Welcome To Skilled Negotiation

In every instance in which the future actions of an individual or company is uncertain, there is the opportunity to negotiate.

It is time to take advantage of the power of skilled negotiation to improve your business and personal success.

Introducing James Johnson

I am an author, consultant, and trainer with over thirty years experience both negotiating on behalf of my clients and teaching others to succeed on their own.

Becoming a skilled negotiator will immediately improve your business success.

I want to help you and your company.

Individual and group training available. 

Note: My current schedule is full. I am not accepting new clients or projects at this time. Email me at skillednegotiation@gmail.com for future availability.

James Johnson Biography

James Johnson graduated from university in 1986 during an economic downturn.  Taking the only job available to a Political Science/English graduate, he found himself selling photocopiers, computers, and an amazing new technology called fax machines to small and large businesses.

James quickly realized that being a skilled negotiator would have a significant and positive effect, not just on his income, but on his life. Since that time, James has been a student of negotiation – learning from his own mistakes, the success and failures of others, and doing much research and reading. 

After leaving the exciting world of office equipment in 1988, James further honed his negotiation skills and has, for many years now, worked with large corporations, small businesses, and individuals in providing negotiation training, coaching, and consultation.

In 2019 James took thirty plus years of personal study notes and transformed them into a book entitled, “Skilled Negotiation”. His sincerest hope is that his readers will be able to avoid the decades of hard work he put into learning to be a skilled negotiator by immediately applying the lessons from his book in order to achieve their business and personal goals.

James Johnson’s book is available on Amazon.com. He can also be reached at skillednegotiation.com and at skillednegotiation@gmail.com.

He would love to hear from you.

