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The Psychological Edge of Negotiation with Alistair McBride

February 20, 2023
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

In this episode of “The Recognized Authority,” host Alastair McDermott sits down with guest Alistair McBride to talk about the psychological edge of negotiation.

They discuss what it means to make a deal that’s palatable to both sides, and what separates the best negotiators from the rest.

Alistair McBride shares his thoughts on the concept of “win-win” negotiations and how usually one side will come out ahead. The conversation also covers the three foundational principles of conflict resolution and why compromise is a key factor in successful negotiation.

Alistair stresses that negotiation is not just about following a checklist and provides his number one tip in negotiation.

Show Notes

Guest Bio

Al is an experienced entrepreneur, coach and consultant and hosts the Dealing with Goliath podcast. For over 13 years he has started businesses in fields as diverse as art consultancy, history and tourism, online video production, e-learning and website development.

Following a foundation in psychotherapy and counselling, he moved into Strategic Intervention Coaching, a highly results directed synthesis of multiple psychological schools and approaches. The balance of empathy and creativity with practical, actionable, outcome focused strategies greatly suits his personality and philosophy.

Alistair works with Adaptas Training in corporate organisations and governmental bodies, such as Certified Public Accountants, Aon, Phorest, the Irish Management Institute, Insolvency Service of Ireland, Citizens Information Board and Maynooth University. He engages privately with business owners and creative professionals in both a coaching and consultancy capacity.

He enjoys working with groups and one-to-one, both in person and online. Stress Management and Negotiation and Influencing are two key areas of particular interest, as well as sustainable behaviour change and increased productivity through peak performance psychology.


people, negotiation, deal, building, business, accommodating, talking, book, other side, game, linkedin, mindset, negotiate, negotiators, authority, sculpture, read, compromise, thinking, alastair

Alastair McDermott, Alistair McBride


Alastair McDermott  00:05

Hello, and welcome to The Recognized Authority podcast. I’m your host, Alastair McDermott. And we’re broadcasting on recording life on YouTube on LinkedIn. And this is the first live broadcast episode. So I’d like to thank my guest, McBride for being the guinea pig for the technology and all the going live. So on this episode of The Recognized Authority, we’re going to be talking all things negotiation. And Al has written a book or is in the process of writing a book called “The Psychological Edge of Negotiation for Business Owners”. So I’ll welcome back to the podcast. It’s actually the third time you’re on the podcast, but the first time that you were a guest.


Alistair McBride  00:45

Great to be here, good to talk to you as always.


Alastair McDermott  00:48

Cool. Okay, so let’s talk about negotiation, and the psychological edge. I love the title can, can you talk to me? Like what what does that mean to you the psychological edge? And why is that key in negotiation?


Alistair McBride  01:03

Oh, well, it means a few things. First of all, it came from when I was prototyping the idea. And I mentioned to a few, while they were a lawyer, and corporate finance friends of mine, who had kind of an interest in some of my trainings and coaching stuff, and oh, yeah, we must get rid of this kind of thing. And when they said, Oh, what are you working on now? And I said, I don’t know what to call it, I suppose, is the psychological edge and negotiation, and they just right, when getting in the calendar, how much is it don’t care, that’s what we need, you know. So it was an instant appeal, there was the best market test, a prototype idea. And they did love it, which was excellent. Because it is that idea that even whether people have no negotiation experience, or in and around their 10,000 hours, they’re doing it nearly every day. There’s benefit there, because often, the skills you create, if you know a huge amount about negotiation, you tend to be very good at it pretty naturally, maybe you’ve done courses, maybe have read books, but in my research actually surprises me how few books on negotiation, people who negotiate everyday have actually 10s tends to have read, which was quite fascinating.  But anyway, if they’re close to their 10,000 hours, they tend to have a few strategies that work most of the time and their work very well. That’s why it’s a big part of their earning their success, their their their their weekly work. However, what I also find is, this is what I call the nice the night, sorry, this is what I call the naturals by obvious reasons that are quite natural at negotiation. They have these strategies that work regularly until they don’t so some people, it’s one in five, so he was one in 10 deals where they’ll have one or two different strategies they’ll employ, and it’ll generally be very successful for them until it isn’t. And then they don’t know why what went wrong, or how to fix it.


Alastair McDermott  03:02

Right. Yeah, yeah.


