Finished on 1/1/19 in Trinidad de Cuba, Cuba.

"If you take a pit bull approach with another pit bull, you generally end up with a messy scene and lots of bruised feelings and resentment. Luckily, there’s another way without all the mess. It’s just four simple steps: Use the late-night FM DJ voice. Start with “I’m sorry …” Mirror. Silence. At least four seconds, to let the mirror work its magic on your counterpart. Repeat."

"Politely saying “No” to your opponent (we’ll go into this in more depth in Chapter 9), calmly hearing “No,” and just letting the other side know that they are welcome to say “No” has a positive impact on any negotiation. In fact, your invitation for the other side to say “No” has an amazing power to bring down barriers and allow for beneficial communication. This means you have to train yourself to hear “No” as something other than rejection, and respond accordingly. When someone tells you “No,” you need to rethink the word in one of its alternative—and much more real—meanings: I am not yet ready to agree; You are making me feel uncomfortable; I do not understand; I don’t think I can afford it; I want something else; I need more information; or I want to talk it over with someone else. Then, after pausing, ask solution-based questions or simply label their effect: “What about this doesn’t work for you?” “What would you need to make it work?” “It seems like there’s something here that bothers you.” People have a need to say, “No.” So don’t just hope to hear it at some point; get them to say it early."

"I’ll let you in on a secret. There are actually three kinds of “Yes”: Counterfeit, Confirmation, and Commitment. A counterfeit “yes” is one in which your counterpart plans on saying “no” but either feels “yes” is an easier escape route or just wants to disingenuously keep the conversation going to obtain more information or some other kind of edge. A confirmation “yes” is generally innocent, a reflexive response to a black-or-white question; it’s sometimes used to lay a trap but mostly it’s just simple affirmation with no promise of action. And a commitment “yes” is the real deal; it’s a true agreement that leads to action, a “yes” at the table that ends with a signature on the contract. The commitment “yes” is what you want, but the three types sound almost the same so you have to learn how to recognize which one is being used."

"EMAIL MAGIC: HOW NEVER TO BE IGNORED AGAIN There’s nothing more irritating than being ignored. Being turned down is bad, but getting no response at all is the pits. It makes you feel invisible, as if you don’t exist. And it’s a waste of your time. We’ve all been through it: You send an email to someone you’re trying to do business with and they ignore you. Then you send a polite follow-up and they stonewall you again. So what do you do? You provoke a “No” with this one-sentence email. Have you given up on this project? The point is that this one-sentence email encapsulates the best of “No”-oriented questions and plays on your counterpart’s natural human aversion to loss. The “No” answer the email demands offers the other party the feeling of safety and the illusion of control while encouraging them to define their position and explain it to you. Just as important, it makes the implicit threat that you will walk away on your own terms. To stop that from happening—to cut their losses and prove their power—the other party’s natural inclination is to reply immediately and disagree. No, our priorities haven’t changed. We’ve just gotten bogged down and …"

"“That’s right” is better than “yes.” Strive for it. Reaching “that’s right” in a negotiation creates breakthroughs. Use a summary to trigger a “that’s right.” The building blocks of a good summary are a label combined with paraphrasing. Identify, rearticulate, and emotionally affirm “the world according to …”

"In fact, of the three ways that people drop this F-bomb, only one is positive. The most common use is a judo-like defensive move that destabilizes the other side. This manipulation usually takes the form of something like, “We just want what’s fair.”"

"The second use of the F-bomb is more nefarious. In this one, your counterpart will basically accuse you of being dense or dishonest by saying, “We’ve given you a fair offer.” It’s a terrible little jab meant to distract your attention and manipulate you into giving in."

"The last use of the F-word is my favorite because it’s positive and constructive. It sets the stage for honest and empathetic negotiation. Here’s how I use it: Early on in a negotiation, I say, “I want you to feel like you are being treated fairly at all times. So please stop me at any time if you feel I’m being unfair, and we’ll address it.” It’s simple and clear and sets me up as an honest dealer. With that statement, I let people know it is okay to use that word with me if they use it honestly. As a negotiator, you should strive for a reputation of being fair. Your reputation precedes you. Let it precede you in a way that paves success."

"In a tough negotiation, it’s not enough to show the other party that you can deliver the thing they want. To get real leverage, you have to persuade them that they have something concrete to lose if the deal falls through."

"You can bend your counterpart’s reality by anchoring his starting point. Before you make an offer, emotionally anchor them by saying how bad it will be. When you get to numbers, set an extreme anchor to make your “real” offer seem reasonable, or use a range to seem less aggressive. The real value of anything depends on what vantage point you’re looking at it from."