Footnotes from Skilled Negotiation

  1. Yes, I made a note of it at the time. In case you are curious, this book is now 44,536 words long. I appreciate that my starting word count is suspiciously close to the final word count. First, I feel a bit like Andrew Waugh, who first measured the height of Mount Everest, and came to exactly 29,000 feet but reported it as 29,002 feet as he felt such a round number just looked like an estimate. Second, this word count ignores the 16,903 words I edited out of this book and have pasted into another document just in case I want to use that information at a later date. 
  2. Congratulations! You read the preface. As I generally skip these, I am grateful that you did not.
  3. I’ll detail some of those transferable skills in the Chapter entitled, “How To Succeed By Reading Your NP’s Mind”.
  4. A common expectation is that a good player will earn one big blind per hour of playing. On that basis, I should be making about $10 per hour. I actually do better than that (on average – don’t believe any poker player who says he always wins) but it is still not enough for me to do it professionally.
  5. Fooled By Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Random House, 2008
  6. Or they only tell you about the times they were successful. 
  7. Skinner, B. F. (1948). ‘Superstition’ in the pigeonJournal of Experimental Psychology, 38(2), 168-172.B.F. Skinner – The man who taught pigeons to be superstitious.
  8. “The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert – in anything…. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.” From This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin.
  9. I could have written, “Here is what you will get out of this book” which would imply that, it you were not wildly successful in your future negotiations, it would somehow be your fault. But look, I am not that arrogant. I recognize that, no matter how much effort I have put into this book, and no matter how much guidance/editorial help I have received, there will always be room for improvement. If you see anything you think is wrong, unclear, stupid, or you just want to send me note, please do so at, skillednegotiaton@gmail.com.
  10. That does not mean of course that every idea in this book is original. Even if I came up with an idea independently, it does not mean that others had not already come before me. My only claim is that what you are reading is based on my own experience, I have applied it, and it works. Well mostly. Nothing works all the time.
  11. This is clearly hyperbole. In reality, the ideas in popular business books are only repeated like seventy-eight times.
  12. This quote is attributed to Einstein, but it seems unlikely that he ever said it.
  13. At the point of writing this, no one other than me has read this book but I am hopeful. Sure, you can call it delusional if you want but RIGHT NOW, this book is all potential. It COULD happen. I am going with that.
  14. I know absolutely nothing about industrial boilers and am pretty sure that, in looking for an esoteric example for this sentence, it was the first time in my life I had ever considered their existence at all.
  15. The 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded for work done in explaining the used car market.
  16. Why yes, I do recognize the irony of this sentence. As Oscar Wilde said, “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative”.
  17. Or the additional information may only be interesting to me. My 4th grade teacher put on my report card that I was, “a fountain of useless information” and, in the 50ish years since then, I have not changed. (Also, 50 years! What the hell happened to my life!)
  18. Most style guides indicate that notes should be put at the end of sentences.
  19. Google “furries” images if you are curious. But look I warned you. It is weird. There are conventions and everything. Also, if you click on that link, you will now have a search for “furries” in your browser history. Up to you if you want to have to explain that to your spouse or kids or your boss. But who knows, maybe your spouse will be really into it and things will get interesting in the bedroom again.
  20. “Et al” is typically used when there are more than two authors and the writer does not want to list them all. For my purposes, I used “et al” even if there were just two authors because, really, at the point you first come across an article, you probably do not care who the authors are anyway.
  21. The average adult reading speed is 300 words per minute. I assumed 350 words per minute because you guys are clearly better readers than the average adult out there. 
  22. Getting To Yes” documents two of the most valuable concepts in negotiation skills. The first is BATNA which we are covering now and the second is interest based (vs positional) negotiation which we will cover later. Go buy the book. It is cheap. What I do NOT like about the book is that the authors take much more time than is needed to provide information to the reader. 
  23. I already told you that “NP” stands for “Negotiating Partner” but, if you’re anything like me, you probably were not paying that much attention, so I am telling you again.
  24. The Ford Pinto was famous for a manufacturer’s defect that made them prone to catching fire when rear-ended and for their apparent decision that it would be cheaper to pay for the deaths that defect caused than it would be to fix the cars they had already sold. I used the Pinto as an example because it amused me, but it turns out that some people really do love these cars. Check out the Pinto Car Club of America if you are interested, although god knows why you would be. For a review of the ethics case, check out  Ethical Breakdowns, Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel, Harvard Business Review, April 2011
  25. Just not when cooking bacon. Bacon grease burns are not sexy.
  26. Telling you again.  “NP” = “Negotiation Partner”. 
  27. I know jack about the lawn care business, so my example may make no sense, but you get the idea.
