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Negotiation Tactics for Uncovering Black Swans in Conversations

By |February 07, 2022

Getting the negotiation outcomes you’re aiming for starts with uncovering the Black Swans in the deal.

Simply put, Black Swans are the small, hidden things that have the power to change everything once you know what they are. When you uncover these Black Swans, you flip the script and change the entire game.

But how exactly do you find Black Swans? Use these four negotiation tactics next time you sit down at the table to discover what’s lurking beneath the surface.

1. Stay curious.

When you’re not curious, you’re not going to ask the right questions. On the flip side, when you consciously decide to stay curious and commit yourself to learning more, it’s only a matter of time before you start asking the questions that lead to Black Swan discoveries.

If you’re not naturally curious, you have to remain cognizant of that fact and make an active effort to stay curious. As you talk with your counterpart, search for the why behind their words.

2. Practice active listening.

It won’t matter how curious you are if you’re not listening to the words your counterpart is saying. To uncover Black Swans, you need to be dedicated and committed to the conversation, and that starts with active listening.

Instead of listening to hear what the other side has to say, active listening teaches you to listen to the intention behind their words. The Black Swan Group calls this listening with Tactical Empathy™, bringing us to our next point. 

[INFOGRAPHIC] Download our infographic to learn the nine crucial negotiation  skills that will give you the edge over your counterpart »

3. Use empathy.

If your goal is uncovering Black Swans in the negotiation, you need to be able to understand your counterpart’s point of view and relay it back to them so thoroughly that they have no choice but to respond with the two magic words: “That’s Right”™. 

This is possible with Tactical Empathy and a combination of Black Swan tools, such as Labels™, Mirrors™, and Dynamic Silence™. With the right approach, you can make your counterpart believe that you understand exactly what they’re trying to say. Because we all want people to understand us at the end of the day. Using empathy can help you ensure your counterpart feels understood, increasing the likelihood of them making a deal with you.

4. Build rapport.

People like to do business with people they like. In the same vein, your counterpart won’t want to talk to you if they don’t like you. Instead, they will shut down and give you the basic information.

On the other hand, if you talk to someone and they feel there is a relationship and they like what they hear, there’s a better chance they will disclose Black Swan information.

Bottom line: Use the skills!

Uncovering Black Swans starts with building relationships and investing time in your counterpart. For the best results, be sure to spend time practicing your skills throughout the day.

It’s all about taking notice of the things around you and staying curious. As you go about your life, engage in conversation with the people you meet using The Black Swan Group’s Negotiation 9™. 

If you’re new to the N9™, check out this infographic to learn more about mastering the science and art of negotiation. 

After learning the nine core skills you need to execute Tactical Empathy, you will be seen as more of a partner and less of an adversary, making it that much easier to uncover Black Swans.

Good luck! 

The Black Swan Group Negotiation 9