Chris Voss: Negotiating Health, Navigating Difficult Conversations with Family & How to Change Minds

Green Pill Podcast
10 Oct 202353:47

Summary

TLDRIn this insightful discussion, former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss shares his personal health journey and negotiation techniques. He emphasizes the importance of understanding and empathy in influencing loved ones to adopt healthier lifestyles. Voss also explores the concept of shame with insights from Brene Brown and discusses strategies for confronting negative emotions. His experiences highlight the power of communication in personal growth and health improvement.

Takeaways

  • 🎙️ Chris Voss's background as a former FBI hostage negotiator and his current role in teaching negotiation skills.
  • 🏥 Personal health journey influenced by family history and the importance of long-term health benefits over short-term discomfort.
  • 💡 The significance of understanding and communicating about difficult health subjects with loved ones.
  • 🌟 Insights on confronting shame and its impact on our lives, as highlighted by Brene Brown's work.
  • 🧘 Strategies for negotiating with oneself to embrace short-term pain for medium to long-term gain, such as cold plunges and exercise.
  • 📚 Chris Voss's techniques applied in real-life situations, such as avoiding legal trouble through empathetic communication.
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 The role of vulnerability and openness in maintaining emotional health and relationships.
  • 🌈 The impact of perspective and interpretation on life satisfaction, as illustrated by the contrasting experiences of taxi drivers.
  • 🌍 Global perspectives on happiness and contentment despite challenging living conditions, as seen in Tanzania.
  • 🤝 The importance of empathy and understanding in influencing others to consider a different course of action, especially in health and wellness.

Q & A

  • What is the main focus of the Green Pill podcast?

    -The main focus of the Green Pill podcast is to make health simple for individuals, their families, loved ones, and communities.

  • Who is the guest in this episode of the Green Pill podcast?

    -The guest in this episode is Chris Voss, former lead hostage negotiator for the FBI and founder of the Black Swan Group.

  • What was Chris Voss's role at the FBI?

    -Chris Voss was the lead hostage negotiator for the FBI, where he spent 24 years, leading and building a team of 90 agents, dealing with crises, kidnappings, and similar situations both nationally and worldwide.

  • Which universities has Chris Voss taught at following his time at the FBI?

    -After the FBI, Chris Voss taught at Harvard, Georgetown, and the University of Southern California (USC).

  • What is the Black Swan Group and what does it do?

    -The Black Swan Group is owned by Chris Voss and it specializes in providing negotiation trainings for individuals and companies.

  • How did Alex use Chris Voss's techniques to avoid jail?

    -Alex applied Chris Voss's negotiation techniques by empathizing with the police officers, respecting their authority, and showing remorse, which ultimately led to him being released without facing any charges.

  • What does Chris Voss discuss in the podcast about personal health journeys?

    -Chris Voss discusses his personal health journey, including how his parents' lifestyles and deaths influenced his decisions and how he negotiates himself into doing tough things in the short term that benefit his health in the long term.

  • What is the definition of health according to Webster that Chris Voss agrees with?

    -According to Webster, health is defined as the condition of being sound in body, mind, and spirit. Chris Voss agrees with this definition and sees these three components as interwoven and critical to a high-functioning, satisfying life.

  • What is Chris Voss's perspective on spirituality?

    -Chris Voss believes that spirituality does not necessarily require religious subscription. He views the spirit as a potentially eternal aspect of oneself that may continue beyond the physical life, and he sees it as a critical component of health.

  • How does Chris Voss approach someone who is initially negative or resentful?

    -Chris Voss approaches such individuals by asking them what they love about their job or situation. This question is intended to shift their mindset and help them focus on positive aspects, thereby changing the state of the interaction.

  • What is the Black Swan Group's mission as stated by Chris Voss?

    -The Black Swan Group's mission, as stated by Chris Voss, is to help others work out better relationships, improve their lives collaboratively, and provide a better life for themselves and their families while also profiting from their efforts.

Outlines

00:00

🎙️ Introduction and Background of Chris Voss

The paragraph introduces the host, Alex, and the show 'Green Pill' focused on simplifying health for individuals and their community. The guest, Chris Voss, is introduced as a former FBI hostage negotiator with a 24-year career and his post-FBI academic and professional endeavors. Alex shares a personal anecdote on how Chris's negotiation techniques helped him avoid legal trouble, highlighting the importance of vulnerability and communication about difficult subjects. The episode's focus is on personal health journeys, confronting shame, and making beneficial long-term decisions.

05:00

🌟 Health, Spirituality, and Purpose

The conversation delves into the definition of health as a combination of body, mind, and spirit. Chris Voss shares his views on spirituality, not necessarily tied to religious beliefs, and the potential for an eternal nature of the spirit. The discussion touches on the importance of having a positive impact and the belief that everyone has the potential to excel. Alex and Chris explore the idea of living a life that contributes positively to the world and the balance between doing good and financial gain.

10:04

🚕 Encounter with a Cab Driver and Self-Defeating Behavior

Chris Voss recounts an interaction with a negative and seemingly unhealthy cab driver. Initially bothered by the driver's attitude, Chris applies a technique of asking about what the driver loves about his job, leading to a shift in the conversation. The driver shares his struggles and responsibilities, prompting Chris to reflect on the importance of not judging others too quickly and understanding the struggles they may be facing. This anecdote illustrates the impact of empathy and perspective in human interactions.

15:07

🤯 Triggers, Empathy, and Reactions

Chris discusses his personal triggers and the importance of managing one's initial instinctive reactions. He shares experiences of encountering unhappy individuals in his job and how their negativity affected him. By applying empathy and understanding, Chris was able to change the dynamic of his interactions. The conversation highlights the significance of perspective, interpretation, and the impact of one's environment on happiness and satisfaction.

20:14

🛌 Health Negotiation within the Family

The discussion turns to the challenges of encouraging family members to take care of their health. Chris emphasizes the use of tactical empathy to demonstrate understanding and the importance of non-judgmental acknowledgment of others' feelings. Alex shares a personal story of helping his grandmother recover from a stroke, illustrating the effectiveness of empathy and support in health-related situations. The conversation explores the balance between intervention and respecting another's autonomy.

25:15

🏠 Family Dynamics and Personal Health

Chris Voss talks about his family's health history, including his mother's death and his attempts to encourage her to use a sauna for health benefits. He reflects on the balance between trying to help and accepting that individuals must make their own choices. The conversation touches on the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren, and the different dynamics in parent-child relationships. Chris shares his own health practices and the mental shift required to maintain a cold plunge routine.

30:19

🌐 Balancing Health, Travel, and Enjoyment

The paragraph discusses Chris Voss's strategies for maintaining health while traveling, focusing on sleep, diet, exercise, and the challenges of maintaining good habits on the road. Chris talks about his efforts to balance health with enjoying life's pleasures, and the importance of not sacrificing happiness for longevity. He shares his thoughts on the impact of travel and time changes on sleep, his approach to diet, and how he maintains his energy levels through exercise and other practices.

35:19

🧠 Overcoming Negative Emotions and Building Autonomy

The conversation focuses on techniques for addressing negative emotions such as defeat and the importance of recognizing and validating these feelings. Chris Voss explains the effectiveness of acknowledging negativity without judgment, drawing from neuroscience and his experience in crisis negotiation. The discussion highlights the role of empathy in helping individuals overcome challenges and the importance of preserving autonomy in the process of change.

40:24

🎤 Final Thoughts and Resources

In the final paragraph, Chris Voss and Alex wrap up the conversation. Chris shares his experience of meeting Brene Brown and the impact of her insights on self-knowledge and self-actualization. Alex expresses gratitude to Chris for his time and insights, and they discuss resources available for those interested in learning more, including Chris's newsletter, Masterclass, and Fireside group coaching app.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Negotiation

Negotiation is a process where two or more parties discuss and compromise to reach an agreement. In the context of this video, Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, uses his negotiation skills not only in professional settings but also in personal scenarios, such as convincing his mother to use a sauna for health benefits.

💡Health

Health refers to a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. In the video, Chris Voss discusses his personal health journey and how his family's health history influenced his decisions. He emphasizes the importance of proactive health measures, such as using a sauna for its potential health benefits.

💡Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. In the video, Chris Voss highlights the importance of empathy in both negotiation and personal relationships, especially when dealing with sensitive topics or challenging situations.

💡Autonomy

Autonomy refers to the ability of an individual to make decisions and choices independently, without external control or influence. In the context of the video, Chris Voss emphasizes the importance of preserving another person's autonomy, even when offering advice or guidance.

