How to get what you want – Julio’s deathbed thoughts

Hand, Hands, Shaking Hands, Man Hand, Man Hands

Audio version available:

To whom it may concern:

An old buddy of mine used to be a hostage negotiator. It’s one of the most stressful jobs on this planet. There is too much on the line to lose. Everything depends on how competent you are. Noah (My friend) luckily worked well under pressure. He never showed any signs of being desperate to his opponent. 

One time, he had to negotiate with terrorists that had hijacked a whole plane. There were around 158 people on the plane. To make matters worse, Noah had just joined the force. Till this day he claims that was the most stressful day of his life. The terrorists demanded the CEO of the airline to step down from his position. 

Turns out, the hijackers were employees of the airline. The CEO had been attempting to lower the expenditure of the company. It might seem like a regular procedure, however, he was cutting the budget of employees to raise his salary. Additionally, due to the budget cuts two planes had experienced technical difficulties in the sky. Which led to devastating accidents.

The crew on the hijacked plane demanded the airline undoed their actions. It was a tough situation for Noah. Both of the sides refused to compromise on their decision. He contacted the airline to see if they could meet the demands of the crew. Naturally, the airline refused. Thus, dead locking the negotiation. 

At that moment Noah knew he had to deploy the investment technique. Basically, you get the other party to devote a significant amount of time and energy into the negotiation. He started by taking the demands of both parties. Then, he compromised on throwaway items to make the other side think they were winning. Additionally, when there was disagreement, he would skip that item for the time being and return to it at the end. By both compromising on throwaway items and resolving disagreements at the end of the negotiation, he was able to get the other side to invest time and energy on the deal.

For clarification, “throwaway” items are basically items you can compromise on without losing anything. For example, if the hijackers demand they are given more time. You can give them more time cause you don’t compromise on any of your interests. When you let them get away with items that don’t matter much, they will need to be more flexible on items that do matter. Thus, giving you an advantage. 

In addition, when you resolve the disagreements at the end of the negotiation. The other side will have already devoted significant time/energy into the negotiation. Plus, you were flexible with them (you acted flexible when you compromised on the getaway item.) 

They will need to act flexible with you and compromise on demands that actually matter. Noah naturally integrated all of the negotiating strategies he learned into real estate. The investment and compromising strategy worked quite well with real estate. 

He would get the client to devote significant time and energy into the deal.  Additionally, when there was a dispute on an item in the deal, he would leave resolving it till the end of the negotiation. And he would compromise on throwaway items. When all of these strategies were combined, he would get tremendous deals. 

Noah deployed a large variety of strategies for different types of clients. He was a wise man who knew how to get what he wanted. 

I guess that is what happens when you’re open to learning… 

Authors Note

We wish our readers don’t just simply read this story but also reflect on the lessons mentioned. See if you implement the lessons into your life. We hope this story does more than just entertain you.

Book: You can negotiate anything by Herb Cohen

Lessons: There are a few negotiating lessons taught in this entry.

  1. Get the other side to invest significant time and energy into the deal. People always seek a return on investments of time, energy, and money. Use this to your advantage. 
  2. When there is a disputed item, leave resolving it to the end. Because the other side has invested time and energy into the deal, they will be forced to be flexible with the deal. 
  3. Compromise on throwaway items. if the item is not as important as the other ones, let the other side get what they want. This will force them to be flexible on items on the deal you care about. 

Notice: All of the entities and locations mentioned in this entry are fictional.

Reflection Form

Reflection Form

You can use the form below to reflect on the things you have learned. Reflecting helps you understand and remember the things you learn!

*Your response will be sent to your email upon submission

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

August 27, 2020

How to get out of trouble - Noah's negotiating handbook pt.1

August 27, 2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.