Even though nearly everything in life is a negotiation in some form or another, we receive precious little training in how to negotiate. Developing emotional intelligence can forge healthy relationships that foster mutually beneficial decisions rather than adversarial interactions.

Listen to these two talks to discuss negotiation with the group:

  1. Chris Voss about his book Never Split the Difference.
  2. Dan Shapiro about his book Negotiating the Nonnegotiable

Do you think that Voss’ techniques are useful outside of the world of hostage negotiation? In what situations could you, or have you, used them?

Do these techniques raise any ethical questions? The example of getting two chairs given in the talk is mundane enough, but what if these were to be used for more nefarious ends?

I’ve spent hours arguing about the merits of relatively minor edits with copywriters. Clearly, there is more to this than a native speaker correcting a few mistakes with articles; we’re both defending our own versions of the sacred. Knowing this is all well and good, but how can any of the stumbling blocks that Shapiro described be overcome with this knowledge?

Perhaps some people are simply incorrigible. If this is the case, then there really would be no point in one party compromising or negotiating in good faith - in fact this comes across as a sign of weakness in many cultures.