💡Family Dynamics

Family dynamics refer to the relationships and interactions between family members, including the roles they play and how they influence each other. In the video, Chris Voss discusses the changing family roles, especially as parents age and children may need to take on caregiving roles.

💡Personal Journey

A personal journey refers to an individual's experiences, growth, and changes over time. In the video, Chris Voss shares his personal health journey, influenced by his family's health history and his own decisions.

💡Role Reversal

Role reversal in family dynamics occurs when the traditional roles of parent and child are inverted, often due to aging or illness. In the video, Chris Voss discusses the challenges and considerations of navigating such role reversals with sensitivity and respect.

💡Brene Brown

Brene Brown is a renowned researcher and author who specializes in topics such as vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy. In the video, Chris Voss references her work and shares his appreciation for her insights on shame and empathy.

💡Cold Plunge

A cold plunge refers to the act of immersing oneself in cold water, often as a form of therapy or for health benefits. In the video, Chris Voss talks about his personal experience with cold plunges and how he has trained his brain to interpret the sensation as pleasurable and beneficial rather than painful.

💡Masterclass

Masterclass is an online educational platform that offers courses taught by experts in various fields. In the video, Chris Voss mentions his involvement with Masterclass, where he provides lessons on negotiation, communication, and related topics.

💡Fireside

Fireside is a group coaching platform that offers interactive sessions, often through an app or online service. In the video, Chris Voss explains that Fireside provides a cost-effective way for individuals to receive coaching and advice from experts, such as himself, on a regular basis.

Highlights

Chris Voss, former lead hostage negotiator for the FBI, shares his personal health journey and how it influenced his decisions.

Voss emphasizes the importance of helping loved ones get healthier and how to communicate about tough subjects, like the need for change in lifestyle or therapy.

He discusses his insights on shame from Brene Brown and how to talk about it with loved ones, highlighting the control shame can have over our lives.

Voss shares a personal anecdote of how his negotiation techniques helped him avoid jail, demonstrating the power of empathy and understanding in difficult situations.

The conversation delves into the definition of health, with Voss agreeing with the idea that it involves the condition of being sound in body, mind, and spirit.

Voss's mission with the Black Swan Group is to help individuals and companies develop better relationships and improve their lives collaboratively.

He shares his belief in the importance of having a positive impact on others and the world, regardless of one's skill set or profession.

Voss recounts an encounter with a struggling taxi driver in Las Vegas, illustrating how initial impressions can be misleading and the importance of understanding others' situations.

The discussion touches on the concept of self-defeating behavior and how to approach people who may not be taking care of themselves despite wanting to.

Voss shares his own health practices, including his disciplined approach to diet, exercise, and sleep, and how he negotiates himself into doing things that are tough in the short term but beneficial in the long term.

He talks about the influence of mindset and perspective on health and well-being, using the example of his mother's attitude towards a sauna he bought for her.

Voss emphasizes the role of empathy and understanding in influencing others, especially when it comes to health and lifestyle choices.

The conversation highlights the importance of not letting go of loved ones' health issues, but rather making small adjustments and interventions when possible.

Voss discusses the role of tactical empathy in communication and negotiation, and how it can be applied to help others consider a different course of action.

He shares his experience with dealing with his parents' health issues and the challenge of balancing the desire to help with respecting their autonomy.

Voss talks about the impact of his family's health history on his own health consciousness and the steps he has taken to mitigate risks.

The discussion concludes with Voss's thoughts on the role of support and collaboration in health and personal growth, and the importance of preserving others' autonomy.

Transcripts

play00:00

Alex: All right, folks.

play00:01

Welcome to Green Pill, where we focus on making health simple for

play00:05

you, but more importantly, for your family, loved ones and community.

play00:14

Today's guest is Chris Voss.

play00:18

Chris is the former lead hostage negotiator for the FBI, having spent

play00:22

24 years at the Bureau, leading and building a team of 90 agents, both

play00:27

nationally and worldwide, dealing with crises, kidnappings and the like.

play00:33

Following the FBI, Chris went to study and then teach at Harvard, teach at

play00:38

Georgetown, and most recently at the University of Southern California, USC.

play00:43

Chris is the owner of the Black Swan Group, which leads negotiation

play00:47

trainings for individuals and companies.

play00:51

And podcast, Lex Friedman, and others.

play00:57

Today we're going to hear a different side of Chris.

play01:01

He'll tell his personal health journey from how his mom and dad lived and

play01:06

passed away, how that influenced his decisions and how he negotiates

play01:10

himself into doing things which are tough in the short term, but benefit

play01:15

himself and his health in the longterm.

play01:18

In today's episode, you'll learn how to help a loved one get healthier, how to

play01:24

help someone get out of their own way.

play01:26

How to communicate about tough subjects like you need to change or you're going

play01:30

to get really sick or, you know, you might benefit from going to therapy.

play01:35

How not to talk about these subjects.

play01:38

Um, his insights from Brene Brown on shame and why he's such a big fan, how

play01:44

to talk about shame with loved ones, how to confront it and how it actually, you

play01:49

know, this feeling controls our lives.

play01:52

You'll also learn how to, again, Talk yourself into doing something that's

play01:56

painful in the short term, but really, you know, will benefit you in the

play02:00

medium to long term, like cold plunges, exercise, changing your diet, etc.

play02:07

Before we start, I'd like to tell a quick anecdote about how Chris

play02:11

Voss's techniques, as applied by me, actually kept me out of jail,

play02:17

if you can believe it or not, for at least half a year or a year.

play02:21

So I want to preface that by saying, this is a much different time in my life.

play02:26

I was much younger.

play02:27

And I think it's important that we be publicly vulnerable and, or

play02:34

at least vulnerable with our close friends, family, and loved ones.

play02:40

It's critical for emotional health to be open about your past and to

play02:44

not hide things in shame, as you'll hear in the upcoming podcast.

play02:48

Here we go.

play02:49

So, a number of years back, I was at a concert with a friend and I

play02:54

was dancing with a couple of girls.

play02:56

We were having a good time.

play02:57

They said, can you buy us a drink?

play02:58

Well, I go to buy them a drink at the counter.

play03:00

I come back and there's a bunch of cops surrounding us.

play03:05

Before I know it, I'm in handcuffs and I'm saying, well, you

play03:10

know, those girls are underage.

play03:11

That's what I'm hearing from the cops.

play03:12

I said, sir, thank you.

play03:14

I understand.

play03:15

You know, uh, I totally understand why you're here.

play03:17

I didn't know that, you know.

play03:19

He said, well, one of them is my good friend's daughter.

play03:22

I said, wow, I can see, you know, imagine how rough this is for you, seeing

play03:25

some random guy buying them drinks.

play03:27

Well, next thing I know, I'm in the lockup, or the jail,

play03:30

as it were, of the concert.

play03:33

Something clicked in my head as soon as the cops came over, and

play03:36

I wasn't sober, I should say.

play03:39

And it, I thought to myself, I need to get out of this situation.

play03:43

I started trying to empathize with the cops.

play03:46

Trying to make them see me as someone who didn't mean this, was in an accidental

play03:50

situation, respected their authority, and had nothing, uh, had nothing but,

play03:57

you know, remorse for what I had done.

play03:59

So, I used a few techniques, um, to do so.

play04:02

I, I asked them about their day.

play04:05

I, echoed, um, what they were saying about just being a busy night, et cetera.

play04:10

So we made small talk, we made a bunch of jokes somehow.

play04:14

And the guy next to me was whispering to me, Hey man, don't talk to them.

play04:18

They're not on your side.

play04:19

And I publicly out loud in the lockup said, no, they're just doing their job.

play04:23

They're nice guys.

play04:24

They're just trying to protect us.

play04:26

So it did a lot, a lot of connecting with them, validating with them,

play04:30

making sure that I tried to win them over using my charisma.

play04:33

It was a really, really powerful moment for me because what

play04:37

happened next was pretty nuts.

play04:40

At one point, they said to me, listen, who are you here with?

play04:44

I told them my friend's name.

play04:45

They said, give me your phone.

play04:46

They called my friends.

play04:48

My friends came.

play04:50

They said, listen, have a good night.

play04:52

He shook my hand and I walked out of there, not facing a felony,

play04:56

not facing a misdemeanor for six months, but walking out.

play05:00

I'm getting chills talking about it because Chris's techniques, which

play05:03

I'd been studying that year and earlier really helped me connect

play05:07

with those folks, get on their level and get what I needed to get done.

play05:11

So in this upcoming podcast, you're going to hear a lot of those techniques

play05:14

in action as it relates to health.

