3 books recommended by Andrea: INFLUENCE, CHATTER and GETTING TO YES. Andrea & guest Adam Ashton, host of the popular “What You Will Learn” podcast, review these 3 books. You will feel a lot smarter after listening to this episode, and you might have some new books to read!




Adam Ashton:

Connect with Andrea & Talk About Talk:



That was the wise Adam Ashton, our guest expert for this very unique TAT ep#127. 

I was inspired to create this episode based on requests I’ve had from clients in 1:1 coaching or in workshops when my clients ask me, Andrea, what communication skills books do you recommend? 

I read a lot and I’m ALWAYS happy to give book suggestions. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be great to do a book review – or 2 – or 3 – in an episode? And here we are. 

You’re in for a treat. You’re going to hear a helpful summary of 3 highly relevant books that I recommend for ambitious executives who’re focused on improving their communication skills. The 3 books are INFLUENCE by Robert Cialdini, CHATTER by Ethan Cross, and GETTING TO YES by Fisher, Ury & Patton. This last one, getting to yes, I just want to mention right out of the gates. I pulled this one in particular because every single client that I talk to has read Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. It’s like the modern negotiation bible. I thought it might be helpful, therefore, to supplement that book with this older book: GETTING TO YES, which really serves as a foundation for negotiation skills.

Yes, you’re going to feel SUPER SMART after listening to this episode!

If you’ve been listening to the Talk About Talk podcast for a while now, you’ve probably come to expect a fairly regular structure to these episodes. I introduced the topic and then either I coach you and share insights and advice OR sometimes I interview a guest. Then I always summarize the main points for you at the end. 

So this episode’s different – because instead of focusing on a specific communication skills topic, You’re going to hear a discussion about 3 different books that’re related to communication – as in persuasion for the book INFLUENCE, as in self-talk for the book CHATTER, and as in negotiation skills for the book GETTING TO YES. 

You can think of this as 3 book reviews via podcast. 

This is going to be VERY EFFICIENT LEARNING for you!

And BTW, this podcast is also available with video as a vidcast on YouTube. So if you want to tune in there, you can see me, you can see my guest Adam, and you can even see the books.

Oh my goodness, I haven’t introduced myself yet, have I? In case we haven’t met. I’m Dr. Andrea Wojnicki., and I’m your executive communication coach. Please – just call me Andrea. 

I’m the founder of TAT, where I coach communication skills to ambitious executives. My goal here is to help you establish executive presence and accelerate your career trajectory. Sound good?

If you go to the TAT.com website, you’ll find many resources to help you out. There’s information there about 1:1 coaching, online courses, corporate workshops, the archive of this podcast, AND, I really hope you’ll sign up for the email newsletter. That newsletter is your chance to get communication coaching from me every week. 

I mentioned this a few weeks ago – I’m slowly upgrading the TAT website. There’s a new section under the ABOUT tab where you can find my recommendations for you, including my top ten books that I recommend to clients.

Because you’re listening to this podcast, I’m gonna guess YOU have a growth mindset and you might also read a lot of books!

OK, let’s get into this. 

Here’s how this episode’s going to unfold. First, I’m going to introduce Adam. Then we’re going to get right into the interview. There won’t be a summary at the end, because… these are book reviews! You don’t need a summary of a summary. 

But as I said, I encourage you to check the shownotes under this episode or on the tat.com website. There are links there to each of the 3 books, plus some other books we mention.

In preparation for this interview, Adam and I both had some homework to do.  We both arrived with 3 points we want to share with you about each of the 3 books. (Yes, the power of 3!)

These 3 points could be anything from – a key INSIGHT that we want to highlight, to-  a suggestion for how we can apply the learnings to our communication, to – whether or not we liked the book!

And in case you’re wondering, I’m only reviewing books that I personally recommend. These are the books that I end up recommending to my coaching clients. So my opinion of each of these three books is very high, but as you’re about to hear, Adam’s opinion can be different.

Alright let me tell you about Adam.

Adam and I met 5 years ago when we were both participants in Seth Godin’s inaugural Podcasting fellowship. This podcasting fellowship brought together a group of hundreds of podcasters and wanna-be podcasters from all over the world, including Adam in Australia, and myself in Toronto, Canada. 

As we were all going through this journey to build our podcasting skills, a few of the people in the fellowship stood out for me as exceptional. Adam was one of those people. So I wasn’t surprised that he created an incredibly successful podcast. Focused on, guess what? Books!

He’s also a genuinely good guy, and as you’ll hear in a minute – he has an infectious laugh. He’s STILL laughing, despite being a sleep-deprived parent of a newborn!