  28. The original title of this chapter, and the next was, “Don’t Be An Asshole” but my brother, who is the most ethical person I know, convinced me that that was TOO informal.
  29. Interesting trivia – at least to me. “Guy” as a generic name for another person, originated with Guy Fawkes of The Gunpowder Plot fame. Another interesting fact (again, at least to me) about Guy Fawkes is that he actually went by Guido so next time you want to call someone by a generic name, use “Guido” and then impress them with your arcane knowledge when questioned why. 
  30. The phrase is attributed to PT Barman but almost certainly was not said by him.
  31. Last time I am going to tell you. “NP” is short for “Negotiation Partner”. If you can’t remember by now, you may really enjoy the Furry culture after-all.
  32. Check out the 2001 song performed by David Ball, “Riding With Private Malone” for an example.
  33. Sorry brother, I want to use the word here to emphasize my point.
  34. In my day job, I now manage the people, who manage the people, who tell lawyers what to do. I really miss the old days but I still get to  negotiate frequently on very important matters and I coach others on negotiation skills and strategies constantly.
  35. The Prince, Machiavelli.
  36. Megan van Wolkenten et al, Inequity responses of monkeys modified by effort, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 20, 2007. You can also see a video of this experiment online (google it or go to skillednegotiation.com for a link). It is worth watching.
  37. To be clear, we are no longer talking about monkeys here but university students…although perhaps they are somewhat indistinguishable.
  38. Because you are reading this book.
  39. Novakova J et al, How Much Is Our Fairness Worth? The Effect of Raising Stakes on Offers by Proposers and Minimum Acceptable Offers in Dictator and Ultimatum Games,  Public Library of Science ONE 8(4): e60966.
  40. An example of one of the myriad of papers on this – Ernest Fehr et al, Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity, The Journal of Economic Perspective. Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer, 2000), pp. 159-181
  41. N. Mendes et al, Preschool children and chimpanzees in costs to watch punishment of antisocial others, Nature Human Behaviour 2017
  42. You can google tit for tat computer program to get some examples but this article provides a good summary as well as some additional information.
  43. T.D Stanely et al, Economics students need not be greedy: Fairness and the ultimatum game, The Journal of Socio-Economics Volume 27, Issue 6, 1998, Pages 657-663
  44. Quasimodo was the famously ugly character from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame described at hideous with a wart covering his left eye and, if you are not familiar with the story  here is a spoiler, he had a hunchback.
  45. Not sure if you’re a jerk? Here is a simple test – If you run into a jerk in the morning, you ran into a jerk. If you run into jerks all day, you’re the jerk. – From the TV series, Justified. You can also take The International Personality Item Pool Test to get a sense of how you rate on a number of personality metrics. And unlike most personality tests on the internet, this is based on science, is accurate, and best of all, they are not trying to sell you anything.
  46. CK DeDrue, Influence of social motives on integrative negotiation: a meta-analytic review and test of two theories, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000 May;78(5):889-905
  47. M. Morris et al, Schmooze or lose: Social friction and lubrication in e-mail negotiationsGroup Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 6(1), 89-100. 
  48. R. Garner, What’s in a name? Persuasion perhaps. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 15: 108 -116
  49. J. Jeckerand D. Laundy, Liking a person as a function of doing him a favor, Human Relations, 22:371-378
  50. H.A. Elfenbein et al, Are some negotiators better than others? Individual differences in bargaining outcomes, Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 1463–1475.
  51. Harvey London et al, The Jury Method: How The Persuader Persuades, Public Opinion Quarterly, Volume 34, Issue 2, 1 January 1970, Pages 171–183 Also, P. Zarnoth et al, “The Social Influence of Confidence in Group Decision Making” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1997
  52. Jessica Kennedy et al, When overconfidence is revealed to others: Testing the status-enhancement theory of overconfidence, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes Volume 122, Issue 2, November 2013, Pages 266-279
  53. Authority Bias from Wikipedia.
  54. C.K. Holfling et al, An Experimental Study of Nurse-Physician Relationships,” Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 1966
  55. Paul R. Wilson, The Perceptual Distortion of Height as a Function of Ascribed Social Status, Journal of Social Psychology, Volume 74, 1968
  56. M. Lefkowitz et al, Status Factors in Pedestrian Violations of Traffic Signals, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51(3), 704-706
  57. Andrew S. Rosen, Correlations, trends and potential biases among publicly accessible web-based student evaluations of teaching: a large-scale study of RateMyProfessors.com data, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Volume 43, 2018 – Issue 1
  58. Leslie A. Zebrowitz et al, The Impact of Litigants’ Baby-facedness and Attractiveness on Adjudications in Small Claims Court, Law and Human Behaviour, December 1991
  59. The sad details of Carl McCunn’s final time were recovered from his diary. More information can be found here.
  60. If this reference is out of date when you read this then replace Ms. Kardashian with any other person of vapid views, who seems to be famous for being famous, whose only talent seems to be getting in the entertainment “news” and has used a ‘leaked’ sex tape to promote her/his brand. And if you think I am picking on Kim Kardashian because I am old and out of touch with modern culture, then you are right. As an aside, when I googled Kim Kardashian to figure out how to spell her name, I found out that her father defended O.J. Simpson whom I referenced elsewhere in this book.