play05:16

And I look forward to your feedback and to doing more of these first

play05:22

episode, Chris Voss, here we go.

play05:31

Chris, thank you so much for coming on.

play05:34

I want to say that you helped me a lot with your book and I really

play05:37

studied all of your podcasts, talks, et cetera, when the book came out.

play05:40

Welcome to Green Pill.

play05:42

Chris Voss: Thank you, man.

play05:43

I'm happy to be on.

play05:43

I'm looking forward to the conversation.

play05:46

Alex: Thank you.

play05:47

Chris, you know, I looked up in Webster today how health is defined and it

play05:52

looks like it's the condition of being sound and body, mind and spirit.

play05:56

Do you differ from that at

play05:57

Chris Voss: all?

play05:58

No, I like that.

play05:59

I think that's a great combination.

play06:00

Those three things depend upon the terminology are really

play06:04

interwoven in the conversations among scientists or individuals.

play06:10

, you know, just human beings, philosophers, you know, I, the, the spirit.

play06:15

Some people refer to it as consciousness.

play06:17

Some other people refer to it as a mind, but it very much seems

play06:21

to be three components there.

play06:24

So

play06:24

Alex: embody mind.

play06:26

It could be consciousness and, and spirit.

play06:28

Or, and spirit.

play06:28

Yeah.

play06:28

Maybe what, what stays with you after you leave?

play06:31

Or maybe what comes back, you know, according to people.

play06:33

Yeah.

play06:34

Who knows.

play06:34

Right.

play06:36

We could probably spend the whole hour on that and maybe we will.

play06:38

So I'm, I'm an open book.

play06:40

Yeah.

play06:40

How do you think about spirit, you know, really for, for you?

play06:45

Chris Voss: Yeah.

play06:45

You know, while I, , I'm religious and spiritual simultaneously.

play06:49

I don't think to be spiritual, you have, you have to be religious to

play06:53

subscribe to a religion, if you will.

play06:55

But I think most of them that talk about spirituality seem to believe that.

play07:00

That the spirit is a bit of a separate entity and that there

play07:04

may be an eternal nature to it.

play07:06

And what does that mean?

play07:08

You keep going around and around in, in, in, in this sphere, if you will,

play07:12

or whether there are other dimensions.

play07:14

I don't know, but I definitely think of it as three components

play07:16

and I think to be healthy.

play07:18

You need to pay attention to all three.

play07:19

You could be a complete atheist and still meditate, because it's good for the

play07:24

spirit, you know, or the consciousness, or the energy, or whatever it is.

play07:27

So, I think the three are critical components to high

play07:32

functioning, satisfying life.

play07:36

Alex: And, I guess you nurture all three yourself, and I didn't mean

play07:41

to actually put you on the spot here on this subject, but it came up.

play07:46

Given that you've done so much work for others, you know, supporting hostages,

play07:50

right, getting people out of bad, bad places, whether it's the bad guy who

play07:53

you don't want to die or the hostage who you certainly don't want to die.

play07:57

Do you see that there's an, you know, you're not sure about the afterlife,

play08:00

I imagine, you know, so it seems like you do a lot on this earth,

play08:03

you know, to care about others.

play08:04

How do you think about that?

play08:08

Chris Voss: Well, I'm one of those people that believe in that everybody's

play08:12

purpose is to have a positive impact.

play08:15

And whatever it is that you might be your skill set.

play08:19

And everybody's got, I think everybody's capable of being

play08:23

absolutely world class at something.

play08:24

Now they might not always discover what it is or, and so.

play08:31

I, you know, I, I don't know how somebody discovers what it is by accident, by

play08:36

guidance, you know, by the guidance of the universe, but I think we're all

play08:40

here to make a positive difference.

play08:42

And I think we're all capable of that.

play08:43

And that's in really broad terms.

play08:46

How I think about it

play08:48

Alex: and the black swan group's mission and your mission personally, you've stated

play08:53

a few times is to help others work out better relationships, or maybe you could

play08:57

restate it or paraphrase what I said.

play09:00

Yeah.

play09:00

You know, your

play09:01

Chris Voss: mission, better relationships, you know, have a better

play09:04

life collaboratively, you know, give, give yourself a better life, give the,

play09:08

you put your family in a better house, give your kids a better education, you

play09:12

know, that and, and to profit along the way, I mean, I don't believe in grabbing

play09:18

with both hands, but I think that if you're doing a lot of good in the world

play09:22

and simultaneously secondary benefit of making money off of it is just fine.

play09:26

If you make a lot of money, but you're not doing a lot of good.

play09:29

If you're a mercenary, if you're hurting people on a regular basis.

play09:32

It's usually pretty short term gain.

play09:34

And the people that make a lot of money doing that short term are very visible.

play09:40

And they tend to go down in flames eventually.

play09:43

And, and, you know, you reap what you sow to, to use a religious phrase.

play09:49

So I, you know, I mean, that's just what I'm trying to do.

play09:52

I think everybody has the ability to get there.

play09:54

Now whether or not they do, there's a certain amount of circumstances

play09:58

that make it more difficult or easier for them to, to find their way.

play10:03

Alex: And in that, it seems like for you, , the, the current moment or

play10:08

the current 10 years or your current lifetime or your family's lifetime is,

play10:11

you know, where, where you feel like you can contribute and you've done a lot

play10:14

to help people just get a better life.

play10:16

So that's a.

play10:18

great fundamental principle overall, whether it's better work, whether

play10:21

it's better relationships, better personal life, you know, better self

play10:25

actualization and You know, as we think about health, you see people out there

play10:30

and I use your words, they're doing self detrimental behavior , you talk

play10:34

about the cab driver you had in Vegas.

play10:36

I think it was.

play10:37

And it was a guy who you felt was, you know, he looked obese and he didn't

play10:41

look like he was taking care of himself.

play10:43

And your initial view when you got out of the airport, got into the cab was like,

play10:46

Oh man, this guy's really struggling.

play10:48

Would you mind sharing that anecdote and how we think about self defeating

play10:51

behavior and people not, not feeling their best, even though they might want to.

play10:56

Chris Voss: Yeah, well, you know, the guy was, the guy was clearly

play10:58

struggling and he was sort of oozing negativity when I got into the lift.

play11:03

And so sometimes I react poorly to that.

play11:07

You know, I, I get triggered.

play11:08

I'm the type that takes things as a challenge often.

play11:12

It's a little bit of how I'm wired and you know, I'm struggling with

play11:15

my bags and I got a lift driver that ain't lifting a finger to help

play11:18

me get in his truck or didn't even get out and open up the rear end.

play11:22

Like if I'm, if I'm getting ready to get in, I mean, I think you're, you're

play11:28

voluntarily in this job and you don't have to go for a five star review or a tip.

play11:36

But if you want to be reviewed as giving five star service and if you

play11:40

want a tip, then to get reviewed as giving five star service, you ought to

play11:43

give it 'cause it's a voluntary job.

play11:47

And you know, this guy ain't lifting a finger to help me.

play11:50

And I get in and I'm tired and I look at this, this, this poor guy, and he's, it

play11:57

looks like his diet's not in order and.

play12:01

We pull off and he's seething, oozing just unhappiness and resentment.

play12:05

And I just think, look, I can't, I don't want this to be an unpleasant

play12:11

journey for the two of us.

play12:13

And one of the things that I am using a lot these days that tends to create

play12:19

a state change almost instantaneously with a person is I say, what do you

play12:24

love about what you do for a living?

play12:26

Cause that immediately puts you in a different frame of mind.

play12:29

It triggers your brain into stuff that you love.

play12:32

So I say, what do you, what do you love about driving for Lyft?

play12:36

And this guy starts telling me about how he gives him flexible hours

play12:40

so he can look after his grandson.

play12:42

Because his son got out of a relationship and his son is

play12:45

looking at, no his daughter.

play12:46

His daughter got out of a relationship and she's, he's looking to take care of

play12:51

his grandson so his daughter can work.

play12:54

And this guy is struggling with a lot and he's shouldering a lot of family problems

play13:01

that he didn't create, but he feels responsibility and love for his daughter.

play13:07

So I'm, I'm grateful that I don't get in my own way and cause us both

play13:14

to take a half an hour journey with one another where we're left worse

play13:18

off as a result of the interaction.

play13:21

And I did it just to kind of save myself.

play13:23

It was very selfish in the first place.

play13:26

And I ended up being much more appreciative and reminded myself to

play13:29

be a little less judgmental of the initial impressions I get of people.

