3 Ideas in 2 Minutes on Winning
Splitting the Difference, Goal-Setting & False Victories
I. Splitting the Difference
Former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss on the futility of win-win scenarios:
The traditional negotiation logic that’s drilled down into us from an early age, the kind that exalts compromises, says, “Let’s just split the difference […] and everyone’s happy.”
No. Just, simply, no. The win-win mindset pushed by so many negotiation experts is usually ineffective and often disastrous. At best, it satisfies neither side. And if you employ it with a counterpart who has a win-lose approach, you’re setting yourself up to be swindled. […]
Compromise is often a bad deal and […] 'no deal is better than a bad deal.’
—Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference
Deals don’t have to be made. There’s always the option to walk away and save both parties the trouble.
I’ve reviewed Chris Voss book Never Split the Difference here.
Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt on the importance of having goals:
Aristotle asked about aretē (excellence/virtue) and telos (purpose/goal), and he used the metaphor that people are like archers, who need a clear target at which to aim. Without a target or goal, one is left with the animal default: Just let the elephant graze or roam where he pleases. And because elephants live in herds, one ends up doing what everyone else is doing. Yet the human mind has a rider, and as the rider begins to think more abstractly in adolescence, there may come a time when he looks around, past the edges of the herd, and asks: Where are we all going? And why?
—Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis
III. False Victories
Podcaster, ex-Navy SEAL and notorious early bird Jocko Willink on short-term (tactical) vs. long-term (strategic) competition:
Don’t get wrapped around tactical competition. Think strategic all the time.
If you’re competing against me, I will have you in tactical fights all day long. I will put tactical things out there to distract you and fight you. And I put some minimum amount of resources against your whole deal and make you think you’re achieving this big victory — and you’re not! I will be watching you take damage, I’ll be watching you waste resources, I’ll be watching you expend leadership capital while I’m putting money in the bank. I’m putting money in the bank and I’m gonna win.
I am going to win.
—Jocko Willink, Jocko Podcast #266
Ergo, always choose long-term over short-term and stay away from Twitter battles. 🐘
Have a great week,
P.S.: Check out my latest long-form essay: The Intelligence Cycle: How to Process Information Like an Analyst