Alistair McBride  03:03

What we’ve learned from working with them is that a lot of it’s actually in this more psychological side, when we say psychological, we’re talking about the cognitive sides, obviously, people’s thinking, we’re mostly talking about a lot of the emotions underneath what’s going on. And then linked to that, is also being able to hopefully positively and in a very obviously values based way actually influence people’s behavior in a positive way. But but that’s the point. Even when people with lots of negotiation experience, there’s a lot of significant gaps. And when I helped those early clients prototypes, and actually closing those gaps, and being able to be more reflective, see what they were doing, and then what their other options were different ways of being. So an awful lot of these people are used to going straight to domineering or dominating, highly aggressive. They found that when they could mix in, not not constantly, but just into the mix being accommodating and things that were easy to accommodate the other side on suddenly they were building more goodwill. And this is people in litigation. This is people were hostile to each other, the parties are hiding. There’s a lot of hostility going on there. Right.  As they said to me, actually, yes, but you need to make a deal. You need to make a deal that’s palatable to both sides. Otherwise, you’re going to court which a lot of people know a customer is a lot more risk and it could cost an absolute fortune. So it’s a very interesting environment for them actually doing those actually coming to an agreement that’s palatable for both sides. So that’s one side as I said, the Thai workers which is the naturals, the other side of the nice bit nervous so this is often the people that I really do enjoy helping because they’re often the small business owner who the country tractor this deal, this agreement that they’re trying to reach with a client makes a major difference to their quarter or even their year. So it’s the difference between Oh, are we on the breadline? And might have to let somebody go? Versus are we going on a big holiday or getting a new car type of stuff, right. So there’s a lot riding on the line there. And for those of you out there who know just exactly what it’s like to be a business owner, where you have that skin in the game that that can be used against you particularly by, you know, if you’re selling into larger companies, corporates where the other side don’t really have skin in the game, they get a nice bonus, you know, they get a nice business review. But often it’s a game to them, you’re often up against the naturals, that’s why they’re in that job. Right? So I was helping people in one of the largest suppliers to the largest supermarket chain, one of the largest supermarket chains in Britain. And this was the point even though there are multimillion dollar business, multimillion pound business, they are always there’s always a bigger fish.


Alastair McDermott  06:11



Alistair McBride  06:11

And so they’re always in the lower position. Now they might feel like it and this is some of the traits of the natural is no matter how big a fish the other side is, that one of the traits of the naturals, they always know the value they’re bringing to the table. And so some of those traits of the natural I bring to the nice, but it was nice for nervous negotiator. But with both of them and trying to build them into what I call the supernatural. So the natural people have that extra element of being more fluid in who they are in that negotiation, how they’re able to move, often from domineering, but also sometimes to avoidance to accommodating up to compromise, which has its place. But the most important one is going to collaboration and collaboration. You know, it’s about it’s one of these buzzwords, oh, we open to collaborating, sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time, it doesn’t happen at all. Because when you think about it, most people who are going to collaborate are actually just saying, I want to you, I want to very gently and nicely convince you that what I’m saying is right. And that you say, Oh, you’re right, let’s do it your way. That’s what most people think, is collaborate. Essentially, let’s let’s be blunt.


Alastair McDermott  07:26

It’s not cynical.


Alistair McBride  07:28

This is reality, you know? And they go, oh, yeah, collaboration Great. Yeah, this, like, I want you to basically do the thing that I want to do. That’s influencing that’s what most people think negotiation is in actual, or it’s compromise, which means, like, we’re both going back on what we want, we’re both giving up something we want to make a deal. It’s barely tolerable. They’re thinking about it. They say, you know, marriage is a compromise. Well, there’s a huge divorce rate. And one of the reasons in relationship canceling why marriage is a compromise. And so many of them fail is that people are looking out for it gets down to what we’re just about willing to tolerate, how many a moment needs are being met versus not being met? Until it flips over? And then you go, Oh, what’s the point in continuing on in this agreement? What is a management agreement, right? But think of it as the same for a business relationship, internally as a partnership, or, you know, vendor to supplier, right. It’s the same thing, where how much you’re going to tolerate until you say, I think we can do better. Right? And again, there’s a lot less at stake with business relationships, right? It’s not a whole marriage, right? So but it’s the same principle, whereas when you start with the idea of real collaboration, which the definition could be, how do we both get as close to 100% or even beyond 100% of what we want? Had we both do that? So you start with that as your primer as your intent. And then you get suddenly get quite creative.  First of all, you have to be more you have to be clear and more astute as to your needs in the first place. And a lot of people aren’t so that’s, that’s yeah, so beforehand, you’re doing some proper reflection as to why we wanted why do we want it this way? So we’ll look at some of the best the greatest negotiators in the world. What’s the difference between the best and the rest? One of them is being extremely clear on where they want to get to and extremely flexible and how we can get there. So the most letter more slightly by called mid range negotiators tend to Oh cards close to the chest and yeah, you don’t want to give everything away but Oh, and you’re holding a lot back and you’re not even clear on why you need the thing. It’s incredibly difficult for the other side to facilitate that need them because they don’t even know what it is there casting right. So when you’re getting into that more collaborative mindset, it’s not about not protecting yourself. It’s not about having a few holding a few details back. I mean, that’s that’s necessary, but it is about the attitude of it. How do we both actually get so much that this deal is insulated from potentially other people coming in and reserving it? Right.