play13:33

If they're, if they're angry, if they're upset, if they're seething in

play13:37

resentment, you know, the saying goes, if you knew what they were struggling

play13:42

with, you'd take it a lot easier on them.

play13:44

And I got in the moment to find out what he was really struggling with.

play13:48

And we both ended up, I didn't negatively impact him.

play13:54

And I ended up being better off as a human being because

play13:57

of what the guy shared with me.

play14:00

Alex: And your preconception was kind of incorrect, right?

play14:04

Because he was struggling so hard with, I mean, he was shouldering a lot, right?

play14:07

He was carrying a lot.

play14:08

And so it made sense that his body, his, spirit.

play14:11

His negativity was kind of there.

play14:12

You understood it.

play14:13

They put it.

play14:14

Chris Voss: Yeah, I overreacted.

play14:16

I get triggered right off the bat.

play14:17

You know, Jim Camp used to always talk about he wrote a book called Star with No.

play14:21

And I, Jim and I collaborated and we were friends and he always

play14:25

talked about the re re reaction.

play14:27

And a lot of people Discuss that in different ways, but it's like trying

play14:32

to not go with your initial instinctive reaction and finding a way to step back a

play14:39

little bit and analyze a little bit more before you're pulling a trigger on that.

play14:43

If you're, if you're if you got a short fuse and some of us do.

play14:48

Alex: And, and for you, it's like you have a bit of a short fuse in this

play14:51

situation, folks listening might be like, well, it's triggering cause you're tired.

play14:54

He didn't help you out.

play14:55

Like in New York, I expect that behavior, you know, but in Vegas,

play14:59

you know, you hope that people are a little more kind you know, cabbies

play15:01

in New York just don't even get out.

play15:03

And I know you're in New York today and with this guy, I

play15:06

mean, what, what triggered you?

play15:07

Cause I feel a similar triggering when I see someone like really losing

play15:10

negativity and I guess some people maybe can put a blocker up, but it

play15:15

feels like for you, somebody's aura, for lack of a better word, really affects

play15:20

you and it would interrupt your day.

play15:21

I mean, 30 minutes is, you know, 5 percent of your day or so.

play15:24

And so you wanted to actively change that and that fits your assertive nature.

play15:29

So what triggered you about him?

play15:34

Chris Voss: Well, you know, you're voluntary in a,

play15:37

you're voluntarily in a job.

play15:39

And I, and I find that a lot because I, I live, I'm in New York today, but I

play15:42

live in Vegas and, you know, I'm always looking at profiles of human beings and

play15:46

what I typically see in Vegas you get into a lift and the person is unhappy.

play15:54

Now they're in a job that is, is a voluntary position.

play15:57

This is entrepreneurial.

play15:58

I mean, nobody drafted you.

play16:01

You're, you're choosing to be there.

play16:03

And frequently when I've seen people, especially in Vegas, I've

play16:06

noticed that even more for whatever reason, Vegas has burned them out.

play16:11

And I don't know what all the circumstances are, but consistently on

play16:15

a regular basis, if I get their history out of them, Vegas has burned about

play16:20

simultaneously and get into a lift in Vegas and they're happy as clams.

play16:25

I mean, they are loving life and almost without exception.

play16:31

They're from Southern California.

play16:34

And they came from a job, Southern California, they're

play16:37

working 24 7, two, three jobs, barely able to make their rent.

play16:42

Now they moved from Southern California to Vegas, and now they're working one

play16:46

job, and driving for Lyft is the only thing they're doing, instead of three

play16:52

jobs, and on top of that, they're not just making their rent, they bought a house.

play16:57

With the same amount of work and the same amount of effort, they bought a house.

play17:03

And they're loving life.

play17:04

And so, you see, two people, two separate people, doing exactly the same job.

play17:10

And one of them is miserable, and the other is happy.

play17:15

And they're doing exactly the same job.

play17:18

So to me, that tells me how much of life is total interpretation.

play17:24

How can, you know, you're doing exactly the same thing as somebody else and you're

play17:27

miserable and this other person is happy.

play17:30

So this is how much we do to ourselves in life.

play17:34

Alex: And the lesson there is, you know, one of perspective, of course,

play17:38

the guy had a lot on his plate.

play17:40

It's, you know, where you start to where you go and your expectations matter a lot.

play17:44

And I was just in Tanzania.

play17:45

You might've been there.

play17:46

You've probably been to Africa and then they have it rough.

play17:49

You know, we were in rural Tanzania.

play17:51

People are eating once a day, maybe, and I don't want to give

play17:54

the platitude that they're happy.

play17:55

You know what I mean?

play17:56

It's just, there's a different attitude towards work, towards money, towards

play18:00

the future, towards the next day.

play18:01

You know, if you don't have your basic needs met.

play18:04

It's tough to feel okay, and yet the future there is not as secure and I'll,

play18:09

I'll have some of the tribe leaders on the podcast here and some of their, their

play18:12

health leaders that I spoke with, but I talked to a lot of folks and they're

play18:15

kind of happy and they're kind of okay, you know, even given tough situations

play18:21

you know, when you talk about health, when it's your, your dad or your mom or

play18:26

your sister or your partner, You know, oftentimes, especially in my family,

play18:31

early, you know, I'm first generation.

play18:33

So they immigrated here, you know, Ukraine was rough.

play18:36

Soviet union was rough.

play18:38

You know, you've probably dealt with those countries in your

play18:40

time and they are very happy.

play18:44

I could say for my family because they came from here and they came

play18:47

here in poverty and now they came to here and I was raised pretty well, you

play18:50

know, I would say upper middle class.

play18:52

And then what I'm really struggling with and the reason I brought you on is How do

play18:57

we get these folks in my family and folks like them to take care of themselves and

play19:01

not just coast and say, well, I got here.

play19:04

That's enough.

play19:05

My expectations are smashed out of the park with a home run.

play19:09

How do you get them to get back up to bat again?

play19:13

Chris Voss: You know, that's a great question.

play19:15

I mean, the application of understanding, which is the application of empathy,

play19:19

you know, tactical empathy, just demonstrating you understand.

play19:23

Now that gives, in any communication, in any interaction that you have, or you want

play19:28

somebody to consider a different course of action, a tactical empathy and empathy

play19:35

is your best chance of success, always.

play19:39

And the caveat with that statement, which I learned when I was a hostage negotiator,

play19:43

when I was in a case that somebody got killed, first time, I remember saying to

play19:47

myself, well, and I learned that phrase from Gary Nessner, my former boss, he

play19:51

used to always say best chance of success.

play19:53

That means that it's not always going to work.

play19:56

Best chance of success, by definition, means sometimes you're

play20:00

not going to have the influence.

play20:02

Sometimes they're not going to change their behavior.

play20:04

Sometimes things are going to go bad.

play20:06

93%, 93, 94%.

play20:13

Which meant...

play20:15

That once you started climbing past double digits, you know, just based on

play20:20

the odds, you had to accept the fact that something was going to go bad.

play20:23

No matter if you did everything you could have done.

play20:27

Based on everything you knew at the time, you made all the right decisions.

play20:32

And most of the time that's the case.

play20:34

I mean, people get torn apart in hindsight and somebody wants to judge them on

play20:39

information they didn't have at the time.

play20:42

Yeah.

play20:43

Well, you know, if we knew that, but we didn't know that.

play20:46

Well, you should've known that.

play20:47

Well, no, we shouldn't have.

play20:48

You know, as a human being, you make the best decisions based on the

play20:51

information you have in a moment.

play20:53

And judgmental 2020 hindsight, by the way, hindsight is not 2020, that's nonsense.

play21:00

But your best chance of success, so, and I know I'm going on for a long time, but you

play21:04

get back to your family and your friends, you know, help 'em demonstrate that you

play21:08

understand, show 'em that you understand.

play21:11

And then the rest of it is up to them.

play21:13

The best you could do is just demonstrate an understanding

play21:16

of where they're coming from.

play21:19

Alex: And what if I disagreed with you?

play21:22

And if I can use some of, some of your techniques and kind of summarize and

play21:26

say, like, well, what if there were times where I was able to intervene

play21:29

and so, like, my grandma had a stroke, she really didn't want to get out of the bed.

play21:32

I laid down with her in the hospital bed.

play21:34

I was pleading with her to, you know, come on, you can walk, you can do this.

play21:37

I scheduled her PT, I scheduled her the Uber.

play21:40

Then she got excited about it, and she actually was able to throw away

play21:42

the cane after having the cane.

play21:44

You know, for a 75 year old, it's a big deal.