Adam’s podcast is called WHAT YOU WILL LEARN, where he and his co-host read a book each week and share what he calls “the best bits and the biggest lessons.”  After almost 7 million downloads (yes, 7M!), they compiled the best bits of their podcast into their first book, THE SH*T THEY NEVER TAUGHT YOU.  That was in 2021. Then just recently they published a new book ATTITUDE, where they compiled insights about attitude from some of the books they read and distilled them into five simple lessons: Vision, Change, Learning, Fear, and Boldness. Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I can’t wait to read it.

NOW you see why Adam is the perfect guest for this episode? 

Here we go!

Andrea: Adam, thank you so much for joining us here on the Talk about Talk podcast for the first time for a book review of three books.

Adam: Fantastic. I’m nervously excited to be here. I’ve definitely remember listening to your podcast in the early days, so I’m glad to finally be a part of it.

Andrea: Oh, I am honored to have you here, Adam. I know your podcast is very successful and to be honest, I’m a little bit nervous too. But as I shared with you a minute just a minute ago, I’m really, really excited. So let’s get right into it. Adam and I have decided on three books that would be of interest to talk about talk listeners. They are influence, chatter and getting to yes. So we’re going to attack them in that order. And I’m going to start by sharing a little bit about the author. A really, really brief summary. Just so if you haven’t read of or maybe even heard of the book, you’ll have the general gist of what it’s about. And then we’re going to jump in. And Adam and I separately have prepared independently three points. If we were just talking about the book ourselves, three points that we want to make and share with the listeners and we talked about this offline. We both have notes. We are prepared for this. So if you see us looking down at our notes, that’s why we’re looking down. Um, so I guess we’re ready to get started. Are you ready, Adam.

Adam: I am ready.

Andrea: Okay, so the first book is by Robert Cialdini. I’ve got it right here. It’s called Influence New and Expanded the Psychology of Persuasion. And this book is written by Robert Cialdini. He’s a psychology prof at Arizona State Arizona State University, and he’s known as the godfather of Persuasion, due in most part to this book, which he first published in 1984. And I was telling Adam that I definitely read it in the 80s. And then I also bought it again in 2001 for this is the book that I bought over 20 years ago. Um, this is the third edition, which is much thinner. We’ll talk about that in a minute. Um, but that original book and the subsequent version of it, the new and expanded version, are based on mostly research that Cialdini did in his role as a psychology academic, where he worked as a car salesperson, a fundraiser, and in telemarketing to really understand the dynamics of persuasion, which to me is fascinating. And so he came up with at the time, uh, six ways to garner influence. And I am going to look at the camera and see if I can remember what they are. It’s consistency. Likability authority. Scarcity, social proof and reciprocity. And then in this most recent version, he added unity. And I’m going to tell you how I remembered what those were in a minute. But with that background, Adam, what do you think of this book?

Adam: I think this is phenomenal. I read this probably not quite as early as you did in the 80 seconds, but I read it probably 2017, and it went straight to my sort of top ten best books I’ve read of all time. And I’d say it’s pretty close to staying there ever since. It hasn’t been knocked off the perch yet, I’d say, uh, I guess my, my first takeaway is kind of like this is like the go to book, I reckon, in terms of what do you put into the content to make it more persuasive, You know, those, those six or you know, now seven things that you listed. He originally calls them weapons of influence I think in his first book. And then he calls them levers. Now in the newest version, just to feel like they are weapon like depending how you use them. But I suppose levers is a is a more gentler way of putting putting it I think those 6 or 7 levers.

Andrea: Sorry to interrupt. I think that’s why he calls them levers now. Right. Because many people that were a little nefarious with their objectives were weaponizing these. Yeah.

Adam: Yeah. You certainly can weaponize the levers. But yeah, if you can if you can work those into like if you if you’ve previously used zero of those and then you read this book and you can use 1 or 2 or more of these levers in your content, I think you become like, you know, it’s not just like 10% more effective at communicating. It’s like ten x more effective, I reckon.

Andrea: Agree. Agree. Anything else you want to add?

Adam: There’s the two. I guess my when you ask for three things, the two that always stand out for me as my number two and my number three is always remember the foot in the door and the door in the face. I don’t know why they always they always stick out to me as as good ways of sort of remembering these. So the foot in the door is linked to that sort of commitment and consistency lever that you mentioned where it’s you know, you start with something small, you know, it could be a, you know, a very small favor or, you know, you could be giving away something for free or even a loss leader that you sell. And that foot in the door is saying that if somebody does something small once, they’re much more likely to do something bigger later. If you ask for the small favor now and they do it, all of a sudden they become the type of person that does favors for you. You’re someone worthy of doing a favor for. And then the next time you ask a bigger favor, I’ve kind of already done something, so they’ll probably do something more later so you can kind of build it up from there. So always remember the foot in the door. That’s a great one. And then and then I always I always remember the door in the face as well.