"First off, calibrated questions avoid verbs or words like “can,” “is,” “are,” “do,” or “does.” These are closed-ended questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or a “no.” Instead, they start with a list of words people know as reporter’s questions: “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how.” Those words inspire your counterpart to think and then speak expansively. But let me cut the list even further: it’s best to start with “what,” “how,” and sometimes “why.” Nothing else. “Who,” “when,” and “where” will often just get your counterpart to share a fact without thinking. And “why” can backfire. Regardless of what language the word “why” is translated into, it’s accusatory. There are very rare moments when this is to your advantage. The only time you can use “why” successfully is when the defensiveness that is created supports the change you are trying to get them to see. “Why would you ever change from the way you’ve always done things and try my approach?” is an example. “Why would your company ever change from your long-standing vendor and choose our company?” is another. As always, tone of voice, respectful and deferential, is critical. Otherwise, treat “why” like a burner on a hot stove—don’t touch it."

"Here are some other great standbys that I use in almost every negotiation, depending on the situation: What about this is important to you? How can I help to make this better for us? How would you like me to proceed? What is it that brought us into this situation? How can we solve this problem? What’s the objective? / What are we trying to accomplish here? How am I supposed to do that?"

"The underlying dynamic was that this guy didn’t like being questioned by anyone, especially a woman. So she and I developed a strategy that showed him she understood where she went wrong and acknowledged his power, while at the same time directing his energy toward solving her problem. The script we came up with hit all the best practices of negotiation we’ve talked about so far. Here it is by steps: A “No”-oriented email question to reinitiate contact: “Have you given up on settling this amicably?” A statement that leaves only the answer of “That’s right” to form a dynamic of agreement: “It seems that you feel my bill is not justified.” Calibrated questions about the problem to get him to reveal his thinking: “How does this bill violate our agreement?” More “No”-oriented questions to remove unspoken barriers: “Are you saying I misled you?” “Are you saying I didn’t do as you asked?” “Are you saying I reneged on our agreement?” or “Are you saying I failed you?” Labeling and mirroring the essence of his answers if they are not acceptable so he has to consider them again: “It seems like you feel my work was subpar.” Or “… my work was subpar?” A calibrated question in reply to any offer other than full payment, in order to get him to offer a solution: “How am I supposed to accept that?” If none of this gets an offer of full payment, a label that flatters his sense of control and power: “It seems like you are the type of person who prides himself on the way he does business—rightfully so—and has a knack for not only expanding the pie but making the ship run more efficiently.” A long pause and then one more “No”-oriented question: “Do you want to be known as someone who doesn’t fulfill agreements?” From my long experience in negotiation, scripts like this have a 90 percent success rate. That is, if the negotiator stays calm and rational. And that’s a big if."

"We’ve found that you can usually express “No” four times before actually saying the word. The first step in the “No” series is the old standby: “How am I supposed to do that?” You have to deliver it in a deferential way, so it becomes a request for help. Properly delivered, it invites the other side to participate in your dilemma and solve it with a better offer. After that, some version of “Your offer is very generous, I’m sorry, that just doesn’t work for me” is an elegant second way to say “No.” This well-tested response avoids making a counteroffer, and the use of “generous” nurtures your counterpart to live up to the word. The “I’m sorry” also softens the “No” and builds empathy. (You can ignore the so-called negotiating experts who say apologies are always signs of weakness.) Then you can use something like “I’m sorry but I’m afraid I just can’t do that.” It’s a little more direct, and the “can’t do that” does great double duty. By expressing an inability to perform, it can trigger the other side’s empathy toward you. “I’m sorry, no” is a slightly more succinct version for the fourth “No.” If delivered gently, it barely sounds negative at all. If you have to go further, of course, “No” is the last and most direct way. Verbally, it should be delivered with a downward inflection and a tone of regard; it’s not meant to be “NO!”"

"The Ackerman model is an offer-counteroffer method, at least on the surface. But it is a very effective system for beating the usual lackluster bargaining dynamic, which has the predictable result of meeting in the middle. The systematized and easy-to-remember process has only four steps: Set your target price (your goal). Set your first offer at 65 percent of your target price. Calculate three raises of decreasing increments (to 85, 95, and 100 percent). Use lots of empathy and different ways of saying “No” to get the other side to counter before you increase your offer. When calculating the final amount, use precise, nonround numbers like, say, $37,893 rather than $38,000. It gives the number credibility and weight. On your final number, throw in a nonmonetary item (that they probably don’t want) to show you’re at your limit."

"Please remember that our emphasis throughout the book is that the adversary is the situation and that the person that you appear to be in conflict with is actually your partner."

"When someone seems irrational or crazy, they most likely aren’t. Faced with this situation, search for constraints, hidden desires, and bad information."

Notes and Quotes - Never Split the Difference (Chris Voss and Tahl Raz)