play21:46

So, in that case, you're not disagreeing with that, you know?

play21:49

I guess, one thing everyone tells me let go of your family, or your friends, or

play21:53

and I talk to a lot of folks who have sick parents, or their parents are getting

play21:56

older, and they want to do something, their dad's watching too much Fox News

play21:59

or MSNBC, he needs some mental health care, the mom's eating too much, she's

play22:03

diabetic, whatever it is, and they say, well, some people tell me, well, just

play22:07

let, you know, let it go, understand that your role is not to save them.

play22:10

And other people are like, well, maybe you can just, at the

play22:12

margins, make small adjustments.

play22:14

So what you're saying, if I can summarize, is that first understand

play22:18

where they are with tactical empathy, open ended questions, labeling what

play22:23

they say so it sounds like you are doing this instead of you are doing

play22:26

this, and then drawing them out a bit.

play22:28

Once you've got the understanding container built, then where do you go

play22:33

from there when it comes to your family or your friends, someone close to you?

play22:38

Chris Voss: Well, see, I don't see anything wrong with what you did.

play22:42

I mean, I think, in, in your actions and in your demeanor, I mean, you

play22:47

were, you were you were from your description, I mean, like, you're oozing

play22:50

with love and caring for somebody.

play22:53

And, depending upon where, who somebody is, where they are in your life, I

play22:59

mean, it's also a special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.

play23:02

I mean, it's sort of...

play23:05

Almost a cliche in every society, you know, the old joke

play23:08

goes, Why do grandparents and grandchildren get along so well?

play23:12

They got a common enemy.

play23:14

So, you know, and, and my son Brandon and my mother were insanely close.

play23:22

Like my mother and my son, her grandson, you know, she had conversations with him

play23:28

she didn't have with anybody else ever.

play23:30

Not her sister, not her husband.

play23:33

Not her other children, not her mother.

play23:35

I mean, you know, there was, there's, there's something really

play23:38

interesting about the bond between grandparents and grandchildren that

play23:42

I think is special to begin with.

play23:45

Now, so, and that was part of your story.

play23:48

Some of it is, I think, because of the difference in age, we have a

play23:54

tendency to wound people inadvertently.

play23:57

through the course of our lives.

play23:58

So the chances that I'm gonna have said and done stupid stuff when I was

play24:03

younger that wounded my sisters or that my parents, when I was little, had done

play24:10

things to try to put me in the right track, that it inadvertently wounded me.

play24:16

For inadvertent wounding, that goes back and forth between

play24:22

grandparents and grandchildren.

play24:24

You know, a parent is still struggling to be a human being, you know, and,

play24:29

and how they treat their children, whereas, you know, the grandparents

play24:33

got a 20, 30 year head start on that.

play24:35

They're making fewer mistakes with their grandchildren.

play24:37

They're also taught more talent for a variety of reasons.

play24:41

You know, you see, you see movies all the time where grandfather's

play24:44

taking his grandson out to get him laid where he would never

play24:46

would have done that with his son.

play24:48

Hmm.

play24:48

So you, there's, there is a very different relationship between grandparents and, and

play24:52

Alex: grandchildren and how do you think with parents and children,

play24:57

you know, especially was your mom, if you don't mind me asking.

play25:00

Is she still with us or, no?

play25:02

My mom

play25:03

Chris Voss: died about two and a half.

play25:04

About two and a half years.

play25:05

About two.

play25:05

Yeah.

play25:05

Two and a

play25:06

Alex: half years ago.

play25:07

Sorry to hear.

play25:08

And yeah, that's, that's life, right?

play25:10

I mean, that's life and death.

play25:11

It is.

play25:11

And did you, did you need to counsel her on her health?

play25:14

As she was getting older, did you have to take some responsibility or how,

play25:18

how did that play out in your family?

play25:20

Never

play25:20

Chris Voss: really got to the point you know, she had more longevity demonstrated

play25:24

in her family than she ended up, you know, her mother lived about 15 years

play25:27

longer than she ended up living.

play25:28

So, you know, there was a bit of an assumption on our part

play25:32

that she was going to last.

play25:33

And when I last saw her, I actually had, I, I was into saunas at the time.

play25:38

I still am.

play25:39

I got a sauna in my backyard.

play25:41

You know, I read, I listened to Rhonda Patrick give a talk four or five

play25:46

years ago, where she said, you know, 30 minutes of sauna, four to seven

play25:52

times a week, and it was finished dry sauna, where the stat was, she said 40

play25:59

percent drop in all cause mortality.

play26:02

Like that's, that's a staggering number.

play26:06

Alex: Unbelievable.

play26:06

I

play26:07

Chris Voss: mean, if you 40 percent

play26:08

Alex: all cause.

play26:09

40%?

play26:09

Yeah.

play26:09

Yeah.

play26:09

Yeah.

play26:09

Yeah.

play26:10

Yeah, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, all

play26:12

Chris Voss: of it.

play26:12

Picket.

play26:13

Everything.

play26:15

So, yeah, so I buy my mother a sauna, and I put it in the basement of her house.

play26:20

And I can't get her to sit in it.

play26:22

Like, the only time I could get her to sit in it was when I was there.

play26:29

And she wouldn't, you know, at my mother's very time.

play26:33

Very, was a very practical person.

play26:35

My son and I were just laughing about this the other day.

play26:38

You know, I'm, I'm sure my mom thought, you know, we're teasing that

play26:41

she said, it's hot in Iowa anyway.

play26:44

It's hot in the summertime.

play26:45

Why do I got to spend my electrical bill to go sit in a sauna?

play26:49

I go sit outside if I want to be hot.

play26:50

Heck, in the summertime, I'm paying for air conditioning.

play26:53

You know, we were just joking.

play26:55

It was probably my mother's

play26:56

Alex: accent.

play26:57

Yeah, and and then so what did you try to use to convince her?

play26:59

And it didn't work, I guess, right?

play27:01

Because she never ended up using it?

play27:02

Or is there a big jump?

play27:03

Nah, she just,

play27:04

Chris Voss: she just wouldn't, she wouldn't use it.

play27:06

Now, simultaneously, when she was at her home in Iowa, I mean, she's going

play27:11

to an aerobics class twice a week.

play27:13

And she's doing other stuff.

play27:15

You know, but I did what I could.

play27:18

to have a positive impact on her health and simultaneously,

play27:21

I want her to be happy.

play27:23

So, if in, in, I wasn't presented with the same opportunity scenario where

play27:31

she's, she's stroking on a, on a, on a, on a a handicap bed, you know, an

play27:37

impaired bed where it's, if you get up, you can kind of get back into it.

play27:42

You know, I didn't, I didn't have those circumstances

play27:44

when, when she ended up dying.

play27:45

It was...

play27:46

Completely out of my control and I didn't find out what the circumstances

play27:52

were until she was in hospice.

play27:53

And that, you know, I had to accept that that was the universe's

play27:58

will, that was God's will.

play27:59

I mean, there's some things you can change and some things you can't.

play28:01

Sort of understanding which ones are which is the challenge of being a human being.

play28:07

And, you know, that one was out of my hands.

play28:10

And,

play28:11

Alex: And so the sauna, you, you tried to, you know, set, give her that and no

play28:14

matter all your negotiation techniques or your son, Brandon, I've read a few of his

play28:18

articles on getting closer to your family.

play28:19

You know, she wasn't going for it and maybe you didn't push too hard,

play28:22

but you probably, she probably wasn't a bad negotiator herself, you know?

play28:26

And so you tried and she let you put it in the basement, which was probably a win.

play28:30

Yeah.

play28:30

Yeah.

play28:31

And, and I'd love to touch on, you know, a little bit more on your family

play28:34

and also your own personal health techniques because you travel so much and.

play28:37

You, you're high powered and you meet a lot of, I won't say

play28:40

high powered, high performing.

play28:41

You know, you do a lot you strike me as someone with a lot of energy.

play28:44

So I want to get to that and And also, you know, with your

play28:47

dad, was it a similar situation?

play28:50

Did it play out differently?

play28:51

And anyone else in your life that you've had the chance to impact them with

play28:55

your health negotiation techniques?

play28:57

Chris Voss: Well, my father ended up when he died back in 98.

play29:00

I mean, he went pretty quickly.

play29:02

He was other than the cancer that got into his system, that had reached a level

play29:06

where it was in his lymphatic system, which is, by the time they discovered

play29:10

it, it was there, which is, you're kind of done at that point in time.

play29:13

He was a very healthy guy.