Adam: I probably remember it because I didn’t get it the first time, but now I get it. Like because the door in the face is like it opens with a big whack. It’s not you’re not just sneaking the foot in there, you’re slamming that door open, whacking them in the face, and then you’re sort of going backwards from there, which is linked to the reciprocity one. So I’d say the big the big offer, you know, I want this right now and you’re going to you’re going to reject it because it’s too much of a big ask. But then by then, by them stepping way back and dialing it way back to something much smaller, then all of a sudden it’s like, okay, well, the other side, they’ve been, you know, they’ve been nice. They’ve they’ve, you know, they’ve dialed back their offer. They’ve been very generous in, you know, instead of charging, you know, 100 bucks and not charging 20 bucks for something, it’s like, okay, well, fine, I’ll do it. I’ll reciprocate as well. I’ll sort of come to the table and and play ball. So I kind of remember those two, the foot in the door and the door in the face for for different scenarios of achieving a similar thing.

Andrea: Sounds a little bit like foreshadowing for getting to. Yes, which is the third book we’re going to talk about. Right. Like negotiating. You get your foot in the door and then you get the door. That’s it. Yeah, I love that, too. I love that, too. So my three points were just number one, that this is the classic influence Bible like it really did position. Cialdini As the as the Godfather, as I said, of persuasion that said when I just I guess reread, you know, the expanded version and when I went through it, there are a lot of old examples. It comes across as a little bit dated in some parts of it. He gives examples, for example, of shopping, but they’re all in store like people chasing each other for the Tickle Me Elmo dolls and so on, as opposed to things that would be on examples online. And I feel like it would have been nice to have more modern examples because I think sometimes the examples that you include, of course, if you could show over time, that is ideal. But there were so many old examples. The other thing that really struck me and I’ve noticed some podcasts or some older podcasters do this too, they talk about the radio days. So he gave a lot of examples, several examples of radio advertising, and I was like, Oof, how about podcasting? Yeah, yeah. Anyway, I think this this book is fantastic and it has stood the test of time, but it does seem a little bit dated. And so now if some of some of our listeners are are picking up the book, they might notice that when they’re flipping through it. The second thing I want to say is my hack for memorizing the Seven Levers was I just listed them all and then I was like, What’s an acronym? And the word CLASS and then RU. So I was thinking in my head, I was like, “R U classy?” I like.

Adam: I like it.

Andrea: Yeah, that’s what I and that’s what I, you know, always did when I was trying to memorize stuff at school. So, so off the top of your head because.

Adam: Normally I normally get like 3 or 4 and then forget the others and have to look it up. So now I can’t forget.

Andrea: Now, are you classy? Just remember, Andrea said, are you classy? There you go. Oh, perfect. Yeah. And then the last thing I want to say about the book was. When I first heard, I actually attended a webinar about a year and a half a year ago, this this came out in 2021. So I guess it was probably a year ago or so where Cialdini was being interviewed and obviously he was selling his book and so he was talking about unity. And in my head I was like, Unity. Isn’t that the same as social proof? Um, and that said, I think in today’s world it really does deserve to be its own lever. And I read that thinking about social proof as peer pressure and unity as herd behavior is a really good way of distinguishing them. So that’s kind of my last point.

Adam: Interesting. Yeah. Nice on that. On that first point about the datedness of it, I feel like I’m kind of resistant to the new version as well because of that. Like the, the old version when you know, it’s old, you know, 30, 40 years old and the examples are 30 for 30, 40 years old, that’s fine. That’s good. But when it’s meant to be new and then you’re still talking about the old stuff as well, I feel like I don’t know. I don’t know if it was a it was a cash grab or if he had more to say or, or what the the reasoning for it. Obviously, it’s a super popular book, so why not? Speaking of more updated edition, but.

Andrea: This is how thick this is, You know, how thick the first version was. And this is it’s twice as thick. Um.

Adam: Honestly, I’d recommend people read the older version. I don’t know if really if you think the same. Yeah.

Andrea: So again, I think you know as a marketer also that. The world of commercial transactions and and interpersonal communication and broadcast media has changed so much because of the Internet that I think in order to stay relevant, you know, you really do need to put some new examples in there. So. Yeah, Yeah. Interesting.

Adam: Interesting. Have you read his other book? Pre-suasion.

Andrea: I feel like I might have, but I.

Adam: I think it must have come out somewhere around like 2017. 2018 maybe? Yeah.

Andrea: No, actually, no I didn’t. I remember seeing the, seeing the cover of it and I. Yeah. Did you read it. Yeah.

Adam: Yeah I’d, I’d, I’d definitely recommend that as it’s it’s a, you know influences like a ten out of ten persuasions. Like a nine out of ten. Okay. Which is still very, very still very very high. It’s just not quite as at influence levels but the influence is obviously all about the content, you know, the things that you put into the message. And then Pre-suasion is about the context. So it’s sort of more about the delivery and a bit of priming and stuff like that. Um oh, that sounds.