Alastair McDermott  10:08

So let me pause you there for a minute. Sure. I just want to summarize some of what you’ve been talking about so far. Okay. So you’re dividing the kind of categorizing people who do negotiation into two buckets of people who are naturals, who are naturally good at doing it. And typically, in negotiation, like in in everything else, people who are naturally good at something, they, they usually do it instinctively. And so they haven’t broken it down into a framework. So they don’t, when it fails for them, they don’t really understand why it’s failing.


Alistair McBride  10:47



Alastair McDermott  10:47

And in other fields as well. And then you’ve got the the other group of people who you talk to, and you help is people who are nice, but nervous, and they just find negotiation difficult, right?


Alistair McBride  10:59

Yeah. And it’s that if you and you can, you can, depending on the situation, you can sometimes be in both, you know, when you’re in your element. So, you know, one of the examples I give in the book is, then I, you know, the natural negotiators into and six and seven figure deals regularly. And they’re in the realm of think about if they’re rolling with if they feel it’s a game, if they like the tussle, shall we say, right, but they see it as a game to be played, that allows a certain objectivity, you’re fully in the game, fully present. But you’re also seeing it as a game. Right? This allows that slight objective space for you to think and adapt and whatnot. Whereas it’s nearly the difference between the challenge mindset and the fight or flight mindset.  So the fight or flight mindset is, you know, you’re fighting for your life. Right? So what happens in the fight or flight, you know, that level of stress is the blood drained the oxygen, blood drains away from the prefrontal cortex, which is your thinking brain, where you’re planning and you’re able to recall things as need be right? Now, this doesn’t have to be you know, 10 out of 10, like a tiger, a big snake or something, right? It can be social pressure, it can be all sorts of things. It just allows you to just bring some of that action, which blown away, because it’s getting ready to run or fight. But the challenge situation, the challenge, stress response is fascinating. It’s the difference between you being hunted and animal hunting you and you’re fighting for your life, versus you hunting the animal. So you’re fighting for your dinner. Right? And that’s what…


Alastair McDermott  12:35



Alistair McBride  12:35

Hunter lineset. That’s when you’re sprinting, you know, in a game or you’re running or something, you’re able to actually see things and work things out. But before you you know, in rugby, you say where you see the what is it the red mist, you know, you lose, you lose the plot, you lose your decimal user control. But that’s what’s going on, is the natural easy in the challenge mindset, seeing it as a game as a hunter as this is fun, essentially a challenge. It’s not easy, but it’s fun. Whereas the other side feels all distress, all of this


Alastair McDermott  13:08

Kind of like a level of abstraction there. And they’re able to kind of step back. Exactly, and, and see it for what it is. I like when you talk about, you know, being, you know, being able to understand your own needs, and then be very accommodating. And all the other the other things, you know, I think that that, that even just thinking about that, like, what do I really need to get here? Because I think that some people approach it as a win lose situation, one of us is going to win and one of us is going to lose.


Alistair McBride  13:42

Absolutely. And again, that’s the definition of not being collaborative, right. You know, where you’re not going? Well, you know, because a lot of people are sort of, let’s be honest, a lot of a lot of proper negotiators who do is a large part of their work, who are doing that week on week out basis. A lot of them do fall into that trap, not all the time, but a lot of them do fall into that trap of well, as long as you get where you want. It’s nice if you do, but I don’t really care. Right, but you’re not building any actual relationships, you’re not also usually not adding anything to the deal. They’re essentially, like, when you have a lot of these large corporations, their whole job is to squeeze margin out of their suppliers until their suppliers literally go. It’s not actually worth us to do this deal anymore.