  61. No matter how much you prepare you are not going to convince Bill Gates to sell you all his Microsoft stock for $87 so your expectations need to be reasonable and supportable. Also check out the chapters on, you guessed it, Setting A Range Of Values and the next chapter, Setting a Target Value later in the book. 
  62. Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. There is a whole chapter on BATNAs. Go back and read it if you skipped it.
  63. Check out the next chapter entitled, “Try Not To Be An Idiot”.
  64. “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” Ben Franklin did not say it although it is often attributed to him. I hid this quote down here because it is such a cliché, it borders on being a tautology, and it annoys me.  It easy enough to remember though so I guess it has some value.
  65. I know I had seven steps but the last one was really just an immature excuse to use the phrase kick-ass. It reminds me of George Carlin’s, “Seven Things You Can’t Say On TV” which I think is now adorably out of date.
  66. I used coffee mugs as an example because I have a terrible imagination and the patron saints of behavioural economics used coffee mugs in one of their experiments to demonstrate the endowment effect. Kahneman, et al, Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 98, No. 6 (December 1990), pp. 1325-1348
  67. Check out the Wikipedia article on the endowment effect in case you want to do more reading.
  68. Sultan, K. et al. A Strategic Approach to the Consumer Perception of Brand on the Basis of Brand Awareness and Brand LoyaltyInternational Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147-4478)8(3), 33-44.  
  69. Brosnan et al, Endowment Effects in Chimpanzees, Current Biology, Volume 17, Issue 19, 9 October 2007, Pages 1704-1707
  70. Some further reading here if you are interested: William Samuelson, Richard Zeckhauser, Status Quo Bias In Decision Making, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, March 1988, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 7–59
  71. Read more about opportunity cost on Wikipedia.
  72. Read more about Optimism Bias on Wikipedia.
  73. EJ Langer et al, Heads I win, tails it’s chance: The illusion of control as a function of the sequence of outcomes in a purely chance task,  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32(6), 951-955.
  74. Read more about confirmation bias on Wikipedia.
  75. Part of this is “Optimism Bias”.
  76. Michael Gilead et al, That’s My Truth: Evidence for Involuntary Opinion Confirmation, Social Psychological and Personality Science, April 2018
  77. P.C. Watson, On the Failure to Eliminate Hypotheses in a Conceptual Task, Medical Research Council Industrial Psychology Research Group, Volume: 12 issue: 3, page 129-140
  78. You may recognize this as the Fibonacci Sequence named after a 13th century mathematician but the idea pre-dates him by centuries.
  79. In the study of this phenomenon, the term “mimicry” is typically used but I prefer the term, “mirroring” as it has a more positive connotation and I think more accurately reflects the attitude of a good negotiator.
  80. Marielle Stel et al, Effects of a priori liking on the elicitation of mimicry, Experimental Psychology, Vol 57(6), 2010, 412-418
  81. T. Chartland et al, The Chameleon Effect: The Perception-Behavior Link and Social Interaction,  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 76:893 – 910 
  82. W. Maddux et al, Strategic behavioral mimicry facilitates negotiation outcomes, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44:461-468. 
  83. Robin Tanner et al, Of Chameleons and Consumption: The Impact of Mimicry on Choice and Preferences, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 34, April, 2008 See also Jerermy Bailenson et al, Digital Chameleons Automatic Assimilation of Nonverbal Gestures in Immersive Virtual Environments, American Psychological Society, Volume 16: Number 10
  84. Aside from this one application of mirroring, I do not consciously use mirroring in my negotiations. It just seems too manipulative to me. But I have observed others use it (unconsciously) to great effect. 
  85. Dan Ariely et al , Coherent Arbitrariness: Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences, The Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. 118, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 73-105
  86. Liane Schmidt et al, How context alters value: The brain’s valuation and affective regulation system link price cues to experienced taste pleasantness, Scientific Reports volume 7, Article number: 8098 (2017)
  87. Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman, Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, Science, New Series, Vol. 185, No. 4157. (Sep. 27, 1974), pp. 1124-1131
  88. Commercial Features of Placebo and Therapeutic Efficacy, Journal of American Medical Association, 2008;299(9):1016-1017. doi:10.1001/jama.299.9.1016
  89. I am not going to provide a link for this statement. It is so commonly proven in experiments and in practice that you should just google it.
  90. Go back and read the chapter on Preparation, Setting a Range of Values and Setting a Target Value.
  91. Since I try to be helpful, here is a treadmill buying guide based on how many treadmills are actually used.
  92. Of course, setting an anchor is not THAT easy. You need to know enough to determine what a good anchor should be.
  93. G. Ku et al, Starting low but ending high: A reversal of the anchoring effect in auctions,  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90:975-986)
  94. The plural of monkey is monkeys. I knew that but then I doubted myself. Is it really “monkies”? Or maybe the 1960s pop band had the right spelling with, “Monkees”? I mean getting it wrong would be embarrassing so I looked it up and have now spent enough time agonizing over this that I no longer think I am even spelling “monkey” correctly.  It just looks wrong. MON-KEY. Suddenly I am in a deeper hole and wonder if I am going insane. Turns out I am not. I am just suffering from orthographic incredulity. My brain sucks.
