Parents today know that we’re not supposed to act like complete dictators and that kids do better when they have some say over the household policies and are able to negotiate and talk things through a bit. Sure, sounds good.
But there’s a problem.
What if your teenager is a great negotiator and wins the negotiation? Many parents are getting pushed around by teens in these situations and it leaves you in a tough spot. Yes, confidence and the ability to speak up for yourself are important things for teens to learn. But having firm rules and boundaries is also important.
How do you make sure that when your teen tries to negotiate something you win?
We got some answers from the former Lead International Kidnapping Negotiator for the FBI, Chris Voss. Chris is the author of the hugely popular bestseller Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on it and a leading expert in the science of negotiation.
In this episode, Chris walks step-by-step through how to prepare for and triumph in a negotiation with your teen.
How to use the “Ackerman Model” to end at the exact result you want while making your teen feel like they won
The science behind Tactical Empathy, and how you can use it during negotiations
A simple, 7-word phrase to instantly disarm your teenager and make them feel understood
What most parents get wrong when they try even a simple negotiation
How to use Emotional Labeling or “tagging” effectively
Why it is so hard for parents and teenagers to get along in the first place, according to Chris
Your teen has probably been giving you the “Fake Yes”–learn what to do about it
As an example of how to put this into practice with your own teenager, I developed a word-for-word script you can use for inspiration (or even just memorize). To download it free now, enter your first name and email below. I’ll also show you how to sign up for my free 10-day email course that reveals the secret method behind the word-for-word script. And I’ll even hook you up with a free trial membership to the entire website!
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2 Quotes from
10 Clips from
CLIP 1 (1:30)
How to Use Tactical Empathy with Your Teen
By properly labeling your teen’s emotions, you can focus attention on certain emotions and not others.
CLIP 2 (2:57)
The Neuroscience of Effective Negotiation
Chris explains our emotional systems are similar our respiratory system; we don’t have very much control over them.
CLIP 3 (1:35)
What’s Wrong with the Word “Should”
Chris recommends all human beings avoid using this word. However, for parents it’s especially important, as he explains here.
CLIP 4 (2:04)
How to Make Teens Feel Like You are Reading their Minds
Use Emotional Labeling properly and your teen will wonder how you have so much insight into their thoughts.
CLIP 5 (1:59)
Is Your Teen Giving You a “Fake Yes”?
This often happens because teens figure out they can get what they want by just agreeing. What can you do?
CLIP 6 (1:58)
The 7-Word Phrase to Instantly Disarm Your Teen
Chris has found the best thing your teen can say is “that’s right” because it means you understand them. How do you do this?
CLIP 7 (2:47)
The Problem with the Word “Why”
Here, Chris explains why teens hate this word so much and what you can say instead when you want to know more.
CLIP 8 (2:26)
How to Use the “Ackerman Model” to Win a Curfew Negotiation
Tim discusses a study about how smartphones affect our ability to focus even when turned face down on the table.
CLIP 9 (1:29)
Preparing for a Negotiation with Your Teenager
Chris has developed something called a “One Sheet” that you can use to prepare for any negotiation.
CLIP 10 (3:08)
The Difference Between Leverage and Power
Leverage is helpful in a negotiation while power can actually be detrimental. Here’s what you need to know.
These days, Chris Voss runs the Black Swan Group, a company he started train businesses and individuals in his negotiation tactics.
Prior to 2008, Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group. During his government career, he also represented the U.S. Government at two (2) international conferences sponsored by the G-8 as an expert in kidnapping.
Prior to becoming the FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, Christopher served as the lead Crisis Negotiator for the New York City Division of the FBI. Christopher was a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force for 14 years. He was the case agent on such cases as TERRSTOP (the Blind Sheikh Case – Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman), the TWA Flight 800 catastrophe, and he negotiated the surrender of the first hostage taker to give up in the Chase Manhattan bank robbery hostage taking.
During Chris’s 24 year tenure in the Bureau, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.
Chris has taught business negotiation in the MBA program as an adjunct professor at University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He has taught business negotiation at Harvard University, guest lectured at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland and The Goethe School of Business in Frankfurt, Germany. Since 2009 Christopher has also worked with Insite Security as their Managing Director of Kidnapping Resolution.
His book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on it, published in 2016, is already considered a classic text in the field of negotiation and sales.