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Active Listening Superpower

  • people want to be understood and accepted
  • By listening intensely, a negotiator demonstrates empathy and shows a sincere desire to better understand what the other side is experiencing
  • Listening is the cheapest, yet most effective concession we can make
  • when individuals feel listened to, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and to openly evaluate and clarify their own thoughts and feelings
  • Tactical Empathy. This is listening as a martial art
  • Reveal surprises
  • We are easily distracted. We engage in selective listening, hearing only what we want to hear, our minds acting on a cognitive bias for consistency rather than truth
  • Most people approach a negotiation so preoccupied by the arguments that support their position that they are unable to listen attentively
  • sole and all-encompassing focus the other person and what they have to say
  • disarm your counterpart. You’ll make them feel safe. The voice in their head will begin to quiet down
  • goal is to identify what your counterparts actually need (monetarily, emotionally, or otherwise) and get them feeling safe enough to talk and talk and talk
  • making it about the other people, validating their emotions, and creating enough trust and safety for a real conversation to begin
  • too much in a hurry, people can feel as if they’re not being heard and we risk undermining the rapport and trust we’ve built.
  • Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible
  • Discovery emotions (to later label them) by watching and listening, keeping your eyes peeled and your ears open, and your mouth shut
  • empathy is “the ability to recognize the perspective of a counterpart, and the vocalization of that recognition.”
  • As they talk, imagine that you are that person
  • A wealth of information from the other person’s words, tone, and body language. We call that trinity “words, music, and dance.”
  • by acknowledging the other person’s situation, you immediately convey that you are listening
  • Sometimes the only way to get your counterpart to listen and engage with you is by forcing them into a “No.” [[The power of NO]]
  • Carl Rogers, who proposed that real change can only come when a therapist accepts the client as he or she is
  • Minimal Encouragers: Besides silence, we instructed using simple phrases, such as “Yes,” “OK,” “Uh-huh,” or “I see,”
  • discovered that liars tend to speak in more complex sentences in an attempt to win over their suspicious counterparts
  • use of pronouns by a counterpart can also help give you a feel for their actual importance in the decision and implementation chains
  • One can only be an exceptional negotiator, and a great person, by both listening and speaking clearly and empathetically; by treating counterparts—and oneself—with dignity and respect; and most of all by being honest about what one wants and what one can—and cannot—do


  • Source: [[Raz-Never Split the Difference]]
  • MOC Negotiations
  • Personal Systemic Coaching
  • Combine with [[Mirroring]]
  • Combine with [[Empathy]]
  • Combine with [[Behavioral Change Stairway Model]] and its component of Active Listening
  • Combine with [[Paraphrasing]]
  • Combine with [[Calibrated questions]]
  • Combine with [[Negotiator types]]

  • Look for more information about Carl Rogers
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