  95. M. Chen et al, How Basic Are Behavioral Biases? Evidence from Capuchin Monkey Trading Behavior,  Journal of Political Economy, Volume 114, Number 114, June 2006.  Note that these are different researchers than we discussed earlier. Capuchin monkeys are apparently really popular with economists who like to play with animals.
  96. Irwin Levin et al, All Frames Are Not Created Equal: A Typology and Critical Analysis of Framing Effects, Organizational Behaviours and Human Decision Processes Vol. 76, No. 2, November, pp. 149–188, 1998. See Also, Simon Gächter et al, Individual-Level Loss Aversion in Riskless and Risky Choices, Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, CeDEx Discussion Paper No. 2007–02. See Also, Danny Kahenman, Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(1), pp. 193-206, Winter 1991. And there are more. You get the idea.
  97. This does not apply to instances in which the potential loss to a person is not important. But this book is not about trivialities so, other than this note, I am not going to mention this again. See Fieke Harinck et al, When Gains Loom Larger Than Losses: Reversed Loss Aversion for Small Amounts of Money, Psychological Science, December 1, 2007
  98. The Singing Fish fad was huge for a while netting the guy who invented and marketed them an estimated $100M and frankly, it is a travesty that they fell out of the public’s favour.
  99. The Bikini swimsuit was named after the Bikini Atoll where the USA conducted nuclear bomb tests after the second world war and frankly treated the inhabitants horribly.
  100. Denver really is a bit of a hub for tech companies.
  101. Check out bestplaces.net to compare the cost of living in US cities. For the record, a $140K salary in NYC has the same buying power as about $100K in Denver.
  102. The best thing that can be said about Hoboken is that it is close to NYC. But the area does have a rich and interesting history and was, among other things, the birthplace of Dorathea Lang who captured one of my favourite images – “The Migrant Mother” which portrays the privation of The Great Depression. My absolute favourite photograph is of a very sad looking circus clown taken by Bruce Davidson. And no this is not Peter Dinklage. But if you’re a fan of his, check out The Station Agent. It is an awesome movie. 
  103. Notice that our hero went to the trouble to get a good BATNA otherwise his high value may be the $240K he is currently paying the temp agency for the work.
  104. Read about driver target fixation here. I have seen the same thing happen on ski slopes. It is tragic really. An easily avoidable accident occurs because a skier focuses on the danger and not how to avoid that danger.
  105. If this seems like this will require a lot of preparation, then you are very astute. It will. But let’s face it, if you can save potentially thousands of dollars, it is worth your time. That is the awesome thing about improving your negotiation skills – the payoff is substantial and clearly worth your effort.
  106. Never Spit The Difference by Chris Voss
  107. Yes. “Never say never.” is meant to be ironic.
  108. Since first writing this book, I have read Mr. Voss’ book. He really means it. To paraphrase, he feels that splitting the difference is a compromise and he does not like compromises. He is unequivocally wrong on the value of compromising (sometimes at least) and he completely misses the whole point of the splitting the difference strategy.
  109. To be clear, there is no impasse, but your NP thinks there is because you have stopped making offers. It is important that there be the appearance of an impasse though.
  110. And think fondly of your grade 4 teacher who insisted you learn how to add, subtract, multiple and divide manually because, “you will not always have a calculator with you.”
  111. It may just be me, but I think the PT Cruiser convertible is the ugliest car sold in decades. If you own one, I really admire how much you clearly do not care what others think of you.
  112. Yes, I know the word “unethical” is redundant when describing used car salespeople.
  113. In actual fact, Cortez sank his ships and did not burn them, but that is not how it is typically reported.  
  114. OK, it also worked for Xiang Yu who did it first at the Battle of Julu in 208 BCE but that does not mean that there were countless other examples where it did not work.  And you will recognize this selection bias concept from my mention of Nassim Taleb in the Introduction.
  115. As a child watching old movies, I thought this would be a much bigger factor in my life than it has turned out to be. Seems like teenagers in 1950s America were sometimes pretty stupid.
  116. Avinash Dixit, The Art of Strategy, Page 13 of the Kindle Edition. Published by W.W. Norton and Company.
  117. Summary of the Prisoner’s Dilemma from Wikipedia.
  118. The Golden Balls Game Show
  119. As of the writing of this, there is only ONE Yahgani speaker in the entire world. She is Christina Calderon of Chile. I find that both interesting and sad.
  120. Speaking of great movies, the elderberries reference comes from, “Monty Python and The Holy Grail”. It is brilliant…well except for the ending. The ending sucked. It is like they just got bored one day and said, “Screw this. What can we do to finish filming today?”
  121. I am of course referring to Kato Kaelin who became famous as O.J. Simpson’s pool house guest during O.J.’s trial for murder…I just wanted to keep the “whacking people” theme going.
  122. Just kidding on this one. If you ever find yourself in this situation try something that does not involve killing innocent equines nor terrorizing old men.
  123. I hope it is obvious that I am not a fan of the Jerk Move Approach because, if someone is still willing to meet you, you have diminished that person’s dignity to an unacceptable level and could very well get a better than fair deal. And even if you are inclined to be a jerk, it could backfire on you. (See the ethics chapters.)