Andrea: Like something that I absolutely have to read as a communication coach, right?

Adam: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Adam: The drawback is as well, some of the examples are a little dated in the sense of like talking about some early website. It’s obviously the research she did was probably from the early 2000. And like when you when you see the websites, you’re like, that looks like a website from the early 2000, even though the book was from like 2018. But so that’s probably the only, the only drawback. But I think like they work very well hand in hand. Oh, okay. The two, the two books.

Andrea: Okay. So now our listener, now they have supplementary listening. I love it. And you have such three.

Adam: You’re going to end up with like 10 or 12 by the end of this episode.

Andrea: You have a fantastic laugh. I love it. Okay. Thank you. We’re going to move on now to the second book in our list, which is chatter, whoops, chatter, the voice in our head, why it matters and How to harness it.

Andrea: So this book is written by Professor Ethan Kross, who who is a psychology professor at the University of Michigan. And he studies introspection, which I think about a lot. And this book was published a couple of years ago also in 2021. And it’s really a book about our self-talk, the voice in our head, which often sounds more like a critic, right? He uses the word rumination a lot, which I love because I think it’s just rumination sounds like so negative. And it just it’s it describes how I feel when I’m ruminating. Do you know what I mean? Um, and he shares all sorts of research. So much of it is primary his, his personal research that he’s done right and also from other sources. And then he shares strategies to help us overcome negative self-talk, as he calls it. So, um, so this is one of my favorite books on the planet. I’m just going to start by saying, um.

Andrea: I was thinking before we logged into this conversation, Adam, if I had to choose three books that were my favorite of all time, this is definitely one of the top three. Wow. I believe that people who read this book, uh, will be affected. So. And and there’s a quote just inside the book by Adam Grant, who I’m also a fan of, and he says, quote, I’m reading this, quote, This book is going to fundamentally change some of the most important conversations you have in your life, the ones you have with yourself. So and and so. Not only is the topic helpful, though, and and, you know, important in our lives because the context of our self-talk like we’re constantly talking to ourselves. Right. But I think the way he wrote it is also just. Simply put, like it’s helpful in every way. So it’s a common issue. He provides academic research to provide guidance for us. It’s written a way that’s accessible and there’s a beautiful summary chapter at the end with literally a list of I think it’s like 13 things for you to consider. And so I listened to the book and I read the book and he says at the end, like, no one’s going to do all 13 of these or however many there are.

Andrea: But if you can choose 2 or 3 that resonate with you, you know it’ll make a difference. And I can tell you that as a fact, because that’s what the research says. And I was just like, Oh my God, he’s really trying to be helpful. So that’s my first point. My second point is that. I recommend this book quite often to my clients who are suffering from confidence issues, and nowhere does he say this explicitly, but this book is really helpful for talking yourself out of. Imposter syndrome. So if you can apply the learnings from this book, you can, I believe and I can share some specific examples of of how it how things that he recommends could do that. But this book is if you’re suffering from imposter syndrome or if you could use a confidence boost, this is a fantastic resource for you. And. Being faced with confidence issues is one of the most common questions that I get as a communication coach right there. Like I just I feel, you know, like they’ll they’ll use the word I feel like an imposter or they’ll say like, I feel really nervous and I don’t have the guts to speak up or however they’re saying it.

Andrea: And the contents of this book will help with that. And I prescribe it and people do love it. And then okay, so that’s my second point. And my third point is my favorite hack in this book. Is one of the main themes that he talks about a lot, which is socially distanced self-talk. So when you catch yourself ruminating or talking negatively in your head or calling yourself an imposter, he says, use second, say your name and talk to yourself in second person. So. Andrea You know you’ve got what it takes, Andrea. You know you’re prepared. Andrea, You got this. So talking to yourself like that. His research shows because they experimented like using first person, second person, third person or using a mantra or using this or using that, talking to yourself in second person. So say your name and then you and then da da da da is for many of my clients, honestly life changing. They’re they’re talking to themselves as if they’re they’re they are their own best friend and it’s working. So that’s my point. Number three, use socially distanced self-talk. Talk to yourself in second person.

Adam: Fantastic.