play29:15

I mean, young looking guy, vibrant, hard working.

play29:18

Worked really hard and very vibrant.

play29:21

So, and he'd become conscious of his diet.

play29:25

Based on what was known about diet at the time, his father

play29:29

had, had died due to cholesterol blockage in, in, in the arteries.

play29:37

Back then they called it hardening of the arteries, if you will, and

play29:40

his father, I never knew the man, he died I think I don't know if it was

play29:44

before I was born or shortly after.

play29:47

But because of that, my father had gotten very conscious of his diet

play29:50

and had been very careful with it for easily 20 years when he died, based on

play29:58

what was known about diet at the time.

play30:02

And cancer detection back then was far less accurate than it is now and he, he

play30:09

felt badly like a flu that he couldn't shake and had been in and out of the

play30:13

doctor's office a number of times and they just, they just couldn't nail it down.

play30:18

And then ultimately, in fighting the cancer, he, he had a heart attack and

play30:23

they rushed him to the hospital and, you know, they did the You know, with

play30:26

the electric restart of the heart.

play30:28

I don't recall what that terminology is.

play30:31

And that was when they discovered that he had cancer throughout his system.

play30:36

And he didn't go easy.

play30:38

He refused to go easy and he fought it off pretty well, I think principally

play30:42

based on his attitude for about three more months and then that was it.

play30:45

And

play30:47

Alex: you were, that was 98, so you were in the midst of your FBI career.

play30:51

Yeah, it was a surprise to because he was a healthy guy

play30:54

because his dad had died young.

play30:55

And so, yeah.

play30:58

And so does that impact your view of health like you're, I mean,

play31:01

cause your dad did his best, right?

play31:02

And he's still got cancer.

play31:03

Your grandpa, I don't know, you know, his health situation, but he died young.

play31:07

So does that make you really conscious of your health?

play31:10

Chris Voss: Pretty, pretty conscious.

play31:12

I mean, I'm not, I'm, I'm, you know, relatively speaking,

play31:14

I'm pretty disciplined.

play31:15

I, you know, I started at about that time being very conscious of.

play31:20

Cancer reducing supplements.

play31:23

And I, I have been...

play31:26

Cancer you know, the stuff that would fight you.

play31:28

I mean, and by and large, I never really smoked.

play31:31

I've avoided, in my life, most of the things that have been linked

play31:35

strongly to cancer that, you know, that doesn't make you immune from it.

play31:39

And I've always enjoyed being in pretty good shape.

play31:41

You know, when I was younger, I lifted weights a lot more than I do now.

play31:44

I still do, you know, aerobics when I can.

play31:47

So, I like being healthy for a lot of other reasons, and longevity

play31:51

is kind of a fringe benefit

play31:52

Alex: of that.

play31:54

So for you, what are you doing around like food when you travel, you know, when

play31:57

you're on airplanes and stuff, exercise when you travel, sleep when you travel,

play32:01

give me the quick ones, then we'll probably get into some negotiation stuff.

play32:04

Yeah, all

play32:05

Chris Voss: that's, all that's brutal.

play32:06

I mean, sleep is easily the most of three very important components.

play32:11

Sleep might be the most important.

play32:14

And with the time changes, I mean, that's just, that's brutal, that's really hard.

play32:18

And, you know, I got a combination of both I keep melatonin and Ambien with me.

play32:24

And, you know, I'm listening to Andrew Huberman talking about viewing

play32:27

sunlight at certain parts of the day.

play32:30

Like, I'm, I'm going for every hack that I can possibly get to

play32:32

try to square my, square, square away my sleep as much as possible.

play32:37

And diet, I'm much poorer on the road.

play32:42

I'm limiting my carbs.

play32:43

I'm trying to increase my water and protein intake.

play32:47

And you know, I also don't want to sacrifice enjoyment for longevity.

play32:56

You know, you can live a really long time and live a boring life

play32:58

that you're just not happy with.

play33:01

So I'm a, I'm a little more interested in enjoyment and vitality and when I'm on

play33:05

the road especially I, I, my diet tends to sacrifice a little bit in that direction.

play33:10

Wendy and I went to a French restaurant last night and

play33:13

thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

play33:14

And I ate a couple of things that, that my longevity doctor

play33:18

would have wished that I didn't.

play33:20

But I was out with her and I was enjoying the evening and

play33:22

enjoying being in New York City.

play33:25

So

play33:25

Alex: enjoy the moment.

play33:26

And so food is where you might fall down a bit, but you're conscious of it.

play33:29

You're aware of it.

play33:30

Sleep.

play33:30

You're, I know you're, you're big on human.

play33:32

You were mentioning him a few times on a couple of the podcasts I listened to,

play33:36

and he's got a lot on jet lag and light timing and caffeine timing and all that,

play33:40

which I'm sure you're implementing and cardio wise, you're doing some cardio.

play33:44

So that gives you the energy to fly around the world and give talks and coach people.

play33:49

Chris Voss: Yeah.

play33:49

Yeah.

play33:50

And you know, and I enjoy it.

play33:51

That gives me energy.

play33:52

I mean, it's mentally, how do you interpret it?

play33:54

And then, I mean, it's hard to find a decent sauna on the road, but I got

play34:00

one at home and, and then also again, you know, I'll probably mention my

play34:04

girlfriend, Wendy at 30 times in this.

play34:07

She she got me a cold plunge and I got a cold plunge in my backyard.

play34:11

Alex: You negotiate yourself into that?

play34:13

I mean, that's brutal, man.

play34:15

I

play34:15

Chris Voss: it's a fascinating challenge of how you rewire physical stimulus.

play34:23

And again, Huberman, I heard him say on one podcast that pain is an

play34:27

emotional reaction, an emotional interpretation to a physical stimulus.

play34:34

And I'm like, what?

play34:36

I'm like, you know, either it hurts or it doesn't.

play34:39

, and hitting a cold plunge, like at about the same time, you know, I used to think

play34:44

that it was painful to get into it, and I happened to have crushed a little toe

play34:49

in a door jam, and it was swollen badly.

play34:53

And getting in a cold plunge always relieved and accelerated

play34:57

the the healing of that.

play34:58

And I went from I hate the cold to...

play35:00

Feeling immediate relief and pleasure and healing.

play35:04

Getting into the exact same water and the exact same temperature.

play35:06

So it was all in how my brain was interpreting it.

play35:10

Alex: And, and I know you're big on that.

play35:11

You know, you've worked with the folks who are behavioral psychologists.

play35:14

You cite Kahneman a lot.

play35:16

And so, for you, the cold plunge actually relieved pain.

play35:18

So you got a, kind of a nice, you know, reframe there.

play35:22

Is there anything that you, you negotiate with your health, or your

play35:25

performance, your energy, that you don't like to do, but you still do?

play35:30

Chris Voss: Yeah, well, I, you know, I got to tell you something.

play35:32

I'm hitting a cold plunge first thing in the morning, and there's

play35:35

some mornings when I get up I do not feel like getting in that baby.

play35:38

Alex: Huh.

play35:39

How do you square that with yourself?

play35:41

Well,

play35:41

Chris Voss: then it's, you know, vision drives decision.

play35:45

Vision what?

play35:46

Vision of the future.

play35:47

Vision of what's going to happen in the future.

play35:50

I can talk myself into doing something or not doing something by thinking

play35:55

about what the outcome's going to be.

play35:57

I'm happy to get into a cold plunge when I think about the fact that, you know, when

play36:02

I get out, I'm going to feel charged up.

play36:06

And so the vision of the future, I can think about what it's

play36:08

going to feel like to get in it.

play36:10

And now I'm going, Oh God, this is going to stink.

play36:14

Or I can take my brain and I think about what it's going

play36:16

to feel like after I get out.

play36:17

And then I'm looking forward to it.

play36:20

You know, on a given food.

play36:22

If you know, something carb heavy, you know, something laced with icing,

play36:27

you know, some big, great big giant donut from someplace, you know, you

play36:31

can think about how good that's going to taste and then it's hard to resist.

play36:37

Or if then I think about the sugar crash that's going to come a half an

play36:42

hour later and how lethargic and just almost depressed I'm going to feel.

play36:48

I'm like, Oh man, I don't want to have anything to do with that.

play36:50

So it's, it's what moment in the future your brain is envisioning

play36:56

that really controls what you do, making the decision of the present.

play37:00

And

play37:03

Alex: so when it comes to someone's health, if you're counting, if you were

play37:06

counseling someone on their health, or if I'm doing it as a health coach or a

play37:09

doctor, I mean, you have a doctor who says, Hey, it's not good for you to

play37:13

eat that ice cream Sunday every week.

