Anybody who would like to learn how to negotiate or even just communicate effectively should read "Never split the difference" by Chris Voss.
I still go back over my notes from this book regularly because there's just so much great stuff in there ... that's actually useful on a day to day basis.
Today, I want to share two things that surprised me when reading the book, because it seems at first counterintuitive.
Yes vs. No
At some point, we've all heard that in a negotiation you want the other party to say yes.
Now, imagine for a second a sleazy salesman on the phone who's trying to get you to commit to buying a new watercooler system (or whatever). He's pushing hard for the yes. How do you feel? Increasingly angry, I bet.
Pushing someone for a "yes" only makes them defensive and you get nowhere.
And if someone finally says yes, it doesn't really mean anything yet. It could be just a phrase to get you off their back.
Hearing a "no" is important. It makes everyone feel safe. It slows things down. It helps to bring the real issues forward.
You're right vs. That's right
Doesn't everybody likes to hear "you're right"? Of course. But actually, it's a disaster. That's what someone says if they just want you to shut up and go away. It doesn't imply any agreement or that anything will change.
Instead, you want to hear "that's right". It means that what you've just said has been pronounced as correct of their own free will. Your counterpart has embraced it and is much more likely to move forward.