Adam: That’s good. One of my points was, well, we went from influence, which I said was like, you know, started top ten, probably still top ten for you. This book, Chatter is top three, which is awesome for me. This is at the other end of the spectrum. Yeah. Um, in the sense of the first time I didn’t finish it, I got about 3040 pages in and gave up. Um, which is a, which is, I suppose a bit of a rarity for me. But I feel like you’ve sold me. I feel like you’ve sold me. I need to give it another crack. I need to give it another shot. Um, my, uh, my main thing, my, my three things were number one only read 30 or 40 pages, then gave up. Number two, I’m keen to hear your top three. And then number three, you might convince me to revisit it. And I think you have. It’s not it’s not a it’s not a long book. It’s like 130, 180 pages. So yeah, Um, the one thing I want to add, aside from my own sort of negativity is I actually see this one pop up a lot, um, of friends talking about this or posting about this who aren’t, uh, you know, necessarily book readers or like I don’t know them through being book people. Uh, but I see them. It’s like the only book that they’ve ever posted about. So it must be something, isn’t it? If someone who’s not posting about books all the time decides that this is the one book that makes them want to post about, Hey, everyone should read this book, it changed my life. I think that’s a pretty good sell.

Andrea: That is that is a very interesting observation and I would love to be inside your head. Adam, when you were deciding to put the book aside after 40 pages. Yeah, I know. I know from my own experience and talking to others, you just have to be in the right mindset sometimes. And I’ve reread books that, you know, at one point were my favorite book, and then I tried reading again and I was like, Oh, I don’t see what I saw the first time. And vice versa. I’ve because of recommendations, gone back to a book and then realized it was better than I thought. So I think it depends on.

Adam: I think I think my guess is I think because it was it was kind of new. It was pretty popular. Saw people talking about it was like, oh, well, I have to read this book. And because I felt like I had to read it, I was like, Oh, this isn’t what I was expecting and then put it down. Whereas I feel like if like at some random point in the next six months, see it on the shelf, I’m like, Oh, I kind of want to read that book now. I feel like if I want to read it versus have to read it, then I feel like maybe I’ll be more open to it. And then and you might be. It might be we might come in talking another time, I’d be like, Hey, that was a that was a top three book for me. I don’t know what the hell I missed the first time.

Andrea: That’s funny. Well, if you do read it again, no matter which way it goes, you got to tell me. Okay?

Adam: So I’ll let you know.

Andrea: Okay? Okay. Moving on to the third and last book. Oh, I have it here. Getting what? Getting to. Yes. Negotiating agreement without giving in. So this book was originally written by Roger Fisher and William Ury, who co-founded the Harvard Program on Negotiation, and it was originally published. Many years ago. Many decades ago. Over 40 years ago in 1981. And the new newest edition adds a third author who’s also at the Harvard program on negotiation with Bruce Patton, and thought it was really interesting, actually in the preface, how they talk about how he’s not just like an add on, he actually did significantly contribute to this latest edition. Um, so that said, before he joined the crew, Fisher and Ury are known as the godfathers of negotiation. Just like I actually read this online, they are the godfathers of negotiation, just like Cialdini is the godfather of persuasion, right? So here we are reading the Godfathers. Uh, I just realized none of our authors here are women. I just noticed that right now, that’s not good.

Adam: Remember, we had a short list. We definitely had some women on the short list. They were?

Andrea: Yeah, there were even some books about feminism in that list. So maybe we’ll do this again. But the one thing that I remember when I was at Harvard Business School, hearing all the students in the negotiations class talking about BATNA the best alternative to a negotiated agreement, and that is a big contribution of Fisher and Ury in this book. Um, it’s kind of like the thing that you take in day one of negotiations class, but just a summary of the book. There are four principles that they advocate for any negotiation, including including the BATNA also separating the people from the problem. So it’s not personal. It’s the problem or the challenge is what you’re focusing on. Number two is you focus on interests, not positions. And that’s when you may find more overlap. And I think that one is gold. I literally use that one yesterday when I was negotiating with someone and I realized I’m thinking this, she’s thinking that. And then hang on a second, there is overlap. If we just redefine this a little bit. And so that’s gold. And the third one is work together to invent options that will satisfy both parties. Kind of flows nicely from that second one. And the fourth one is insist on objective criteria. So when things start getting subjective or you’re not really focusing on criteria and tracking them to those. So those are the principles. Um, do you want to go first?

Adam: Adam Yeah, yeah, I’m happy to go first. Um, the first thing was that I took was that the idea? They call it positional bargaining and they say that’s the worst way to get a deal. Um, which is kind of the standard if anyone thinks about a negotiation, it’s positional bargaining, I guess, is where the first thing that comes to mind, where person A wants this person B wants this, and then you kind of fight to meet somewhere in the middle. And of course that’s the worst way to go about it, they say, because, uh, firstly, even if you’re not super strongly tied to your position, like if it was just a rough idea of what you wanted, the more you fight for it, the more you dig in your heels and want that thing, even though you might might not have wanted it in the first place. Right? So guess the act of trying to fight for it makes you think you want it even if you didn’t want it. Yeah. Um, also, it means that by meeting in the middle, uh, both of you lose. Really? Like you both. You’re both not getting what you want. Which is why they’re saying that, you know, just fighting over positions is a worse way to do it. You need to follow those four steps to kind of step away from the positions. Yeah. To both try to get close closer to all of what you wanted.

