Extreme Negotiations from Battlefield to Boardroom with Aram Donigian (Ep. #780)

Some of the most intense and important negotiations humanity has witnessed have taken place in and around the field of battle, but how much do they have in common with the negotiations we engage in on a daily basis, what can civilians learn from how the military successfully approaches its negotiations, and what 5 strategies can you implement today in order to improve your negotiation skills?

What to Listen For

  • What are the most common mistakes people make when negotiating and what can you do to avoid making them?
  • What is the difference between negotiating to create choices and negotiating to reach an agreement, and why should you aim for one while avoiding the other at all costs?
  • Why do most people only think about negotiations in the short term and how can that mindset cause so much damage in the long term?
  • What are the commonalities between life or death military negotiations and negotiations in business?
  • How do you take cultural differences into account when negotiating?
  • What questions should you be asking yourself about the parties in a negotiation if you don’t want to screw it up?
  • What are the 5 strategies of extreme negotiating and how can you use them in important negotiations to everyday negotiations in order to reach a desirable outcome for all parties involved?


Many people tend to enter into negotiations with a short term goal in mind. We want the best deal, or the biggest win for ourselves, regardless of what it costs the other party. Think about when you buy a car – are you thinking about the person you’re buying the car from? What about when you’re negotiating a raise – are you actively trying to understand what is required of you to merit that raise and then clearly conveying to your employer what you’ve done to meet or exceed those requirements?

Every negotiation we engage in has the potential to build or break relationships. If that’s the case, shouldn’t it be in your best interest to focus on building relationships with win-win outcomes versus breaking them with win-lose outcomes?

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Resources from this Episode

Extreme Negotiations – Harvard Business Review
The West Point Negotiation Project

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1162 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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