Learn How to Save Lives (or Get a Raise!) with Chris Voss MasterClassJanuary 22, 2021
I came across the Chris Voss Masterclass at a very opportune moment. I left my previous job and had no prospects, and then the pandemic hit. I was not very worried as I had some money saved up, but I knew that my resources were slowly dwindling. Then, I happened upon a Chris Voss Masterclass review that, being honest with you, I thought was irrelevant to my life.
But before I proceed with this review, I just want to let you know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I may earn when you sign up or purchase from the companies I promote at no additional expense to you. These earnings help us keep this website alive.
Out of curiosity, I checked it out and learned that I could not have been more wrong. This Masterclass is indeed a MASTER class: it has enabled me to get back up even with all the chaos happening in the world.
For anyone who doesn’t know who he is, Chris Voss is a master negotiator: he is an FBI hostage negotiator who practiced his craft for 24 years. He was the Lead International Kidnapping Negotiator of the FBI before leaving the Bureau and went into the academe and eventually became part of the MasterClass platform.
You might be wondering: “What would a negotiator be able to teach me? I don’t see it affecting me in any way, much less help me with my problems.” I had the same thoughts, but I know better now not to dismiss new ideas without even trying to understand them.
I actually never realized this before, but situations where negotiating skills are important are everywhere. Most of the time, the circumstances where I would find myself using these skills are actually pretty simple and you wouldn’t even think that it’s a good opportunity to negotiate.
Take for instance: my new job hunt during this pandemic. Had I not taken the MasterClass, I wouldn’t even know where to start. The MasterClass teaches how to spot an opportunity when it comes along, and that helped me to truly “open” my eyes and be on the lookout for every possible scenario.
My Life Before the MasterClass
I work in IT as a web developer, and I never thought that honing my negotiation skills could help me (1) land a job during the pandemic, (2) get the salary and benefits I wanted, and (3) get a better job title. I’ve seen a few “tutorials” about negotiation that I tried to use before, from which I never really got any good results. I think this is why I never really took an interest in improving my negotiation skills.
As I mentioned, I left my job before the pandemic hit, and at the time I was just thinking of taking a couple of months off of work. I was confident that I would easily get another when I’m ready. Three months into the pandemic and my job search was going nowhere.
After getting on the Chris Voss program, I started to see things differently and tried some of the techniques I learned from the classes. I started reaching out to potential employers and as expected, got a resounding “no” every time I inquire about open positions.
Chris Voss teaches that there is a lot more space between a “yes” and a “no” that most people don’t realize, so I tried to apply it in my conversations with companies. Right after getting a “no”, I tried to connect better with the person on the other line. Establishing empathy is part of this technique, which helps establish bonds.
The idea is to try and understand the other person: what motivates them, what interests them, or what they value most. Since it is difficult to know these things without actually knowing them personally, a good thing to do is try to put yourself in their shoes.
It might seem too obvious now, but I never really thought of it that way. So, I imagined the HR member I wanted to call: he is a member of the Talent Acquisition team of the company. I imagined that he’s probably receiving tens (if not hundreds) of applications a day, and therefore is reading through lots of emails and documents. Although that is part of his job, if I were in his position I knew that on a typical day, I’d be preoccupied (even frustrated) with all the work: and I definitely wouldn’t spend time talking on the phone with a stranger.
Because of this realization, I expected that if I called without a clear agenda, he would simply tell me to send him an email or apply to the job post online. I didn’t want to do this because I didn’t want my application to be buried under all the applications he’s probably getting. So before making a call, I tried to imagine the scenario to be able to come up with a more successful strategy.
First, before calling, I reviewed the MasterClass lessons in my head and wrote down some key points I’d like to discuss with the HR guy. Next, when I called him, I didn’t ask if he “had a few minutes to talk” – this is a crucial part because I’m sure if I did, it would be an automatic no.
Instead, I introduced myself briefly and simply told him that I am interested in being part of their company. I preface this with something like: “I understand you’re busy and you must be receiving plenty of applications, though you might not be looking for a developer at the moment” but “I’m keen to learn more about the roles.” Acknowledging that I might not get a job at all at their company is sort of giving him an “out” in this situation. This is what Chris Voss sometimes refers to as a “protection” for the other person: since he knows that he could say “no” at any time during the conversation.
Once I established that the conversation is non-committal, I noticed the HR guy becoming more relaxed (and even a little bit more welcoming) in the way he talks. His tone of voice also sounded more friendly and accommodating. This is when I know that I have established some sort of connection with him.
I asked him about the kinds of applications he gets regularly, and what kind of roles he’s been working on. He told me that he is not handling the IT roles as he’s working on the sales and marketing ones. I acknowledged this and told him I understand, but since I made a list beforehand I knew there is still a chance for me to get something out of it.
I repeated what he said while slightly changing it (putting it in my own words) so that he knows that I definitely get where he’s coming from. He said “yes, that’s right” – which is a response that Chris Voss says should be what you aim for when you get an initial “no”.
I then followed up with “I’m sorry to bother you, but could you introduce me to the person who’s handling the IT roles?” This is where it gets tricky – some companies have very ambiguous compliance and/or privacy policies that prevent employees from sharing the names of the people within the company, even when the people are in HR. However, I continued to push through with my agenda.