play37:14

And the person goes, I know, I know, but it kind of gives

play37:16

me some comfort after work.

play37:18

The doctor says, well, hey, you're, you're overweight.

play37:20

Your risk of heart disease is 30% higher than the average.

play37:24

Your 10 year mortality is, you know, 3%.

play37:27

Whereas someone who, who isn't overweight exercises daily, sleeps

play37:30

enough, has a 10 year mortality, all cause mortality of half a percent.

play37:34

And so what you're saying, I think, is to have the person envision the pain.

play37:39

But if they don't even know what a sugar crush is like they don't really feel it.

play37:43

'cause they're not so interceptive, they're not so in

play37:45

touch with their body, you know?

play37:47

How do you, how would you counsel somebody to paint this future for them?

play37:52

Because to me, the death thing is too far away.

play37:54

Maybe, maybe you have a skill where you can cue yourself and say, I

play37:57

don't want that all cause mortality in 40 years, so I'm going to buy

play37:59

a sauna and religiously do it.

play38:01

But for someone who's maybe not in that vein, how do you, how do you counsel them

play38:06

to get the short term into the medium term or short term into the long term?

play38:10

Something I'm really struggling with.

play38:12

Chris Voss: Well, people that are doing that, you know, focus a little bit

play38:14

on what are they feeling right now.

play38:16

I mean, somebody's having trouble seeing a brighter future.

play38:20

What do they feel?

play38:21

They feel defeated.

play38:24

They feel like they can't make a difference in life.

play38:28

They feel like no matter what they do, the world is just not

play38:32

going to give them a chance.

play38:35

Simply calling that out is how you start to turn the tide.

play38:40

You know, you're not trying to convince them.

play38:42

You're not trying to say, I don't want you to feel defeated.

play38:46

You know, the application of empathy is, sounds like you kind of feel defeated.

play38:51

Sounds like, no matter what you do, it's never going to make a difference.

play38:56

It's one of the few things in the Black Swan Method we know it all works.

play39:02

We haven't got the neuroscience to back it up yet.

play39:05

And this is one that is solidly backed up by neuroscience.

play39:08

Because they've run studies when people are thinking negative thoughts, if the

play39:13

negativity is simply called out, then the fMRI shows that the electrical

play39:21

activity in a region of the brain where negativity is housed reduces.

play39:26

Like simply calling out the elephant in the room is the most

play39:30

effective way to get it to go away.

play39:33

Not denying it, not telling somebody the elephant shouldn't be there.

play39:37

Not telling them they can tackle the elephant if they

play39:39

just get their selves together.

play39:43

It's saying like, you know, there's an elephant in the room.

play39:46

Just calling it out.

play39:48

And a number of studies have been done that that is the most consistent and

play39:53

effective way to get rid of negativity.

play39:54

Just simply call it out.

play39:56

The application of empathy is calling out, demonstrating, articulating

play40:03

what the other side is feeling.

play40:04

Not denying it and not following up, following it with, but if you just did

play40:10

this, and it's also, I feel that too, you know, this, and there's an extended

play40:17

application of that, that I hate, the feel, felt, found, you know, I felt the

play40:23

way you did once, I know how you feel, I felt that too, here's what I found

play40:31

is the answer, that feel, felt, found.

play40:34

That is horrible.

play40:36

Why?

play40:37

And it does not work because it Well, I in, in point of fact could Yeah.

play40:41

Tell me why.

play40:41

Yeah, yeah.

play40:42

You, you don't really care.

play40:45

It doesn't help you to know that you felt that way.

play40:50

Now I can understand how we got off track of this 'cause you know, there's

play40:53

a lot of psychological data out there.

play40:56

Brene Brown.

play40:56

I'm a big fan of Brene Brown since she was talking about shame.

play40:59

I, I got, I had the privilege of listening to her in a private talk recently.

play41:04

And she said that shame cannot exist in isolation.

play41:08

So there's a lot that we feel better about if we don't feel alone.

play41:14

If we don't feel in isolation.

play41:16

Now, so a lot of well intended but wrong headed reaction to that guidance is say

play41:23

to somebody, I feel the same as you.

play41:28

Good idea.

play41:29

Good intention.

play41:31

And in point of time, in point of application, they don't care.

play41:34

It doesn't help them.

play41:36

And when I was on a suicide hotline, you know, they used to describe it when

play41:39

you're trying to help somebody, somebody who's in quicksand, it doesn't help

play41:42

them to get in the quicksand with them.

play41:46

And somehow we've interpreted this to say, look, if we just get in a quicksand

play41:49

with them, they're going to feel good too.

play41:51

They'll feel better.

play41:53

And in practical application, that's why suicide hotlines, crisis

play41:56

hotlines teach you to not do that.

play41:58

Do not get in a quicksand with them.

play42:01

And that's what I learned way back when.

play42:02

So I get, I get the proper training on how to react.

play42:04

Like, you don't care that I know how you feel, that I felt the way you felt.

play42:10

It does make a difference if I can show that I know how you feel.

play42:14

And I can take somebody, I can, you can be going through an experience

play42:18

I have never gone through, ever.

play42:21

And I can say, yeah, you feel defeated.

play42:23

You feel abandoned.

play42:24

You feel alone.

play42:25

You feel like whatever you do is just going to be useless.

play42:30

I never said I felt any of that, but you're going to feel better because

play42:34

I called it out and recognized it.

play42:38

Alex: And when it comes to shame, it's such a deep seated thing that

play42:43

if you can call it out, recognize it with delicacy using some of

play42:47

the techniques that you teach.

play42:49

then that might almost erase it in the brain and then somebody, not

play42:53

erase it, but it, it unearths it and then somebody can move forward.

play42:56

But if it's not unearthed, they're doing that checklist, which you, you

play42:59

touch on quite often in your work where they're thinking, well, I've got this.

play43:03

I failed at this in the past.

play43:04

You know, I tried this 10 years ago to lose weight.

play43:06

My mom said I could never lose weight.

play43:08

So if you can do some informational interviewing and open ended questions

play43:12

and draw them out with labeling, mirroring, summarizing paraphrasing.

play43:17

, you help them, you know, vocalize all that negativity, and then once the negativity

play43:22

is out there, they feel comfortable with you because you know their story.

play43:26

But if, if the, if the kind of healthy person or the person counseling

play43:31

them, whether it be doctor or coach.

play43:34

doesn't really get into the weeds of what brought them there, then

play43:38

the person doesn't really trust them and doesn't feel heard and will

play43:41

just default to their old story, because the old story makes comfort.

play43:46

Chris Voss: There's a certain amount of you hit on a lot of really

play43:49

interesting things and there's a certain amount of comfort there.

play43:52

And , it becomes known.

play43:54

One of the, a number of things that are bad but are true the devil known

play43:58

is better than the devil unknown.

play44:00

You know, if somebody, no matter how bad it is now, if somebody's still

play44:04

surviving day to day, they say to themselves, look, at least I'm surviving.

play44:08

You know, it could, it could get worse.

play44:11

And they're, they're horrified at the unknown or the

play44:13

possibility of it getting worse.

play44:15

And that's, and that's what really stops a lot of people from taking action

play44:18

to make, to make the small changes.

play44:21

That will eventually, you know, help them to climb out.

play44:25

But it's human nature.

play44:26

The devil unknown is easier to cope with than the devil unknown.

play44:30

And that's why many people are horrified at taking, making steps to make changes.

play44:36

Because they're saying, well, you know, no matter how bad it

play44:39

is, I still got up this morning.

play44:43

Alex: Can you talk about diffusing the ego when you're that?

play44:48

And how they can let go of what was and just step into a newer place

play44:53

and and how to, how to project the future 30 days, 60 days, 90 days out.

play44:58

Cause you do it in negotiations too.

play44:59

You say, well, if this goes really well, you know, like that lawyer

play45:02

guy you mentioned, if this goes really well in a year, 10 years

play45:05

from now, where are we going to be?

play45:07

Chris Voss: You know, I'm, I'm not sure because you're getting into

play45:09

a certain amount of terminology.

play45:11

You know, there's some, some premises there.

play45:13

I would, I wouldn't say that I'm really looking to defuse anybody's ego.

play45:16

What I'm trying to be in many cases is a better sounding board and help

play45:21

them either recognize something that's driving, driving them or

play45:26

uncover something that's driving them that they're no longer aware of.

play45:30

And then ultimately.

play45:32

I, I may be trying to get them to build their ego because

play45:36

people need to feel autonomy.