  124. While Trump sells himself as a master negotiator, I think his success (to the extent he is successful) is due entirely to his use of some variation of either the Madman or Godfather strategies.
  125. Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People
  126. When faced with danger, blood drains from your face and goes to your body in preparation for a fight or flight.
  127. This is a reference to a planet featured in, “The Empire Strikes Back”. Dagobah is where meets Yoda for the first time, Luke does. Also, I considered using Luke’s whiny voice from Episode 4 instead of a cat’s meow, but I find cat’s more irritating that even Luke in his aggrieved teenage years.
  128. Now would be an awesome time for me to use an interrobang but, as they are not all that common (yet), I will refrain. But this is my pitch for them being more accepted. They fulfill a punctuation gap that sorely needs to be filled.
  129. I mentioned “Getting To Yes” earlier in this book. After reading this book, go buy it and read it.  
  130. I did respond to many of the calls for simple charity though. My view is that, even if the person with a hand-out is not as desperate as they imply, they almost certainly need the little bit of cash I can give them more than I do. And yes, I recognize that this makes me a sucker in many eyes. I am OK with that label. The world is not a worse place because I gave some money to a person that perhaps did not need it as much as their presentation suggested.
  131. My son, who is wise beyond his years, had an alternative theory as well – that this was simply a way to distract me while the vendor’s confederate picked my pocket and that too may have been the case.
  132. Dennis R Regan, Effects of a Favor and Liking on Compliance, Cornell University Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 7:627-639
  133. Nestle is the largest food company in the world. I also use them in this example as they have been said to have, in the 1970s, used a particularly egregious form of a favour in order to sell baby formula to poor mothers who could not afford it.)
  134. Francis J. Flynn, Temporal adjustments to favor evaluations. Francis J. Flynn, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 91:38-50
  135. I could have just kept his “gift” and not given him anything in return. I am embarrassed that I fell for his ploy. My excuse is that we had enjoyed a pretty good bottle of wine with dinner and I was not on my game.
  136. Hey. I am not saying this a great example, or it is not legal or ethical, but I mentioned the Eiffel Tower earlier and my example is a true story. A guy named Victor Lustig impersonated a local civil servant and “sold” the Eiffel tower to a local contractor in exchange for a bribe.
  137. I can structure the question so that none of the options I give you are correct. Get over it.
  138. There is a whole chapter on anchoring. It is important. Go back and read it again.
  139. I prefer card shark. If you email me and tell me the correct term is ‘sharp’ and not “shark”, I am going to digitize my body, email it back to you as an attachment, and then recorporealize myself out of your computer at 3 am one night and put your hand in warm water as you sleep where, if urban legend is correct, you will wet your bed. I bet you pedantically correct people when they use decimate in a way that you feel is incorrect too. Get over yourself.
  140. Speaking of unprovoked violence, Han shot first.
  141. See the bestseller by Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, First published in 2011 if you want to read just the relevant pages look to pages 20 – 25 of the 2014 English edition.
  142. Neanderthals are not entirely extinct mind you. Homo sapiens and Neanderthals interbred such that many modern humans have a small percentage of Neanderthal DNA as well as the DNA of a third, also extinct hominid – the Denisovans.
  143. Daniel M. Oppenheimer, Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly, Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20: 139–156 (2006)
  144. The typical recommendation is that you should aim for a grade 8 (i.e. 13 year old) reading level for information directed at the public.
  145. Even stocks with simple names that are easily pronounceable do better Petia K. Petrova et al, Fluency of Consumption Imagery and the Backfire Effects of Imagery Appeals,  Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 32, Issue 3, 1 December 2005, Pages 442–452.
  146. This is the fallacy of the single cause. When people explain past events, they do so in terms of single causes. Doubt me? Next time the local sports team loses a game, ask a fan why. Invariably, she or he will give one reason. “Our goalie had an off night.” “The ump’s call in the ninth was wrong.” “There is no way the other team should have had a penalty kick.” Etc. No one replies with, “Well our offence was weak without Joe Smith playing so there was too much focus on Mark Thompson who could not get free to shoot. And our zone defense was overmatched by the speed of the other team and I think the ref made a bad call in the first half which took away our momentum and…”
  147. M. McGlone and J. Tofighbakhsh, Birds of a feather flock conjointly(?);rhyme as reason in aphorisms. Psychological Science, 11:424-428 
  148. Robert Reyes et al, Judgmental Biases Resulting From Differing Availabilities of Arguments, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1980. Vol. 39. No I, 2 12 r
  149. Craig R. Fox et al, Forecasting Trial Outcomes: Lawyers Assign Higher Probability to Possibilities That Are Described in Greater, Law and Human Behavior, Vol. 26, No. 2, April 2002
  150. See things through a single analytical lens and craft an explanatory story that is simple, clear, conclusive, and compelling. Do not doubt yourself. Do not acknowledge mistakes. And never, ever say “I don’t know.” People unsure of the future want to hear from confident experts who tell a good story. Dan Gardner, Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway, Kindle Edition location 2910