Alastair McDermott  14:30



Alistair McBride  14:32

That’s not building goodwill. That’s not building extra value at all, yeah, that’s not adding a possibility that’s not adding that extra thing other than a transaction in there falling back into this. It’s purely a transaction of what both of us can just about tolerate. That’s not adding any value that’s not adding uncovering hidden potential. Right. And it’s also not insulating it for the long term. Whereas when you were able to build, first of all that rapport and trust and whatnot, people can open up that bit more of what their needs really are. And then the other side can be really quite creative about how to make that to meet those needs. Which, which is absolutely key toward adding value, which also, in the long term, first of all makes deals, more implement, easier to implement. This is one of the other things is this. A lot of particularly modern society and law, the you know, the art of the deal and all this horrible stuff? Right? Yes, you need to make a deal. Yes, you need to close closing is important. Of course it is.  But you have another thing to be wary of, again, with big corporate stuff versus small businesses, is when you make that deal, often the deal maker isn’t, doesn’t have anything to do with the implementation. And so what regular are with quite a few of my clients is very key, is they do a deal with one person. And often if it goes well, and they’ve applied some of the stuff I’ve been talking about, they have a good relationship that you know, doing well. But they’ve been reduced down from the original brief the original need. And then how it’s implemented has nothing to do with the person that did the deal in the first place. And so it’s not fit for purpose. So it has to be renegotiated.


Alastair McDermott  16:17



Alistair McBride  16:18

And this is this is the problem. So it’s when when you have an implementation mindset, well, how will this actually work on purpose. And you can tell when you ask, you know, someone who else is actually going to be running this on your side. And if they’re not included as a stakeholder, at least with their needs, at least in one meeting, or report saying, we need this, this is what didn’t work the last time and so on, then you’re setting yourself up for some difficulty down the line. And that again, means that a lot of these negotiated agreements, don’t last don’t even last the course or if they do, they’re messy.


Alastair McDermott  16:56

So what’s the solution to that? I mean, is the solution there, you know, to be negotiating with the end client, as opposed to a middleman. Is that Is that what that is, or,


Alistair McBride  17:06

Again, they think they’re doing it because they’re usually their KPIs, their objectives, their how they’re judged, is more so unfortunately, on the deal than on the implementation. So you need to get people in that room. And it’s also the it’s also just using your prospect theory, where you have to frame certain things as loss and certain things as gain, even if they are a loss, we say, Look, we you can negotiate, you can kick me around this room and come out with a great deal, which will fail down the line. And then we will hold you responsible for failing. Right, that will be the clear reason why it failed. So it’s a very short termism. Whereas you say, Look, if you want this to be a good deal that you get, and well implemented and beneficial in all sorts of directions for your company, nevermind ours, then you need to get some of those stakeholders in so that we’re doing a deal that’s fit for purpose long term, because what deal is closed? That’s not the end of the whole, like they say, putting a deal to bed, closing the deal. Think about it the words like It’s like as if that’s the end of it? No, that’s the end of a phase. But having the mindset that again, we have to collaborate work together on this now. So we need to have those conversations


Alastair McDermott  18:27

a lot about is collaboration. That seems to be that the kind of the key takeaway from me here is just how important that is thinking about it from that mindset. So I do I want to jump to some specific questions. I know that you talked about three foundational principles can can you talk a little bit about what those are?


Alistair McBride  18:51

Well, there’s a few few things around that. Three foundational principles. These are kind of I would just say, fundamentals that regardless of the area don’t really change. You know, so number one, that I work with people and this is maybe more relevant to the nice but nervous is what I call think like a shrink. Now it could say think like a coach or think like, you know, a counselor or something. But it sounds good makes you copy think like a shrink. So you think well, how does it shrink think. And it’s this idea that even when a therapist is with the client, and the client can be abusive, and like, I come here and I pay you Maria, you’re doing nothing for me and it can be abusive. The therapist is fully present, but not emotionally reactive. Not that they can’t be emotional, but they’re not emotionally reactive to the client. So it’s a key principle in negotiation or any kind of conflict resolution. This is the same principles for difficult conversations within an organization. Right?  Even in a family. Now we’re not Don’t go into that sort of politics. But it’s the similar principles that you need to be fully present. Because if you aren’t, then people will you’re not even listening to me. And that’s just angers people. So you’re fully present, but emotionally nonreactive, which means you’re in control. Now, that doesn’t make you aggressive. But it doesn’t. And it doesn’t make you on the defensive either. So people can say stuff, and it can slide by, and you’re still there. And you’re leaning into it. So that’s where you have those more difficult conversations, because you’re allowing the space where they can, it gains trust, because they can have an outburst. Whether it’s a tactic a ploy, or genuine frustration, or whatever that might be, whether it’s even anger, and your stay there, lean into it, that easily create a certain level of trust that, oh, wow, I could actually lose the plot with this person. Or I get frustrated person and they don’t attack back. But they’re but they’re also not being weak. Right, they’re still there and their strengths still fully present. It’s it’s a powerful thing. And when you can do that, then it allows the other person to go Oh, okay. And then they can either tell you why they’re frustrated. Or sometimes they’ll even apologize, right? Sorry, that was out of order.  Either way, there’s, there’s a building of a relation to the building of rapport there. People can lean into that space. So that’s one very important principle. Because often the natural reaction is, you know, blah, blah, blah, well, screw you, will you do that? First? Really, I think a lot of people go on the attack, or, you know, defense is the best form of attack. Oh, well, I didn’t mean it that way. And you’re excusing, and on the backfoot. not good either. So as I said, think like a shrink, very important.


