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FBI's Former Chief International Hostage Negotiator Explains How To Negotiate Pay Rise

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FBI's Former Chief International Hostage Negotiator Explains How To Negotiate Pay Rise

The FBI's former chief international hostage negotiator has explained how you should negotiate a pay rise. Watch him discuss the technique below:

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Chris Voss was at the helm of high-stakes negotiations across the globe during his 24 years with the Bureau, and the lessons he learnt while conversing with terrorists and kidnappers can help us all in our daily lives.

One negotiation that many of us fret over is negotiating a pay rise. We all want one, of course, but not many of us like asking for one - so how should we approach it to maximise our chances of success?

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For Voss, it's all about using something he calls 'tactical empathy'.

"Understand, when you walk into the boss' office, what it look like from his or her perspective," he told LADbible.

"You only walk in when you want something, you're selfish. Every time you come at an employer, supervisor, somebody you work for, for a raise - you're selfish; how do you get out of that dynamic?"

Good question Chris, I was hoping you would tell us - and thankfully, he did.

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Chris now teaches the negotiation skills he learnt with the FBI. Credit: The Black Swan Group
Chris now teaches the negotiation skills he learnt with the FBI. Credit: The Black Swan Group

Clearly, the common approach of wandering in and going 'Can I have a pay rise please?' is gonna do nothing to change that dynamic. What we need to do is approach it from a different angle.

Voss explained: "Simple question. A friend of mine gave me this - one of the most successful human beings I've ever met - asked it in every job interview and in every annual review, once he was on board: 'How can I be guaranteed to be involved in projects that are critical to the strategic future of this company?'

"Boom, instant game changer. You've just gone from a selfish human being to a team player that wants to contribute in a big way with that question.

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"Now the boss sees you as a completely different human being, if you want to contribute to everybody's future, which is really what all our activities are about."

So, rather than walking into that meeting hell-bent on getting something, show your boss what you're willing to give.

Voss said there's a whole host of reasons why using the question above will increase your chances of getting a favourable outcome.

Chris said it is crucial to see the counterpart's perspective when negotiating. Credit: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki
Chris said it is crucial to see the counterpart's perspective when negotiating. Credit: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki
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He explained: "First of all, it starts with a 'how', which is deferential, it's not a demand, it's deferential - and there's great power in deference.

"Secondly, the mere fact that you signalled an interest now puts you in a completely different category.

"Thirdly, you are now involved in a position where the top tier of the company, you have visibility with them, you're now in a spotlight.

"This is not for the faint of heart. This is for people who actually want a raise, for people who actually want to live in a bigger house. This is for people who actually want to send their kids to a better school.

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"You've just got visibility with the top tier level of the company, and you matter to them. That's how you get ahead. And that's how you make more money."

You can learn much more about negotiating in Voss' book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, which you can buy here.

You can also learn more about his negotiation training company The Black Swan Group and access free materials here.

Featured Image Credit: The Black Swan Group

Topics: Work, Money, Interesting, Community, FBI

Jake Massey
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