for one thing: negotiation. Voss, a former FBI Hostage Negotiator, has experience navigating the human psyche on jolting, deep levels. His book, "Never Split the Difference," presents his expertise in the area of agreements. In his line of work there could be no compromise; he had to get 100% of what he wanted, 100% of the time, or people died.

What is Agreement?

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines agreement as, "the situation in which people have the same opinion, or in which they approve of or accept something." Voss tells of a situation where a former war veteran had barricaded himself in his home and engaged police in a shoot-out. While all negotiation efforts had failed, Voss executed a tactic to talk down the veteran, by appealing to his military background.

A camera and microphone were attached to a RC car and driven into the house. The microphone buzzed with life, and Voss began to declare who the military had made the veteran to believe he was: A man of courage, valor, honor... A mask-wearing face appeared among the wreckage, the veteran surrendered.

The veteran's disagreement with those on scene who had tried to negotiate with him using coercion tactics, manifested violence. But the situation ended peacefully because he agreed with Voss; they shared the same opinion, and the veteran was then willing to accept negotiations.

How many of the ruins in your life started as a simple difference of opinion?

Whether you are in sales, any levels of business or simply looking to improve a relationship, you understand what happens when someone says "NO" because they disagree with you.

If sunset clouds could grow on trees

It would but match the may in flower; And skies be underneath the seas No topsyturvier than a shower. If mountains rose on wings to wander They were no wilder than a cloud; Yet all my praise is mean as slander, Mean as these mean words spoken aloud. And never more than now I know That man's first heaven is far behind; Unless the blazing seraph's blow Has left him in the garden blind. Witness, O Sun that blinds our eyes, Unthinkable and unthankable King, That though all other wonder dies I wonder at not wondering.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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