Alastair McDermott  21:47

So I liked that. And I don’t know if you can hear but now I have a digger going outside my door. He’s going live. So so the next, the next thing you talk about, is not a photo, but a sculpture. Can you tell me about that?


Alistair McBride  22:03

Yeah, that was just a metaphor, essentially just like to think like a shrink rolling force. But it’s a metaphor to help you remember that, oh, how do you look at a photograph? So whether it’s on a phone or on a printout, you turn the thing and an angle, it’s the same image, nothing changes, you can’t see more like, Oh, I’m gonna look behind that hedge. It doesn’t work like that. Right? So most people think of a deal as a transaction as this to 2d, or even one flash object. And you need to remind yourself, it’s a 3d object, like a sculpture that you see in real life. So what does the sculpture ask you to do that a photograph can’t sculpture master to move around it? Either you move it or you move yourself around it, right? So that you can see new angles, you can see new perspective. So you see it in a whole different understanding. Right. And that’s how you’re meant to think of your deals that it’s not a 2d, simple A to B transaction that’s walking into a store, saying, I want to buy that they hand it to you and you pay them that’s, that’s just pure, simple transaction.  Whereas when you’re thinking of actually making an agreement, again, we’re talking mostly as a negotiation, cross table negotiation. Same principle, when all sorts of forms of communication is that. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes you want just a transaction, you know, you want, you can’t go into the Apple store to buy an Apple phone and negotiate with the guy is just like no, like, the cost is the cost. Like there’s nothing we can do right there to do a transaction. That’s fine. And that’s, that’s also relevant for compromise. You know, if you go to a what would you call an antiques fair? And something cars? You know, 20 Euro, would you say? Would you take 10, and you made a 15? That’s fine. Because you don’t need to go into the interests and you know, where people are coming from, because it doesn’t matter. It’s only a few euro, there’s no great, great, great benefit. But if there’s a relationship being formed as to something larger at stake, that’s where you want to go from compromise, up to collaboration. But again, it’s that idea of think of it in terms of 3d, because when you think returns is a sculpture, what else is possible here? What else? Am I not seeing, by the way, I’m currently looking at this.


Alastair McDermott  24:23

Other details there behind the scenes, there’s always something else. I think that’s where you’re talking about being accommodating, you know, that, that there’s so many other things that you can accommodate on if you look behind the scenes and having clarity around your own needs. So there may only be a couple of things that you really absolutely have to get. And then there’s loads of options around it. Obviously, lots of things that you can negotiate on.


Alistair McBride  24:50

There’s lots of other things in there that you don’t even realize, but it’s exactly that that you’re alluding to, which is always remember, there’s a possibility that The other side can give you something even better than what you’re asking for. Now, this is something you know, in that lovely book, never split, the difference by Chris Voss, which has become quite famous lately is the FBI negotiator guy who then went into sort of the dynamics side and then into the business. And he actually writes some really good stuff. I do like a stuff. And, and that’s worth a read. But one of the things he talks about is the man of times and large negotiations, the people are just so focused on the outcome that they want, that they they miss that and getting better. Which is weirdly easier for the other side to give sometimes. Because they’re so outcome focused, which is great to be goal focused, but I’m how you get there. But remembering when you know the why, you know the purpose, it’s meant to serve the need, it’s meant to address if they offer you something better, what brilliant, go for it.


Alastair McDermott  25:58

Right? What’s the third of the three foundational principles that you talked about?


