We all have to have difficult conversations. And they’d be easier if you knew how to be persuasive. Whether it’s dealing with family members, buying a car or negotiating a raise, persuasion is always a useful skill.

But much of what you read doesn’t work in tough scenarios. So I decided to call someone who has handled the most challenging scenarios imaginable — ones where lives are on the line…

Chris Voss was the FBI’s lead international hostage negotiator and he’s the author of an excellent new book: “Never Split The Difference.”

Think you know what really influences people? Maybe you’ve read some stuff on the subject before? Well, you’re probably making a lot of mistakes. Chris has some of the most counterintuitive — and effective — techniques you’ve never heard about.

Chris focuses on emotions. And this completely changes the game. His methods get people to solve your problems for you — in ways that will make both sides happy.

Let’s get to it…

1) Don’t be direct

Straightforward and honest are good qualities. But when you’re too direct in a negotiation or heated discussion, it can come off as blunt and rude. You sound like you don’t care about the other side and just want what you want.

Skipping listening, empathy, and rapport is what turns an easily resolved dilemma into a fight. And you never want to turn a discussion into a war. Be nice and slow it down. Here’s Chris:

Don’t think, “I’m a very direct and honest person. I want people to be direct and honest with me, so I’m going to be direct and honest with you.” Well, that happens to come across as being very blunt and overly aggressive. If I’m not aware that my direct and honest approach is actually offensive to Read More Here