Andrea: Yeah. You know what? As you’re describing it that way, Adam, you just described that. Describe that very eloquently. I it made me think that yesterday when I was in this negotiation, I was advocating for something on behalf of my daughter and with with her school. But it this situation had escalated. Right. And I and I was talking to them and I, I actually brought it back to first principles. I was like, here’s why this is important to me and here’s what I really want. Not you have to do this right? And they’re like, No, we can’t. I’m like, Yes, you can. It was it was very like, here’s why, Here’s what we’re thinking. And then they said, Well, here’s why we don’t think we can, but actually. And then bam, Yeah, it works.

Adam: And that’s perfect because you kind of did all those steps in one, almost like you were stepping away from the people versus the positions. Like you’re not just because you think this and they think this. They’re evil, you’re good, you’re fighting. Everybody’s against each other. As soon as you kind of step away from that and realize, hey, we’re not we shouldn’t be fighting over this. This is actually what I want, even though there might be some other way to achieve it, even if you don’t think we can do it exactly this way, and then you kind of sitting on the same side of the table working together rather than, you know, head to head, trying to battle to get what you want. So, yeah, I think that’s I think that’s perfect. I think the, um. The second thing, remember, is a story that kind of illustrates this, a pretty cheesy story, but it always sticks in my brain about two kids fighting over an orange, you know, and they say, no, I want the orange, No, I want the orange. So they cut it in half and take half each.

Adam: And then one kid bites into the orange, he eats the fruit and throws away the skin and the other kid peels off the skin, uses it to bake a cake and throws away the fruit. So if they had to step back and said, you know, not just I want the orange, if one person says, hey, I’m using this skin to bake a cake and one says, I want to eat that orange for a tasty snack, they could have both got 100% of what they wanted, but in the end they only got 50% and the other got chucked away. So that’s always like the the cheesy little story that sticks in my head about this, this book to remember to kind of do all those things, you know, step, you know, separate people from possessions, focus on the actual interests. Like what do you actually want? Not just I want the orange, but what I want the orange because I want a snack or I want the orange because I’m baking a cake. Yeah, I think.

Andrea: That’s a beautiful.Metaphor, actually. Before you enter into negotiation, ask yourself what is what is the orange and what is the orange peel? And. Right.

Adam: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. And then the third thing is, is I guess just, you know, we’ve been talking about negotiation and you’re probably typically think, you know, buying a house or buying a car or negotiating for a pay rise. But really, negotiation is a lot broader than that as well. It could be as as, you know, mundane as, you know, discussing with your partner, what are you going to eat for dinner or what restaurant are you going to go to? You know, what movie are you going to see? It could be talking, discussing with your kids, who’s doing what chores this week. All these things, I think, are negotiations that we can apply these principles to.

Andrea: So, Adam, that was my number one. And they say this in the beginning and at the end, we’re all negotiating all the time. You don’t need to be a union leader. You’re negotiating with whatever your kids school, with your kids, with your partner, with your boss, with your friends, with your husband, you know, and negotiating is a life skill, whether you consciously think about it or not. So reading this book can help you with life. How, how, how convincing is that? That was my first point. I started really, General. My second point was. I really respected how the authors said again and again that one of the the tenets or principles of their framework is not hiding anything from the other. Right. Like you’re not you’re not deceiving or hiding anything and it it the way that they recommend. Negotiating has nothing to do with being sneaky or having a poker face. Right? Like sometimes when you think about negotiating, it’s like, well, just pretend that this is all we have or just put your poker face on. It’s not like that at all. It’s actually, in fact the complete opposite as far as they’re concerned. It’s about here are the principles that we’re going to use to negotiate and can you agree with these? And in fact, they say that if you can’t get the other parties, the other party or parties, to agree that you shouldn’t negotiate, you shouldn’t participate in the negotiation at all if it’s a formal negotiation. Right. So I thought that was.

Andrea: Interesting. And. Maybe. Maybe inspiring. Guess if I’m thinking about entering into negotiation and I’m feeling really, um, you know, I’m thinking about the car salesman, right? Who’s. Who’s lying about going to ask his boss if it’s okay? Right. That’s. That would be violating this principle here. And then the third the third thing I’m surprised you didn’t bring this up was and I’m really curious to hear I’m reaching over to grab another book is comparing getting to Yes with the book that I hear so many people talking about. My clients say to me, Do you have any books to recommend, Andrea, in terms of communication skills? I mean, other than never split the difference, Everybody’s read that, right? They always say that he must have sold millions and millions and millions of books. Yeah. Um, so, well, I’m going to start this off and then I want to punt it back to you. But my read of Never Split the Difference is really more about scripts and questions to ask exactly what to say when the other one offers something. How to get to a yes, how to get to a no and and framing a no and all that stuff. Right? Versus getting to yes is more about the principles of negotiating. That was my take on the main difference. I think they compliment each other quite beautifully actually. Um, yeah, there is some redundancy of course, but it’s they’re mostly quite different from each other, but they complement each other. What do you think?