Alistair McBride  26:04

No is the beginning. So a lot of people only when they’re having these difficult conversations, they’ll ask for something. And they go, No, doesn’t work for us. And they’ll go, Oh, okay. And they’ll move on to the next thing. Now, again, if it’s super minor, then that’s fine. Because it doesn’t really matter. Just like the trinket at the antiques fair, or something like that. Right. But if it does kind of monitor, set to go, don’t get mad get curious. Right? Or don’t get sad and disappointed. Get curious. Right? So lean into it. So oh, oh, that doesn’t work for you. Oh, that’s interesting. And would you mind, you know, what is it about the doesn’t quite for you? Oh, well, and then they’ll explain their reasoning. So at the very least, you’re getting an insight into what their needs really are, and more nuanced into what their needs, if you know, kind of already, but also you’re getting this is about 20 or 30% of the time, you’ll find that they’ve misunderstood something you’ve said maybe because you weren’t clear enough about it. And they think a situation isn’t quite what it is. So they’ve said no, because they have a misread of what you’ve said. So you can actually correct them and sometimes say, and have that thing, then accept it. But at the very least you get an insight into the reasoning behind them saying no, that doesn’t work for us.  So no is the beginning. If they say yes, then super. But if they say no, it, then it’s a new beginning of that of a new tangent on that conversation. Rather than just saying this yes, this know that, you know, it’s not just a checklist, it’s a dynamic thing. We’re trying to learn about the interests, the needs, the perspectives of the of our counterparts, so that we can help them get it. Because the more they get, the more they’re likely to reciprocate in some way, shape, or form. Right.


Alastair McDermott  28:01

Okay, so I’m gonna have to wrap this up soon, because we got about 10 minutes left. And I have some other questions I want to ask you, okay, but but I just want to see if I, if I can summarize what we’ve been talking about. The I think the big thing for me, the big takeaway is that as potential negotiators, we can be more accommodating. And there are probably things that we can accommodate that would be valuable to the other party, that we don’t that we don’t know that that would be valuable to them. So we need to we need to talk to them and figure that out, and approach it with a mindset of real collaboration. And then the point you were talking about, I think that for me is that the the photo not a sculpture thing, sorry, a sculpture, not a photo. In that there’s there’s more aspects to the to the potential deal than are initially presented. And engineers just more that we can negotiate on.


Alistair McBride  29:01

There’s a lovely synopsis. But just just to add to one of your points there, just to clarify, I’m not suggesting you’re particularly weak or vulnerable, either. Trust is built. Rapport can be built in an instant, you know, where we all we’ve all gone and met people where we get along instantly, like we just fit, you know, we’re on the same page where the good energy other people less so right takes time, and that’s fine. That’s rapport, trust. Trust is built incrementally over time, one person saying they’ll do something, they do it another person, then there’s some level of reciprocation, however perceived, and that’s built up. So it’s not about just being weak and giving away the farm. And then somebody pulls the wool over you and you get nothing in return. That’s not what I’m talking about without with collaboration. I just okay,


Alastair McDermott  29:42

that leads me to another question then. is, can we negotiate successfully when there is no basis for trust yet?


Alistair McBride  29:53

Absolutely. Because once you’re starting to get into interests, and you’re starting to actually Find ways to feed the interests, the needs, if you’d like if the other side of your counterpart, then that’s starting to build trust, because you’re feeling productive, you’re feeling like you’re building momentum rather than the other side.


Alastair McDermott  30:12

So, negotiator is building trust as they go. Absolutely, absolutely.


Alistair McBride  30:16

Because they say back to the accommodating thing  is the journey of seeing it like a game, but actually playing games, there’s the difference. What is the game for my wife, and the other like, you know, jurkovich, or wherever or, you know, Lionel Messi is playing a game. But they’re not playing games, they’re very serious about what they do, right. So they’re fully focused or fully involved, their whole life is aimed at performing well in this scenario, but they’re also aware that as you seem to smile, sometimes, it’s still only a game. Right? It’s not life or death here, okay. But it’s that level of focus that absolute, fully present. So many things built up to this thing. They’re fully prepared. And when they’re in it, they’re fully ready to be dynamic. Right? Because they know what they’re doing.


Alastair McDermott  31:11

They’ve pre planned a lot of their moves, they’ve, they’ve set up the muscle memory, and they’re able to make intelligent decisions when their heartbeat is 140. Exactly. I think that’s, that’s similar to what you’re talking about, you know, getting for me thinking of it as taking a step back at a layer of abstraction back from from the current situation, and being able to kind of look at the whole thing, and then having this idea of it as 3d, because there’s a lot more there behind the scenes that potentially we could be accommodating on true like that. So