  151. Stalin may or may not have said something similar to this. But I do want to direct you to a study by Keith Payne who concluded that people are more sympathetic to the suffering of one child than the suffering of multiple children. The same holds true when you are negotiating. Make it simple and make it personal.
  152. These are all real businesses from Espanola Ontario. It is a fairly remote little city and I drive through there every few years and it amused me to pick a real place and real businesses.
  153. Really! The boric acid part. Apparently, laxatives and laundry detergent are also common additives.  And I have no idea what a kilogram of coke costs. These numbers are made up for the purposes of the example only. So, if you’re a coked-out day-trader and $2,000 for a kilo of coke mixed with boric acid and hate seems like an awesome deal to you, don’t come to me asking where you can get it.
  154. For a very great read on this topic, check out Dan Gardner’s Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway
  155. You metaphorically shoot an arrow, then draw a target around it, and point out just hour accurate you are.
  156. In case it is not abundantly obvious, I am being sarcastic. There are lessons to be learned in this chapter but no silver bullet to knowing what another thinks.
  157. I use opponents here and not negotiation partners because poker is not a co-operative game. I win because you lose. It is not like negotiation at all in this regard.
  158. I have looked for other tells at the poker table but that takes effort and takes my attention away from other things I need to worry about. I have found that the more nuanced the tells I am looking for, the less reliable they are in predicting actions so, because I can’t do everything, I use my finite capacity to focus on other things that are important. 
  159. We covered this point in the, “Don’t Be A Jerk” chapters.
  160. I had to pick a name. I picked “Dave” because of this comedy sketch I loved as a teen. Either you already know where the link goes and thought it was funny too, or you don’t and there is a fair chance that you will be at least a little offended. If you are in the second group, I am sorry and I unequivocally state that I do not partake in or condone the use of illegal drugs.
  161. There is yet another wrinkle to this strategy. I am putting it down here in the fine print because if you are not smart enough to realize this on your own and are not diligent enough to read the footnotes, then you deserve whatever happens to you. This strategy ONLY works if it is plausible that the person you are negotiating with does not have authority to make a deal. If you are negotiating with the company owner, don’t use this strategy. If you are negotiating with the company owner’s son, who is being groomed to take over the company, then go for it.
  162. This was in 1987 or so. On the chance you are interested fax machines were actually invented in 1843 but it took a while for them to catch on.
  163. I bet you thought that this was where I’d admit the “co-worker” was actually me but, as good as that story would be, it was not. Dino was a great guy though. Loyal, kind, trusting. He hustled his ass off and was successful in a difficult business. But he was not all that bright.
  164. In any case, who in their right mind would want a red or blue photocopier?
  165. S Iyengaradn M. Lepper, When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? , Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000. In a related study, the same effect was found in students who where more likely to do work for extra credit if their choice of what they could do was limited (6 vs. 30 potential topics to chose from).
  166. However, to quote the iconic Canadian rock band, Rush, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”. Freewill by Rush.
  167. The title of this chapter comes from part of a comment made by Donald Rumsfeld in 2002, then the US Secretary of Defense. “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” It was ridiculed at the time because it sounded so nonsensical, but I think there is real wisdom in the statement.
  168. In Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, “The Adventure of Silver Blaze” Sherlock figures out who the culprit is because the dog did not bark…hence the culprit must have been known to the dog.
  169. I know that I am not smart enough to get a list of random numbers on my own, so I used Excel to randomly generate a list of numbers between 1 and 10 and then deleted the 6s to get this list. For all the teenagers on social media claiming to be “random”, it is remarkably hard to do. Check out the Radiolab podcast (start at about the 8:25 mark) in which  Deborah Nolan, a professor at the of University of  California Berkley, describes how her students repeatedly fail at being random. 
  170. Joseph Newman et al, The Feature-Positive Effect in Adult Human Subjects, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory 1980, Vol. 6, No. 5, 630-650
  171. The company names are a reference to the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoon.
  172. Pablo Torre, How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke, Sports Illustrated, March 23, 2009
  173. Hankins et al, The Ticket to Easy Street? The Financial Consequences of Winning the Lottery Review of Economics and Statistics, August 2011, p.961-969
  174. My personal theory is that professional sports players and lottery winners go broke because they are quickly surrounded by people who unethically help them squander their found money.
  175. Richard Thaler, Mental Accounting Matters,  Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 12: 183-206 (1999)
  176. A “toke” is a tip given to the dealer after a player wins a hand.
  177. If a player has won large on a hand, he or she is much more likely to bet large on the next hand seeking a second big win. They treat the money they just won as a bonus that can risked more so that their “other” money. If you happen to hold good cards, it is an easy way to take someone’s “found” money. On the other side, if I win a big hand and then, by luck have awesome cards the next hand, I will present as if I am betting foolishly to win a second large pot in a row. Because I am not the only one who sees this “found” money pattern and I am happy to let others think they are taking advantage of me.