play45:38

They need to feel an agency, which means the decision has got to be theirs.

play45:42

And the more I make it clear to them, look, it's on you.

play45:46

I mean, I'm just trying to talk to you about the reality of what's ahead.

play45:49

And you know, we could talk about how things, how life's going to be.

play45:53

If you take these positive steps, you can also talk about, you

play45:57

know, how life's going to continue to deteriorate if you don't.

play46:02

Like, you know, a great question is what happens if you do nothing?

play46:06

I mean, on your current course, what happens if you do nothing?

play46:11

I mean, that's just making someone look at the consequences without them

play46:18

feeling like you made them do it.

play46:21

A critical issue is always doing as much as you can to preserve

play46:26

their autonomy because they'll die to preserve their autonomy.

play46:30

And you've got to preserve their autonomy.

play46:33

Alex: You hit the nail on the head.

play46:34

Ego of, in this case, I'd define it like autonomy.

play46:37

Yeah, exactly.

play46:38

You got to preserve it.

play46:39

And by not telling people what to do, but by active listening, by tactical

play46:44

empathy, you're walking them maybe down the path with you together.

play46:49

Chris Voss: Ideally, yeah.

play46:50

You want to act as a guide.

play46:52

You're guiding as much as you can.

play46:55

Alex: And, you know, there's different situations, whether it's your

play46:58

parent or your kid or your partner.

play47:00

Could you just touch on one thing as we're finishing up is

play47:03

like the role that you play.

play47:05

Cause when you're a kid, you know, you're not supposed to take care of your parent.

play47:07

They take care of you.

play47:08

When you get older, those roles might start to switch, but

play47:12

how do you put that hat on?

play47:13

How do you talk about roles generally?

play47:15

Like when insensitive conversations, wow.

play47:20

Chris Voss: Yeah, you know, I mean, I'm, I'm, I think my principal role

play47:25

is empathy is, you know, me just showing you that I understand and

play47:32

trying to dig into helping you see what's driving you a little bit more.

play47:40

And then ultimately, I think everybody's role is to be supportive

play47:44

and as collaborative as possible.

play47:46

You don't have to live up to your word.

play47:48

And to, you know, eliminate injury as much as, inadvertent injury

play47:52

as much as you possibly can.

play47:54

And then that kind of role is that, you know, as, as you grow older, maybe

play47:59

you're, you're looking after your parents.

play48:00

I mean, they're always going to be your parents.

play48:02

They're not going to, they're not going to want to feel like they're your child.

play48:06

And so continue to respect how they see things and being supportive as possible.

play48:09

And then, you know, what can you change and what do you, what do you got to

play48:14

let go are always the hard questions.

play48:17

Alex: And you've found some peace with that, no matter how kind

play48:20

of assertive you are and how you like to control your reality.

play48:23

You've also, when your mom didn't want the sauna, you know, that's just one example.

play48:27

You didn't call her every day like, hey, get in the sauna, get in the sauna.

play48:29

When you were there, you tried it.

play48:30

She made her argument that it's already hot in Iowa.

play48:33

And you were able to have your peace and say, it's, it's kind of not my job.

play48:36

So, yeah, it's something about having your peace, but encouraging

play48:40

autonomy and encouraging thought and being a companion to someone.

play48:45

Yeah,

play48:45

Chris Voss: I would think so.

play48:45

I think that's well said.

play48:47

Alex: And where did he catch Brene Brown?

play48:48

Was that on Fireside or where was that?

play48:53

Chris Voss: So I got invited back to speak at a gathering of

play48:57

hostage negotiators with the FBI.

play48:59

Crisis Negotiation Unit where I used to work.

play49:03

They had every two years they bring all the hostage negotiation

play49:06

coordinators from around the country in.

play49:07

And they, these are the best people.

play49:09

These are the people that run and operate the program, you know, in Dallas and

play49:13

Houston and Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

play49:17

Senior people.

play49:18

It's a great conference.

play49:20

And I was privileged enough that they asked me to come back and talk.

play49:23

And I'm like, I am flattered that you guys are bringing me back.

play49:27

And they had taken a chance and offered Brene Brown an invitation to talk.

play49:33

I didn't even know she was going to be there.

play49:35

I didn't even know she was in the back of the room.

play49:38

And I go through my segment, and then they introduce the next speaker, and we

play49:42

pass each other in the little aisleway between the stairs the chairs, and she

play49:46

says, that was great, I'm a big fan.

play49:48

And I'm like, holy cow, you know, I didn't even know you were in a room,

play49:51

and you're here, you're a superstar.

play49:54

And then she sat down in front of the group and just started laying these

play49:58

pearls of wisdom on everybody about, you know, one of the things that really

play50:02

jumped out at me is like self knowledge is required before self actualization.

play50:08

I mean, if you want to self actualize, which is a term that you used

play50:12

earlier, you kind of, kind of got to come to grips with yourself first.

play50:17

To move forward.

play50:18

I mean, she just laid one thing after another on us that I'm,

play50:21

I'm furiously taking notes.

play50:23

I think I took more notes than anybody in the room.

play50:25

And so that, that was where I was lucky enough to run across her.

play50:29

Alex: Wow.

play50:29

And you, you were familiar with her before that and she, she got you to

play50:32

that self knowledge one, which is a really good place to yeah, to end here.

play50:36

Cause I want to thank you for your time and be respectful.

play50:39

I know the newsletter comes out every Tuesday morning still.

play50:43

And folks can sign up for that on BlackSwanLTD.

play50:46

com.

play50:48

I just moved mine into my primary inbox, so I'm making sure I get it.

play50:51

There's the Masterclass that you're featured on and folks can sign up.

play50:54

How much is that?

play50:55

Because that's quite affordable for folks.

play50:57

Chris Voss: A masterclass is a ridiculous value.

play50:59

I think, last I checked, the subscription for a year to all of their content

play51:04

was 180, something to that effect.

play51:07

I mean, yeah, it's, they just, they deliver some of the highest quality

play51:12

content and you can't get our course by itself for that anywhere else, let alone

play51:17

access to everything they have for a year.

play51:19

So, a Masterclass is a phenomenal deal and their production

play51:23

values are through the roof.

play51:25

Alex: And let's see.

play51:26

Fireside is now a group coaching option, which I think makes

play51:29

sense because otherwise people got to fly out for a seminar.

play51:31

They got to have calls with you or with Brandon or Sandy or with the team, Derek.

play51:35

Right.

play51:36

. Can you tell us about Fireside?

play51:37

Chris Voss: Yeah, it's kind of the next step.

play51:38

If you've done the book and you've done Masterclass, which

play51:41

are phenomenally complimentary cornerstones, then where do you go next?

play51:46

And Fireside is a, is a, is an app on your phone.

play51:50

It's a subscription service.

play51:53

And it was originally pitched to us as an interactive podcast,

play51:56

live interactive podcast.

play51:58

And what we found out is, in point of fact, it's group coaching.

play52:02

And so if you were to, if you were to buy group coaching from us,

play52:06

it's 5, 000 an hour for a group.

play52:08

5, 000 for an hour.

play52:11

and we do it weekly.

play52:12

So it means that there's four to five hours a month on Fireside and instead

play52:18

of paying $5,000 an hour, you're paying a thousand dollars a year.

play52:22

Mm-hmm.

play52:23

Alex: weekly.

play52:24

Chris Voss: You get coaching.

play52:25

Yeah.

play52:25

You get, you know, it's, it's a, it's a weekly one hour group coaching and and

play52:29

we got people signing in from all over

play52:31

Alex: the world.

play52:32

Yep.

play52:32

So they can actually get real answers to their situations.

play52:35

Yeah, exactly.

play52:36

Yeah, that's pretty cool.

play52:37

Because sometimes they're going through work, they want to

play52:39

raise, they're negotiating a deal that might be a million bucks.

play52:43

So 10 percent on a million bucks is a hundred K and they're

play52:45

only spending 1, 000 on yours.

play52:47

So I would do it too.

play52:48

And then there's, , black swans on the site too.

play52:53

Chris Voss, you've been a hero to me.

play52:55

I'm going to tell that story at the intro as people will hear.

play52:57

So Chris Voss, thank you so much for coming on.

play53:00

I really appreciate it.

play53:01

This is really cool.

play53:02

I think people haven't heard that side of you and can have some takeaways

play53:05

for themselves and their families.

play53:07

Thanks again for coming on.

play53:08

It's my pleasure,

play53:09

Chris Voss: Alex.

play53:09

Thanks for having me.

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