Alistair McBride  31:46

just to raise the point that this is also getting into that next level, when, when you know exactly where you’re coming from exactly what you need, you know, your margins on things, like, if you’re selling different products, or whatever services, you know, like, oh, that that seems to be a good margin, but it actually has a lot of maintenance costs, so, so you know exactly where you can be super flexible, and where there’s very little room for that, that gives you power. So when the other side is asking for certain things, you can say, No, we can’t do that. However, we can do something on that. So you know, it allows that flexibility and agility. But just to continue the sporting analogy, you know, the greats are super prepared. But they’re also able to read the fields, in whatever area it is, whether it’s business, whether it’s you know, stocks, whether it’s tech, whether it’s sport, the grades in each domain are able to anticipate where things are gonna go. And like think about if you’re very prepared and with more experience, then you’re able to actually have like, our cognitive load ie this, there’s less on your mind. So we’re able to see the nuances, because you’re better prepared, you’re able to see the nuances because you’re able to reflect more fully on previous wins and losses, gains and and issues that were in the past.


Alastair McDermott  33:12

So I just checked the the chat. So you’ve had some some comments in on both YouTube and LinkedIn. So hello, Celeste. Joe.


Alistair McBride  33:21

Hi, Celeste. Joe. Mr. Jacobi. Good to see you.


Alastair McDermott  33:27

Yeah, so the name of the book. It’s not out yet. But it’s gonna be called “The Psychological Edge of Negotiation for Business Owners” when you’re going to be publishing that.


Alistair McBride  33:36

We’ll be publishing that probably started in March. Right about St. Patrick’s Day. Actually, we’re just before St. Patrick’s Day seems to be the the current deadline. Yeah, so


Alastair McDermott  33:48

So I’ll put in the in the chat or in the comments on the under this. I’ll put in the I’ll put in links to Al’s socials. And please do


Alistair McBride  33:58



Alastair McDermott  33:59

Follow up, follow Al on the socials. And we’ll make sure that it gets


Alistair McBride  34:02

Particularly LinkedIn. We often on LinkedIn quite a bit. So always feel free to reach out to me there to say hello. And if you’re interested in a copy of the book, yeah, definitely. More than happy to sit on.


Alastair McDermott  34:14

So the other thing is, somebody mentioned, Celeste mentioned that Sandy is echoing so I don’t know. I’m gonna give this a listen back afterwards, this the first time actually broadcasting an interview live. So I got to see if there’s problems there that if there’s nothing we can do about that. And thank you for putting up with that since you’re still listening. Okay, well, I want to I want to wrap this up. I have some questions that I always ask, you know, you know, I ask these questions. What is the number one tip that you would give to somebody who wants to build their authority?


Alistair McBride  34:44

Who wants to build their authority? That’s a that’s an interesting question. I think you know, why you’re building. That’s the big one. As I was saying, it’s a first thing and it’s so fundamental because people so often overlook it, of course. Oh, hi, you’re all Why do I want this thing? I think, Oh, well, I don’t know, like, is it just ego reasons? You know? Is it to show someone look, I am great, or is it actually far more profound reasons is, you know, it’s this idea of, it needs to be an intrinsic motivator, ie you need to be internally motivated, which is what, basically the word is inspired. Like, again, so much research on performance. So that in Joe Jacobi there knows far more about this than I do. But so much high performance comes from intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation.  So again, if you want to be an authority, that’s a bit of a slog, you’re going to have to work at that now everybody knows that nobody’s delusional enough to think they’re going to be an authority tomorrow. But if you can get the real reason, the real purpose, the fire in the belly as to why you want to be in authority, to serve to get you know, your approach, your perspective, your methodology, your way to help, not two people, but maybe 2000 people, or 200 has to be whatever your goal is, that’s fine as a destination, but the fuel to get there. And that’s what makes all that content, you know, creating that content, whether it’s videos, whether it’s podcasts, whether it’s blog, article, all the ways that Alastair talks about, about building that authority, the will to do that, in that process, getting that right process, is by knowing your why is having really clear grasp of and by the way, that fight isn’t an intellectual exercise. Yes, you want to think about it. But it’s the emotional resonance literally, in your gut, that’s a fire in the belly. That’s what is inspiring, because when you’re inspired, it’s easier to inspire others. That’s how you win over people. By your interest, by your focus by your determination buyer, this is a great thing to do. This is a great perspective to take. That’s how you become an authority.


Alastair McDermott  37:01

I love it. I do I think it’s really important for to pretty much any goal is to understand the purpose behind it. The reason behind it, oh, help you to achieve your goal, no matter what that goal is personal business. No matter what are you doing. Okay, I need to wrap this up. I want to ask you briefly, is there a business mistake or failure that you can tell us about that you’ve experienced?


