Negotiation Is A Superpower With Negotiation Expert Alistair McBride (Destiny Awakening Interviews #2) - Andrew Wayfinder
Podcast  |  December 14, 2020  | andrewSDF  | Comments: 0

Negotiation Is A Superpower With Negotiation Expert Alistair McBride (Destiny Awakening Interviews #2)

Video: Podcast 

Why you've got to check out today's episode:

  • Discover how to make the best deals possible, for all sides, without pressure or manipulation...
  •  Learn about the importance of 'keeping your cool' and low stakes to keep your wits and edge...
  • Find out how to constantly practice, improve and enjoy your ability to ethically and fairly get what you want... 


Check out Al’s Website to get his free Negotiations minicourse:

Al's Recommended book(s): 'Getting More', Stewart Diamonds. 'Never Split The Difference', Chris Voss. 'Start With No, Jim Calm.



Do you worry about being outplayed in negotiations? Do you feel nervous and awkward trying to ask for more of anything (time, respect, resources, money...)? And do you get what you ask for? 

Alistair McBride is an executive coach, consultant, entrepreneur and negotiation expert who helps leaders with skin in the game become unshakable and successful in their dealings with others, increase their profitability, and win negotiations ethically and sustainably.

In this episode, Al shares the importance of keeping open and flexible in negotiations, especially as the stakes get larger and more personal. Or when they are living, working, and raising a family all together (locked down in a house or flat...)

The good news is to you can learn how to stay cool, see the deeper possibilities, and create the most benefits from every interaction in your life. And the more you do this, the more you can get out of your negotiations...

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 03:03 – Al's ideal client: "I usually work, as I say, with business leaders with skin in the game...(where) when they do a successful deal, they have some form of benefit of that upside"
  • 05:37 – His client's biggest challenge: "And when you have that skin in the game, you you're taking a lot more personally, because you're aware of the potential loss, as well as the huge potential gain, which, which really kicks in the fight or flight response."
  • 05:03 – Al's #1 insight to help you: "When you start to learn the principles, it's to realize that you have opportunities to practice everywhere, whether you're in a restaurant where they're at a store, or they're talking to loved ones or friends, that there's..."
  • 10:32 – What concept, book, program or talk impacted you the most: "'Getting More' by Stewart Diamonds, 'Never Split The Difference' by Chris Voss. 'Start With No' by Jim Calm."
  • 11:48 – Al's valuable free resource, a Free Negotiations Mini-course:
  • 13:07 – Al's last thoughts: "Everyone can improve is what I say and everyone can improve a lot....And so I help both sides become supernatural..."


(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Andrew Hryniewicz 0:02

So hello everyone and very, very warm welcome to another edition of The Destiny Insurrection Interviews. And I'm joined today by Alistair McBride, executive coach, consultant entrepreneur and negotiation expert.

And I'm really excited to have Allister, because I had a teacher who used to say "You don't get what you deserve. You get what you ask for". And I'd say Al will take that even sharper, "You get what you negotiate for". So a very warm welcome to you, Al. And where are you hanging out today?

Alistair McBride 0:37

Hi, Andrew, great to see you. Thanks for having me on the show. I'm in Dublin and Ireland back where I grew up.

So pleased enough to be here. On the run into Christmas now. So it's good atmosphere. Okay, great.

Andrew Hryniewicz 0:52

Well, as you know, we're both in I'm in London, so probably similar climates, days and things like that.

Alistair McBride 1:00

Absolutely. A lot of time for London. I was fortunate to be in Ealing there last year for a nice stretch and lovely part of the world. Yes.

Andrew Hryniewicz 1:08

So well, let's get on to your work and your new program, which sounds really exciting.

So Al is the founder of And if you look into his background, as I have, you'll discover that he has deep roots as an entrepreneur (13 years starting and running his own diverse businesses), high level executive coaching for both corporate and governmental clients, academia where he is a postgraduate lecturer in entrepreneurship at University College Dublin, and also as an art consultant negotiating hundreds of deals with artists, buyers, galleries and businesses.

And based on these experiences, Al's passion, is helping leaders with skin in the game become unshakable and successful in their dealings with others, increasing profitability, and winning negotiations ethically and sustainably.

Al coaches executives and business owners in many industries, including software law, aviation, telecoms, and corporate finance, to name just a few.

And over the past few years, he's been giving his clients what he calls the psychological edge in negotiation, and has a new program out called the Goliath negotiation method.

And from the glowing and detailed testimonials from his clients, Al is consistently described as "the best top notch, working with Al has doubled our numbers, doubled our results..." and so on.

So thank you all for your time today. And our title today is "Negotiation As A Superpower". And Al is going to show us that superpower in six questions. So as you know, we do six questions in about seven to nine minutes.

So Your time starts now. So first of all, who is your ideal client now? And what's the transformation you help them achieve?

