"Tactical Empathy is understanding the feelings and mindset of another in the moment and also hearing what is behind those feelings so you increase your influence in all the moments that follow."
Chris Voss with Tahl Raz, Never Split The Difference
There's a good post about life being transactional which spurred me to write about this book I recently finished. Life is transactional; so learn how to get what you want out of it.
NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
I picked up this book is solely because I love a bargain. I approached buying/negotiating with a logical plan that had served me well and always thought that was the best approach. Until I read this book. Now if you've read this book you'll know exactly what's so good about it; if you haven't; add it to your reading list.
Voss's premise flips what I thought (and experienced) to be the best approach to negotiating on its head. The approach he espouses is based on first understanding, then utilising their emotional mindset of your counterpart to manoeuvre their logical/rational side towards what you want.
Through Active Listening you give yourself the best opportunity to access your counterpart's emotional mindset and understand it. Voss delves into it deeper but the main thing takeaway for me was that listening, and doing so well is the first step to establishing your influence on a negotiation/interaction.
Once you've ascertained a firm grasp of your counterpart's emotions/feelings the next step is to employ empathy tactically to steer the outcome of the negotiation towards your goal.
Tactical Empathy is described as The Centrepiece of the book. In any negotiation or interaction it's the foundation from which grows the framework of techniques and processes to get you what you want. Put simply it's the ability to perceive, understand, then rationalise the perspective of another person. Vocalising and repeating their point of view back to them then further increases your position of influence during the negotiation/interaction. Voss delves into techniques such as mirroring, labelling and calibrated questions to frame negotiations/interactions in a manner were your counterpart feels like working towards your goals is their idea.
APPLICATION IN THE SMP
Tactical Empathy utilised in this interpretation can make navigating The SMP so much easier. Imagine by simply listening, then acting on the information you gain to influence anyone and everyone towards your own ends? What could you accomplish? Whether it's cold approaching, escalating, or just buying a rug; honing your negotiating skills is something I’d encourage all of us to undertake.
Whether you're negotiating a raise or where to after closing; learning then applying the principles in this book could help you get what you want.
As in any and all negotiation the ultimate power belongs to the one willing to walk away. NEVER GIVE IT UP.