Alistair McBride  37:30

Only one? You know, I’ve made made a lot? I think it was, I think it was going into projects. That didn’t really suit me. So again, we’re probably ready to that why question? That’s what comes to mind is going into business, right, and spending too long in them, trying to dig them out. When and there was something, something to be said for that perseverance, you know, full credit to me for that. But it’s one of those things where you should have probably stopped early. Knowing when to fail faster. Absolutely. But again, it’s when you’re clear on the reasons for doing it. And then asking yourself, look, what else with my time and energies could serve me better? I think that that’s, that’s probably one of the key key things I’d say to you on that.


Alastair McDermott  38:20

Yeah. Okay, is there a business book or resource that you would recommend, or that’s been important for you?


Alistair McBride  38:27

There is, and it’s, it’s probably a bit different than you might expect. I did mention, you know, Chris Voss has never split the diff does look, overview of basically some of the more psychological aspects playing into negotiation. And he’s talking about an awful lot of stuff since the last 10-20 years where psychologists have gotten involved in because originally it was lawyers, then it was economists in the theory of negotiation, and then with his piece of much more about more practical stuff, again, about rapport relationship, communications, all my stuff. So when I read his stuff, I was thinking, yeah, like, I mean, I have different angles and certain things, but I do like, so there’s one book, the real book that I always recommend, because this is one that blew me away most is a book called “Redirect the Surprising New Science of Psychological Change”. And that’s why Timothy Wilson, and redirect is literally that any therapy that works, whatever school of therapy, or whatever it is, or people just fix it themselves. It’s due to people being aware of and then changing their internal story. So it’s basically narrative psychology. And this plays into every area of your life, every area of your interactions with yourself with others, your family, and then also in business. Because it’s absolutely key, the stories people are telling themselves. And when you can tap into that story, you can help redirect that story to something maybe more positive, more productive, more constructive, because as I said, it’s only when people change their story, that they stay change. changed. Otherwise people revert back. Which is no good. You know?


Alastair McDermott  40:07

That doesn’t make sense. So Al, how about fiction? I know you read a lot of nonfiction business books do you read much fiction


Alistair McBride  40:14

Read, I read the occasional fiction I was feel it, I’m in too indulgent of myself, I’ll be reading something to do with business or negotiation, or psychology or neurology or something. Yeah. So I do read a bit of fiction.  Again, it’s fiction, where you get to have a walk around in someone else’s perspective, which I find most valuable, because then you’re literally learning a life of insight from someone else’s perspective. And again, that’s hugely valuable, because that’s what being able to communicate with someone else’s all is this idea that you’ve truly not just intellectually realized someone is different to you, it’s really emotionally realizing that they have fundamentally different experiences, and perspectives than you do, and being able to work with engage with that, and build with that.


Alastair McDermott  41:09

I love it. That’s very deep out very deep. But we have to wrap. Thank you so much for coming on. I want to get you to share where people can find you in a moment, I just want to say thanks to everybody who is watching on LinkedIn, and on YouTube. And you’re saying the echo is not a massive problem, but you still still can hear it. So we will try and sort that out. And we’ll definitely sorted out for the next time. There will be a recording of this available, it will go on The Recognized Authority podcast as an audio only episode, if the audio is good enough. And it will be available on The Recognized Authority YouTube channel, and hopefully on LinkedIn as well. I think it will save it there. So well.


Alistair McBride  41:56

That’s great. Thanks so much.


Alastair McDermott  41:58

Either of us, we’ll be posting to it. So absolutely. Where can people find you if they want to learn more if they want to check out and get reminders about the book when it comes out?


Alistair McBride  42:07

Yeah, well, to keep it simple, just go to And you can see, when I’m out there, there’s a few resources there. If you’re interested in the short email course just you get an email every day for a week or two, that people have found that valuable. But the other place where I hang out most probably is LinkedIn. So it’s just LinkedIn/AlistairMcBride and that’s a-l-i-s-t-a-i-r. Unlike the different to our host, just careful that McBride MCB Alrighty, so Alistair McBride already can find me through through Alastair McDermott there as well, I’m sure.


Alastair McDermott  42:50

But yeah, and I just put that on the bottom of the screen. You can see


Alistair McBride  42:54

Superduper thanks.


Alastair McDermott  42:55

So thank you so much for coming on. It’s been great to chat.


Alistair McBride  42:59

Thank you. It’s been a pleasure. And cheers everyone in the comments has tuned in. Awesome stuff. Have a great day.


Alastair McDermott  43:08

And this is if you’re listening to this on The Recognized Authority podcast. Thank you for listening. And you can also view the video of this if you go and check out the YouTube channel that will be links will be in the in the show notes and on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening and see you next time.

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