“The Family Man” and the Art of Negotiation

My learning from the web series and a book I read recently.

Everything is constantly being negotiated. Discussing your salary appraisal with your manager, negotiating a deadline for your project or bargaining while you buy something or rent a house are all examples of how to negotiate. Negotiation is fundamentally about communicating with results in mind. Getting what you want from others is your key to getting what you want from life.

I have just finished watching two seasons of “The Family Man”, an Indian web series on Amazon Prime. It was brilliantly performed by all the actors.

I also recently read a book titled “Never Split the Difference”. In the book, written by a former FBI Negotiator, the author discusses how to use various negotiation techniques in our daily lives. Chris Voss demonstrates what he is teaching with stories from his long career. Voss aims to teach you how to take control of the conversations that will influence your life and career.

With regard to The Family Man, the protagonist, Srikanth Tiwari, who works at a National Security Agency — TASC, experiences multiple hostage negotiation situations throughout the series. A few of the web series’ themes are reflected in the above-mentioned book. Srikanth Tiwari uses few tactics from the book to get to the desired results in the crisis situation.

Few of the negotiation scenes are

  1. Chasing Moosa and capturing him alive after a chase
Some of the scenes from the series which demonstrate Srikanth’s style of conversation

As a negotiator, Srikanth Tiwari

  1. Attempts to calm down everyone in his team and avoid any harm to the Hostage taker. Contrary to the way the police beat the convict and get to the truth during interrogations, Srikanth believes in listening to the counterpart.

The only person that Srikanth couldn’t negotiate well with was his son Atharv 😂

That get ready to buy me a new iPhone moment

Beyond Srikanth’s scenes, there are numerous other scenes where the negotiation technique can be observed through the series. I was able to draw parallels between Srikanth's style and the tactics mentioned in the book. Here are a few of my learnings from both places.

The learnings

  1. Master Raptor –– In a negotiation situation, what you say isn’t as important as how you say it. A person’s voice is their greatest asset. A tone makes all the difference. You should adopt a positive, playful voice that makes you sound relaxed and good-natured in order to be effective. People become more open to collaboration and problem-solving when they are put into a more positive frame of mind.

Humans are emotional beings, despite our best efforts in logic and reasoning, we can end up biased towards a variety of things that prevent us from arriving at the proper solution. Learning and practising these negotiation techniques will help us to get what we want without losing or compromising.

In contrast to artificial intelligence, emotional intelligence is the next increasingly important skill everyone needs to develop.

You can buy Never Split the Difference on Amazon.



Hi, I’m a designer from India creating experiences to help people live better. I humanize products and services through design. Learn more at https://owaiz.in/

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Mohammad Owaiz Shaik

Hi, I’m a designer from India creating experiences to help people live better. I humanize products and services through design. Learn more at https://owaiz.in/