30 responses to The Cheapest (and Smartest!) Concession You Can Make

  1. Sharon Mast says:

    Richard, this is so true. When I take the time to really listen and acknowledge the other person—whether it’s my spouse, a coworker or client—and put specific words to that acknowledgement, I can see their posture and body language change in front of me. You’re right, I don’t have to agree, but I change the dynamics because they feel heard. Keep these great videos coming!!

  2. Maria Paiewonsky says:

    Great advice. I appreciate it for my own professional behavior as well as to use with my graduate students. Thank you for taking the time to produce this short, to-the-point video!

  3. Kristen W. says:

    Thank you for sharing Richard. I particularly like the phrase ‘to give before you receive.’ This is counterintuitive in a society that is used to immediate gratification!

    1. Richard Cohen says:

      Yes, Kristen. But the truth is, that we actually get MORE for ourselves if we give first, right? So it’s in our best interests, and often ALL of our best interests, to do. Thanks for writing.

    1. Richard Cohen says:

      Your welcome, Michael. It’s an important one to consider I think, particularly because it “costs” nothing…

    1. Richard Cohen says:

      Yup. This stuff is relevant wherever and whenever we communicate, which is just about everywhere. Thanks, Barbara.

  4. Shirley Rivera says:

    Thank you so much, Richard! This kind of deeper listening, acknowledging and awareness is so much needed in our world… to be heard… to be seen. And it works both ways for both persons. Amazing stuff!

  5. Annette B. says:

    This is really good, Richard. I’m fascinated by how receptive one has to be (and patient…I tend to talk over or interrupt people WAY too much) for this to work. It’s so important to get the other person’s perspective, and then be able to communicate (and listen) to their concerns. Sometimes their fears are hidden, even from themselves, and those fears are the most powerful driver of the problem. What a gift to listen and even encourage them to search for words to articulate concerns AND fears.

    1. Richard Cohen says:

      Yes, Annette. As I’ll discuss in the next post, an important part of acknowledgment is to include things that our counterpart is implying but perhaps not saying directly. When we include that in our summary of their concerns, it really makes them feel heard, which in turn makes them more relaxed, more trusting of us, and more open to what we have to say. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…

  6. Douglas Thompson says:

    Thanks, Richard. I think this is also great advice for mediators as well as negotiators. Especially important when strong emotions are in play. So often the instinct is to try and sidestep, ignore or tamp down intense feelings, fearing that clear acknowledgment and affirmation will just inflame things. In fact, it seems to lower the temperature. Great stuff–thanks for sharing it.

    1. Richard Cohen says:

      Agreed, Doug. Empathy and acknowledgment are likely the most efficient ways to help people understand and move through their feelings. There are so many other benefits too: trust building, increased openness to differing perspectives, improved problem solving, etc. It’s a no brainer. Thanks for writing!

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