Adam: Yeah, I think the getting to Yes is you can tell one’s written by Harvard professors and one’s written by a hostage negotiator that the that getting to yes is you know we’re talking about the formal four step process and here’s the here’s the things that you need to follow to do it very structured and rigid and you know negotiating before the negotiation about how you’re going to negotiate all that stuff is perfect for the classroom and for, you know, most standard negotiations, whereas they’re never split. The difference kind of takes a little bit more real world where he’s talking about his, you know, someone’s robbed a bank and they’ve got 15 hostages inside. How do you you’re not going to think, okay, let’s negotiate about how we’re going to negotiate this negotiation. You kind of it’s a it’s a lot more about the I think I think it’s also a lot more about sort of the interpersonal side of things as well. Yeah, The never never split the difference. So a lot more of the sort of real, real world tangible stuff about how you almost how you talk as well or how you talk or how you, you know, even a little bit of nonverbal communication stuff as well. Yeah. So I think think they work very well together. And then if we’re talking about supplementary reading, just to add another one to the list as well, the follow up to getting to yes is getting past no. So it obviously the first one you’re talking about getting to. Yes. The second one is okay, Well, you didn’t get to. Yes. It ended up as a no. How do you how do you keep going to get past. No. To get back to that. Yes. Um, which you mentioned you mentioned about how it started with two authors. It went to three. Getting past No is only one of the three. So I don’t know if they split up or, or what. And one went their own way and just did a did a solo book. But I think it’s a great follow up.

Andrea: One of them passed away. Oh yeah, one of them’s deceased. I think it better not say. But one of the original authors is is now a professor emeritus. He’s basically a retired professor and the other one is deceased. So that’s probably why.

Adam: That’s probably why there’s only one author. Yeah, that makes sense. Um, but yeah, I think that, I think sort of all three of those if you’re, if you really looking to go from a one out of ten negotiator to a 6 or 7 out of ten negotiator, I think definitely read those three books. And then if you want to get to a nine or a ten out of ten, obviously the only way is then to actually practice in the real world. But getting all those those three books inside your brain and then practicing with it, you can really improve your negotiation skills. And if we’re thinking about like return on investment, you know, three books might cost you 70 to 100 bucks, might cost you 20 to 30 hours of reading. Um, if you can then negotiate a better deal on your car, negotiate a pay rise, negotiate. You can eat more of the dinners that you want to eat because you’re negotiating with your partner every night. Maybe that improves your life a hell of a lot. Um, I think.

Andrea: I love this point. Adam Oh, my goodness. Okay, I’ve got. I’ve got something to add to what if you took the seven levers that Cialdini introduces and use them in the negotiation using the scripts provided in Never split the difference and the principles provided in getting to Yes. I think the world is one.

Adam: Out of ten. Yeah. Don’t even get me started. On Pre-suasion about how you how you set the context of it then.

Andrea: Yeah. Oh my goodness. Oh, my goodness. And then. And then if anything does go wrong and you’re ruminating about it, then you just read chapter.

Adam: Oh, perfect.

Andrea: And suddenly you are the happiest and most successful self that you could be. I think that’s a. Fantastic place to stop.

Adam: I think so too.

Andrea: Are you ready for me to fire the five rapid fire questions at you?

Adam: Oh, yeah. Okay.

Andrea: We’re going to make this rapid. Number one, what are your pet peeves?

Adam: Poorly structured documents. It doesn’t have to be well-written. It just needs to be clear.

Andrea: Nice. Oh, I have a book for you on that. Have you read? Smart brevity.

Adam: No, but it sounds right up my alley. 

Andrea: Yes. They actually have formula in there for structuring everything from emails to, you know, documents. So everything. Yep. You’re going to you’re going to love it. It’s very easy. Very easy read written by the three founders of Axios. So question number two. What kind of learner are you?

Adam: Visual, hence the annoyance at poor structure. Think. Think. Obviously being a being a book reader. Think. Definitely visual.

Andrea: Okay. Excellent. Me too. Question number three. Introvert or extrovert?

Adam: I think I’m sort of an extroverted introvert. I think I’m probably like 7030 towards introvert.

Andrea: Okay. You’re an you’re an ambivert, which is most people. I ask it that way to be provocative, but most of us are in the middle. And that’s an ambivert. Okay.

Adam: Yeah.

Andrea: Question number four. Your. Communication preference for personal conversations. What’s the media that you like or the app or the platform that you like to use to communicate with your friends?