Alistair McBride 3:03

You kind of touched on their introduction, Andrew, you gave away some of the some of the goodies. I usually work, as I say, with business leaders with skin in the game and what that actually means. A lot of my clients are entrepreneurs, or they own their own business, or they are often some sort of equity partner so often in law firms and whatnot, or in corporate structures.

So then, the bottom line is when they do a successful deal, they have some form of benefit of that upside. So it's not just doing a job for a company where they don't see any of the benefit that is intrinsic. That's usually where they very much see that, oh, if I do this deal, even though you get even like five or 10 or 15% more value in this deal that will allow that benefit will go to me directly.

Andrew Hryniewicz 3:53

I see. Okay, that's that's kind of a key thing.

Alistair McBride 3:55

But just to answer the question for you, yeah, that the transformation that I actually gives is... a lot of people I move them from from nervous and feeling awkward or feeling of being outplayed. Sometimes they're pushed around and sometimes they're even feel bullied at do more.

So a feeling of being comfortable in their own skin excited. So moving that anxiety to excitement, and feeling dynamic that they can, that they can put their best foot forward into those deals.

So there's no more feeling of leaving money and opportunity on the table is often the thing where people feel either stuck or a deal falls through. Or they couldn't kind of, they knew, almost scratching out that there was another great opportunity there but couldn't quite work out what it was with the other side and they feel like that slight sense of loss.

They're asking what could I have done better? What did I miss, you know? So it's a better, I give them methodologies for uncovering that hidden value.

And that's kind of how regularly we help increase the profitability of those deals which in itself actually deepens the relationship with the, with their counterparts on the other side, and makes the the deals themselves more robust.

And means that it both sides aren't just a commodity to one another, it's more, it's actually involves that human connection. So that's a lot about what I do.

But all of that without, you know, using cringe worthy techniques, or having people feel like they have to be someone that they're not.

So as you mentioned in the intro, it's very much from a perspective of being human centered, and values based values based approach.

Andrew Hryniewicz 5:37

Okay, so we're at a little over 2:45, two minutes, 45. So question number two is the biggest challenge they face. And it sounds like it's that being comfortable in your own skin so that you can function effectively...

Alistair McBride 5:52

That's a big part of it, because you're kind of hitting the nail on the head there. Because I mean, look, there's a lot of challenges, one is done.

Andrew Hryniewicz 5:59

You know, yeah, we just want the biggest one with the biggest one...

Alistair McBride 6:03

The biggest one, yeah, there's an element when there's a lot at stake. And when you have that skin in the game, you you're taking a lot more personally, because you're aware of the potential loss, as well as the huge potential gain, which, which really kicks in the fight or flight response.

Which means people either get overly aggressive or overly defensive, if they're in sort of the flight mode. Or if they're falling into the flight mode, rather than fight, then they're often wanting to charge to the the end line when we've finished and we get it done. So they often miss huge amounts of opportunity or take a much poorer deal than is necessary.

And as I said, it makes a lot of those deals far more fragile. Because if you've, if you've made it difficult on yourself by making too many concessions to the other side, it's often very difficult to even deliver on the deal as it was agreed. Because this key causes us problems.

So that's really the biggest challenge is getting out of that fight or flight, and then all the problems that come with that.

Andrew Hryniewicz 7:05

Okay, so keeping your cool. You're cool. Okay, great. So just over four minutes, question number three, what's the number one insight you can share to help them I suppose, would that keeping your cool?

Alistair McBride 7:18

Well, that's a big part of it. And part of that is practicing low stakes, you know, negotiation has a lot of different definitions. And there's a lot of overlap what some people call persuasion, or influencing and all these things.

So when you start to learn the principles, it's to realize that you have opportunities to practice everywhere, whether you're in a restaurant where they're at a store, or they're talking to loved ones or friends, that there's...

Any time you're trying to have someone see the world from your perspective, or at least to be open seeing the world from your perspective, a lot of people say you're actually in the midst of a negotiation. So it's seeing those opportunities, everywhere you go, and playing a gently, respectfully, as I say, values based we're being we're acting with integrity here.

But still seeing that that ability to play, and to ask those questions to get the perspectives of the other side, not just on the very top level, and, and to go deeper, and then that allows them to see your point of view when they feel understood.

So as I said, the key insight is practice in low stakes, because there's very, very unlikely that you're going to use it in high stakes, when the stress is on, when you haven't been practicing some of these principles, where there's a lot less at stake and less that can go wrong.

And as you pointed out, you're dead right, It's about learning to be fully present, but emotionally nonreactive. So that whether if the person is using charm against you, if the person is highly aggressive, or defensive, whatever, that you can stay there in your space with your integrity, and let it kind of wash over you.

It doesn't mean you excuse bad behavior, per se, but you're looking beyond that. So you're looking at, you're looking at, you're looking at the better side of the person and you're continually trying to draw that out and sooner or later, usually you manage it, you know, all those defenses subsided.