The HR guy said that he couldn’t give me the name of the other HR person because of the compliance policy, so I asked him if he could give me the direct line for the HR team working on the IT roles instead. He was not reluctant to give it to me and even gave me some advice on how to deal with the other team. I thanked him wholeheartedly before ending the call.
Since I got the other HR guy’s number, I called that and just tried to use the negotiation skills again. I became more confident as I went through the entire application process, and became more aware of my mistakes from before I had taken the classes.
I had to go through four interviews, and in each one I had to make sure that I apply the Art of Negotiation in every step of the way. Since they really didn’t have an open role for me, they decided to create one that is specific to my skills and experience. They also realized that they needed to do this because the other developers that they have are too junior/too inexperienced to take on the tasks.
Because of my experience in web development and my improved negotiation skills, I was able to influence them to make a decision. The funny thing is that all this just started with one phone call that started with a “no”. Had I given up and moved on to make calls to other companies after that initial “no” – I honestly don’t know where I’d be today.
I’d have to say, though, that not all discussions would be the same. For instance, had that first HR guy not given me the direct line to the other HR person, then I would have hit a wall. I was able to prevent that because I used what I learned from the Chris Voss MasterClass. Another way it could have gone differently is if I was not well-prepared during the other interviews. By well-prepared, I mean: ready to keep going and using all the techniques I have learned from this MasterClass.
Depending on your situation, you might have to change your strategy midway through a conversation. Sometimes, you might even have to scrap your initial plan and just wing it. The important part is that when you try to “wing it”, you should at least have the foundations of negotiation in your head.
I couldn’t explain all the possible scenarios and definitely couldn’t tell you how to deal with every possible conversation you might have. This is why you should definitely check out the Chris Voss MasterClass – as, obviously, he could explain this much better than I ever could.
Nevertheless, in the end, I negotiated a better salary (I got a 20% raise!) and even got a new job title – definitely one that will boost my resume. I can’t imagine how it would have turned out had I not learned the techniques in negotiation. I’m guessing that I’d probably still be able to get a job, but definitely not the one I have now and I might even have had to take a cut on my salary.
I probably called more than 20 people that day, but I didn’t really get any good results until I actually tried to put into practice what I learned from Chris Voss using mock negotiations. I eventually got to one clear prospect as soon as realizing that I needed to step up my game. If not for the Chris Voss MasterClass, I wouldn’t have been able to get through these tough times.
I’m in my forties and I never imagined myself being in this kind of situation, but fortunately I had the chance to take part in the Chris Voss MasterClass.
If you’re curious and would like to consider taking on this challenge, here are some things you might need to know.
How much is Chris Voss MasterClass?
The Chris Voss MasterClass is not “sold” per se, it’s part of the hundreds of classes offered by the MasterClass platform. To be able to access these classes, you can sign up for membership for $15/month which is billed annually. It may seem pricey, but this membership actually allows you to not only access the Chris Voss MasterClass: you can also take on other classes taught by world-renowned and respected specialists and experts in various fields.
How long is Chris Voss MasterClass?
It’s probably not a good idea to do all of it in one sitting, but if you prefer to learn that way, the whole Chris Voss MasterClass lasts just a little over 3 hours. It has 18 videos in total, detailing how you can improve your skills in negotiation which you can apply in any kind of situation. It includes practice lessons and mock negotiations.
In my case, I watched just one video a day and took some time to really “absorb” its contents. I didn’t want to be overwhelmed with information but I certainly didn’t want to forget about it, so I made sure to “attend class” every day. It was all new to me and I certainly had to truly internalize all that was discussed in each class. However, it was easy enough to understand and I got to practice it in even the simplest situations.
Where does Chris Voss teach?
He has taught at Harvard University and is teaching MBA programs at other universities as well. Apart from that, Chris Voss teaches primarily on the MasterClass platform, focusing on the art of negotiation. Chris also has been part of Talks At Google and TEDx, and you can find related videos of him on YouTube. However, if you really want an in-depth lesson on the Art of Negotiation, best to check out the Chris Voss MasterClass.
Is MasterClass worth it?
I’d say that I am a very proud person, but Chris Voss Teaches the Art of Negotiation MasterClass has humbled me. Upon realizing that even at my age I could still unlearn, learn, and re-learn skills that I could apply in any situation, I have become more appreciative of the fact that I can still work on becoming a better version of myself. For that reason alone, I would say that MasterClass is truly worth it.
There are also various experts on the platform that provide well-produced videos: from musicians to business professionals, MasterClass is a treasure trove of reliable information. Apart from Chris Voss, classes by celebrities and popular figures such as Tan France, Chef Gordon Ramsay, and Anna Wintour can be found on the platform as well. I find it truly fascinating that we now have a platform such as this that allows us to learn whatever, whenever we want – and from actual experts nonetheless.
You may have come just for the Chris Voss lessons, but you’ll soon realize that you’d also be able to get more bang for your buck from MasterClass.
If you want to improve your negotiation skills, click here to learn more.
With MasterClass, you can learn at your own pace and in your own time – and it is not just negotiation skills. This Chris Voss Masterclass review is a testament to how we all could use some improvements in our lives by developing our skills. Beginning from tactical empathy to body language, every aspect of this lesson can be applied to our daily lives. Take it from me; I have learned a great deal from this MasterClass which is the reason why I got another job.