World's #1 Negotiation Coach

Human Potential


Decoding AQ with Ross Thornley Feat. Christopher Voss

Show Notes

Chris spent over 24 years in the FBI with 4 years as the chief international hostage and kidnapping negotiator. After working on more than 150 international hostage cases, he retired from the FBI and founded The Black Swan Group.

A consultancy and trainer for businesses and individuals on negotiation skills

He created and narrated a MasterClass, The Art of Negotiation - One of Masterclass's top performing courses.

A documentary film - 'Tactical Empathy' - by our mutual good friend - Nick Nanton was released sharing his story.

Ross and Chris talk about teaching negotiations, coaching, book - The culture code, making a difference, being driven, workplace awakenings, positive and negative mindsets, vulnerability, naivety, applying new ideas, what we are driven by, how humans are wired, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, labelling dynamics, impact on the brain, bringing things out and reading people. The pair also discuss testing, collaboration, trust, leaving people better, having a more prosperous life, obituaries, help, service, what are we afraid of, overreactions, caveman, extremes, breaking points, playful negotiations, state of playfulness, calming yourself down, turning negative into  positive, coaching real estate agents, knowing your value, insight, discovery, 'what and how questions, exploitation and driving dune buggies.


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  • 00:47 Chris's bio
  • 02:31 Black Swan's background
  • 04:34 training entrepreneurs vs corporate
  • 06:21 Humans operating differently in different environments,
  • 10:04 Mindsets of entrepreneurs
  • 13:46 Tactical empathy
  • 18:07 Labelling techniques
  • 22:09 Low risk practice
  • 25:20 Treating life like a negotiation
  • 28:14 Understanding life
  • 29:42 Transition and negotiation of self
  • 33:06 Rules stifling creativity
  • 36:47 Playfulness at high stakes
  • 40:37 Chris's book - The Full Fee Agent
  • 43:36 Perspective shifts in relation to negotiation
  • 47:26 Overcoming jitters with large scale serious projects and opportunities
  • 50:00 The last time Chris did something for the first time

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