When we enter negotiations, it’s a fact that our brains tend to spend more energy worrying about what might go wrong than focusing on what could go right. We’re worried about losing precious ground. Losing face. Losing, period. A smart tactic in negotiations is to find ways of preemptively diminishing these negative emotions in your negotiating partners. This begins with tactical empathy—understanding and labeling their likely concerns.
- The definition of empathy … is really completely understanding … where the other side's coming from … and especially emotionally … and then being able to feed it back to them … in a way that they signal to you that you got it right. … Understand and demonstrate that understanding. … So once we completely understand … where somebody's coming from … then with tactical empathy we get a much better feel … for exactly how they feel about things, … how that drives them. … People are so much more driven by avoiding negative things … and avoiding loss … then fear of loss becomes one of the major determinants … in decision making … almost to the point where our fear of loss … far exceeds the actual potential losses that people face. … So knowing that fear of loss … is probably going to drive someone's decision making … more than anything else, … tactically I want to defuse those fears. … I want to get them out of that fear based thinking … and I want to get them really in a more rational … open frame of mind as quickly as I can …
This course includes videos from:
Ronan Farrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist
Chris Voss, former hostage negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Amaryllis Fox, former CIA officer and current writer, television host, and peace activist
Reza Aslan, renowned writer, commentator, professor, producer, and scholar of religion
Kevin Zollman, associate professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University
Note: This course was produced by Big Think. We are pleased to host this content in our library.