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  • Writer's pictureDavide Ferrari

Negotiation Series #5: the "Late Night FM DJ" Voice rule

In the world of negotiation, the power of communication cannot be underestimated. Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, introduces a unique and intriguing technique in his book "Never Split the Difference" – the "Late Night FM DJ" Voice. This method offers a fascinating insight into the nuances of vocal tonality and how it can shape the outcomes of high-stakes conversations. In this article, we explore the concept of the "Late Night FM DJ" Voice, its applications, and how you can harness its magic to become a more persuasive communicator.

Understanding the "Late Night FM DJ" Voice

Imagine the soothing tones of a late-night radio host, captivating listeners with a calming and rhythmic voice. The "Late Night FM DJ" Voice, as introduced by Voss in his book "Never Split the Difference," mirrors this melodic quality. It involves adopting a calm, deliberate, and empathetic tone of voice that engages and reassures your counterpart. This technique helps build rapport, defuse tension, and establish an atmosphere of collaboration.

Example 1

Diffusing a Customer Service Conflict Picture a customer calling a service hotline, frustrated with a recent experience. Instead of responding with a defensive tone, a skilled representative might utilize the "Late Night FM DJ" Voice. By speaking in a composed and understanding manner, they create an environment where the customer feels heard and valued. This approach opens the door for a constructive dialogue, leading to a resolution that leaves both parties satisfied.

Example 2

Negotiating a Business Deal Consider a scenario where two business partners are discussing the terms of a potential collaboration. By adopting the "Late Night FM DJ" Voice, one partner conveys respect and empathy, signaling a willingness to work together. This tone can ease any apprehension, encouraging open communication and a more collaborative approach to finding common ground.

The Psychology Behind the Technique

The "Late Night FM DJ" Voice draws upon the psychological principle of emotional contagion. When we encounter a soothing and empathetic voice, our own emotions tend to mirror those conveyed through the voice. This mirroring effect fosters trust, reduces stress, and paves the way for more meaningful interactions.

The "Late Night FM DJ" Voice is inspired by the calming and reassuring tones of radio hosts who engage listeners during late-night shows. These hosts create an intimate and empathetic atmosphere, encouraging listeners to open up and share their thoughts and feelings. By adapting this vocal approach, negotiators can achieve similar results in their conversations.

Practical Tips for Mastering the Technique

  1. Practice Patience: Embrace a deliberate pace in your speech to create a sense of calm and control.

  2. Infuse Empathy: Convey genuine understanding and empathy through your voice, showing that you value the other party's perspective.

  3. Use Pauses Wisely: Employ well-timed pauses to emphasize important points and give the other party space to respond.

Conclusion

The "Late Night FM DJ" Voice, as described by Chris Voss in his book "Never Split the Difference," offers a compelling and effective technique for enhancing your negotiation and communication skills. By embracing this approach, you can create an environment of trust, empathy, and collaboration, paving the way for successful outcomes in even the most challenging conversations. Whether you're navigating conflicts, sealing business deals, or building relationships, the "Late Night FM DJ" Voice holds the key to unlocking a world of persuasive power.

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