Adam: I think, text. Text for short stuff and then call for longer stuff. I think text is good because you don’t have the phone call anxiety. Especially if it’s something short. You can reply to it on your own time. But then obviously if it’s I don’t want to also do 6 or 7 back and forth texts as well. So if it gets longer, let’s just get it done on a on a quick phone call.

Andrea: Very pragmatic. Okay. The last the last question that I have for you I’m really curious about this one is what podcast do you find yourself recommending the most lately?

Adam: It’s a tough. That was the hardest question. Um. Because I want to say what you will learn our own podcast, but don’t really recommend it. I think there’s some, uh, I don’t think I’ve ever recommended someone listen to it. Actually, I.

Andrea: Was going to say not including my podcast in your podcast, I should have said.

Adam: Exactly. I also listen to a lot of weird stuff, like, I’m obsessed with Survivor and Seinfeld, so I listen to a lot of Survivor podcasts and Seinfeld podcasts. Um, but probably, um. Probably three books by Neil Pasricha to do it. Very, very prescient, prescient for this topic as well that we did three books. He interviews people about what are their three most formative books.

Andrea: Yeah, okay. That’s very appropriate. Okay. Is there anything else you want to share with listeners? Maybe it could be anything about one of the books that we just talked about or another book that you might want to recommend. So knowing that the talk about Talk listeners, I know because I talk to them all the time, they have a growth mindset and they are very ambitious about their careers. So what book in your in your library behind you and all the books that you’ve read, do you think might help them the most?

Adam: I think the thing that will help the most just to go a little bit better is not any one specific book, but to commit to reading more books. Guess that you say people have already got the growth mindset, which is kind of the key to it. But I think if you’re always curious, always wanting to learn more and if you can, you know, if you’re if you’re reading a book a month, try and up that to two a month or if you’re if you’re reading three a year, try to get to five, five a year. Um, I think the the more that you read and then as you said as well like putting it into practice as well, that’s going to help you a hell of a lot. Um, I don’t there’s, I could, I could recommend hundreds of specific books. Um, but I think the, the recommendation is just to start reading things that you want to read. Yeah. Yeah.

Andrea: So, so I am going to add one other question. Just because I know my readers want to know this, and I also really want to know this. Do you have any tips for devouring books more at a faster pace without compromising kind of what we’re internalizing? Do you listen to them? Do you read them all? Do you buy hard copies? What time of day do you read? Do you have rules about when you read or don’t read? Like, how can we become more productive readers?

Adam: Yeah, well, I’m probably I probably also need to work this out. The last three months, I’ve read the least I’ve ever read since I started reading, I guess because I just had it. A new daughter, a three month old who’s taking up a lot more time. So all that reading time is very quickly disappeared. Yeah.

Andrea: You’re going to be reading different books, Adam. You’re going to be reading these?

Adam: Yeah, exactly.

Andrea: Congratulations, by the way. I didn’t know that. Congratulations. 

Adam: Thank you. So I need to work out. How do I. How do I read as well? I think the the main one for me was to previously used to see reading as like a specific, um, extra activity, I guess, where you’re like, okay, you know, at the end of the day, I’m in bed and I’ve got to read for 30 minutes or like something that you specifically, um, set time apart, for which for some people that’s important. Like you have to like, structure it that way. If you’re going to do it, like you have to, you know, put it, um, prioritize it in that way. But for me, it was, it was more about the incidental stuff. It was more about the you’re on the train and so you’re squeezing 15 minutes or you’re waiting in the, in the dentist’s office and so you can squeeze in eight minutes or, you know, you’ve just you’ve just finished, you know, whatever report you’re going to do and you need to have a quick break and then you can squeeze 12 minutes of reading in there. So for me, it was just kind of fitting in the the incidental stuff. And also probably if you get 30 or 40 pages into a book you don’t like, then put it aside and pick up something else that might keep you going a bit. A bit quicker.

Andrea: Yeah, life is too short to finish a book that you’re not into. I agree. I agree. Unless…

Adam: I used to be…As soon as I read page one, I was reading all the way to the end, so it took a long time for me to be like, okay, no, I don’t have to. I can put this one down. Yeah.

Andrea: Okay. Well, Adam, I have to say, this honestly was even more fun than I thought it was going to be. I learned some. Like I said, I love your laugh and I appreciate your insights that you shared with the listeners and with me. And I just want to say thank you so much.

Adam: Thank you. It was great fun. A nice new format put me on the spot, revisiting a few old books that I hadn’t read for a long time and then also inspiring me to revisit a book that I half read or maybe one eighth read. And maybe now I can go and pick it up again and finish it off.

Andrea: Yeah, great. Thanks. And I hope we can do this again. Adam, thank you so much.

Adam: Amazing. Thank you. Bye.