Nuggets of wisdom from the book:
We’ve instrumentalized niceness as a way of greasing the social wheels, yet it’s often a ruse. We’re polite and we don’t disagree to get through daily existence with the least degree of friction.
But by turning niceness into a lubricant, we’ve leeched it of meaning. A smile and a nod might signify “Get me out of here!” as much as it means “Nice to meet you.”
That’s death for a good negotiator, who gains their power by understanding their counterpart’s situation and extracting information about their counterpart’s desires and needs.
Extracting that information means getting the other party to feel safe and in control. And while it may sound contradictory, the way to get there is by getting the other party to disagree--to say no. To draw their own boundaries, to define their desires as a function of what they do not want.
As you try to put the chapter’s methods to use, I encourage you to think of them as the anti–“niceness ruse.” Not in the sense that they are unkind, but in the sense that they are authentic. Triggering “No” peels away the plastic falsehood of “Yes” and gets you to what’s really at stake.
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