And that's where you you tend to be able to create deeper connection with the other side with your counterparts. They're like, wow, this person is more than I think. I really trust this person so we can actually go to that deeper level.

Andrew Hryniewicz 9:31

Okay, so it's about creating that, that that trust and that connection. But it all starts with practicing in the lower stakes. Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, well, it's funny, I had a girlfriend years ago, and Patti was so funny because no matter what price she was offered, anywhere, her standard response was, "Is that the best you can do?" Whether she was buying a rug or a house, or anything in between,

Alistair McBride 9:58

And even thinking of that wording question, you know, "Is that the best you can do?" It's different from "Can you do any better?"

Because Can you do any better? The answer can be yes. But not for you could be in their head. But "Is that the best that you can do?" is a bit more... It's feisty, isn't it? It puts it up to them.

Whereas like, if they say no, it means that there's nothing better they can do. It's quite a big state. So it's quite a clever question. But you, you need a certain set of chutzpah to read that one.

Andrew Hryniewicz 10:29

She she had it.

So we're just not quite eight minutes. Question number four. What concept book programmer talk has been most impactful for you in this area.

Alistair McBride 10:43

And a series of the more psychology based negotiation books are ones that I love, and I recommend. So things like 'Getting More' by Stewart Diamonds, 'Never Split The Difference' by Chris Voss. 'Start With No' by Jim Calm.

So a lot of these negotiation used to be run by economists and lawyers, and then behavioral economists, the psychologist, got involved, and that's where it got far more interesting and far more accurate.

So in many ways, I apply coaching and psychotherapy principles to to help business people, as I said, control their emotions and their and their thinking, when they're in stress, and then be able to draw it the better side and drive the seminar and the other side and building trust.

And alot of those books give you some of the key principles. It's one thing to read the thing and be able to do it. But you know, it starts people down that path.

Andrew Hryniewicz 11:38

Okay, great. And 845 lists. Question number five, what free resource would you like to share with the audience that would help them?

Alistair McBride 11:48

With the free resource, I have for people... it's at course. And it's as I said, it's a little mini course that helps people get get on the track to have the psychological edge of negotiation.

It's an email every day for a week, as told often through little stories and incidences. And a lot of people give me great feedback on it, they enjoy it. So and along with that also comes a negotiation prep cheat sheet.

So it's just the two first two pages of a much longer negotiation prep sheet. And even then it gives solid foundational principles that people people tend to help gain. great clarity frosh.

Andrew Hryniewicz 12:31

Okay, that sounds perfect. I mean, it gives you kind of the conceptual framework, some tick boxes and things to do. Because, as you said, it's about the practice, and it's about doing things on a daily basis.

Alistair McBride 12:44

Practice on the process. Absolutely.

Andrew Hryniewicz 12:46 Okay, great. And then the last question, what should I have asked, what should I have asked you that I didn't?

Alistair McBride 12:53

Well, think about that... a question I do get a lot when it comes down to like, Oh, yeah, that sounds great. And then sooner or later. So look, really? Can I really learn this? So, are negotiators, great negotiators, born? Or can people really learn?

It's a bit of both. Yes, people can learn a growth mindset. Of course you can. Everyone can improve is what I say and everyone can improve a lot.

And I tend to break it down into two groups of people. You have the nice but nervous and you have the natural negotiators. And the nice but nervous are probably 70 or 80% of my clients, where they don't enjoy the process, they find it horribly uncomfortable.

As I said, very not literally as nice but nervous. The natural's problem, they love it, they love the cut and thrust, the game of it the challenge, but they are stuck in a narrow series of being. They usually have one primary role or way of being and a secondary.

And if those don't work, then the whole thing falls through.

Andrew Hryniewicz 13:46

Mm hmm. Yeah, I can, I can think of some unnatural negotiators in in the political sphere at the moment,

Alistair McBride 13:53

I can imagine. But this is the thing, the naturals are very limited in the ways of being, the ways they can be, the roles. And so I help both sides basically become supernatural.

So they're both comfortable in their skin, they're both able to pitch, be able to change and choose the role or the way of being, which version of themselves. And they can change during the negotiation.

And it makes a huge difference because it means they're highly... far more dynamic and adaptable to the situation and to the other side and what's required. So that as I said, even natural negotiators, usually very good at what they do, maybe one in 10 or one in five of their negotiations will fall apart precisely because they're too narrow in who they think they need to be to be successful...

Andrew Hryniewicz 14:36

Okay, great. Well, a lot of really good information out and definitely people check him out if you need to negotiate more than what you are asking for or feel you are willing to settle for.

So, thank you so much for your time.

Alistair McBride 14:53

Thank you so much for having me on the show. Much appreciated.

Andrew Hryniewicz 14:57


Alistair McBride 14:58


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