  178. In practices these kinds of contracts are difficult to enforce but you should still put an expiry date on any offer just in case. At a minimum it will avoid any hard feelings/misunderstandings and it could prevent a costly lawsuit.
  179. This is a serious issue with medical drug trials where, it is suspected, drug companies do not publish results that do not support the efficacy of new drugs.
  180. Confidence Fallacy: “The protagonist also speaks confidently. He gives the impression of knowing what he is talking about. His voice is strong; his facial expressions are bold; his body gestures are decisive…If a person is so confident, if he is so sure of his position, he must be right.” Robert J. Gula, Nonsense: A Handbook of Logical Fallacies
  181. Baruch Fishhoff et al, Knowing with Certainty: The Appropriateness of Extreme Confidence,  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 1977, Vol. 3, No. 4, 552-564
  182. Ivy Priest was US Treasurer in the 1950s.
  183. Jim Slattery was born in “Good Intent” Kansas and that seems very appropriate for him. Also, here is a link to Mr. Slattery’s law firm profile – in case you want to reward his good public service with some business.
  184. The project was the Superconducting Super Collider. And here is an contemporaneous article on its cancellation.
  185. Hal Arkes et al, The Psychology of  Sunk Cost, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 35, Issue 1, February 1985, Pages 124-140
  186. Of course it is not only the US government that is subject to sunk cost thinking but they are remarkable in the scope of their waste.
  187. Wikipedia article on Cognitive Dissonance if you want to do some more reading.
  188. I love the fact that this is also called, “The Ikea Effect”, Michael I. Norton et al, Harvard Business School Working Paper.
  189. It really was my fault.
  190. Hey, you never know. Maybe Jack could have got a bag of gold for the cow if he’d only asked. That would have avoided the whole climbing the beanstalk, enraging a giant, becoming a thief and a murderer situation.  
  191. Incidentally, I think this last point creates much more significant conflict in the world than just a failed negotiation on some business deal. Thinking our political and national rivals are evil creates much unnecessary conflict. Also, I am not all that sure that this list is original with me, but I could find no reference to it anywhere. As I’ve said before, I have been writing this book for decades so if you find this list somewhere else, please let me know so I can credit the original writer…if it were not actually me.
  192. Emily Pronin, Perception and misperception of bias in human judgment, Trends in Cognitive Science, Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2007)
  193. I use some variation of the phrase or the thought fairly often and was worried about including it in this book as I could find no reference to it and I did not want to plagiarize anyone. There is, according to google, only one instance of this quote – in a comment on an article in The Economist from September, 2016. Since I have been using this phrase for maybe 20 years, I am OK putting it in this book uncredited.
  194. Lee Ross et al, The “false consensus effect”: An egocentric bias in social perception and attribution processes, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, May 1977, Pages 279-301
  195. Zone of Potential Agreement. We talked about it before. I use the initialism in the text of the book instead of writing it out in full because we have already talked about ZOPA twice and I want to be sure you know this fairly fundamental negotiation term for when it comes up in your future negotiations.
  196. CBC News, Undercover investigation finds big markups, confusing charges and pushy tactics at major funeral home chain, March 10, 2017
  197. J. Lerner et al. Heart strings and purse strings, Psychological Science,15:337-341
  198. C. Hsee et al, Music, pandas, and muggers, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 133:23-30
  199. Novakova J et al, How Much Is Our Fairness Worth? The Effect of Raising Stakes on Offers by Proposers and Minimum Acceptable Offers in Dictator and Ultimatum Games,  Public Library of Science ONE 8(4): e60966.
  200. An example of one of the myriad of papers on this – Ernest Fehr et al, Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity, The Journal of Economic Perspective. Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer, 2000), pp. 159-181
  201. Zone of Potential Agreement.
  202. “A mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in the light of the information <available> up to that point.” Fooled By Randomness, Nassim Taleb, p56
  203. Simonson et al, Choice in Context: Trade off Contrast and Extremeness Aversion, Journal of Marketing Research, 1992
  204. After you have finished this book, and have read Getting to Yes, you should read Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein.
  205. S Iyengaradn M. Lepper, When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? , Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000. In a related study, the same effect was found in students who where more likely to do work for extra credit if their choice of what they could do was limited (6 vs. 30 potential topics to chose from).
  206. Ellen Langer et al, The mindlessness of Ostensibly Thoughtful Action: The Role of “Placebic” Information in Interpersonal Interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(6), 635-642.
  207. For a really entertaining look at many meaningless correlations, check out Spurious Correlations at https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations
  208. Amos Tversky et al, Choice under Conflict: The Dynamics of Deferred Decision, Psychological Science, Vol. 3, No. 6 (November 1992), pages 358-361

James Johnson’s book is available on Amazon.com. He can also be reached at skillednegotiation.com and at skillednegotiation@gmail.com.

He would love to hear from you.