Listening to the conversation between Cal Fussman and Chris Voss, I learned that lawyers tend to only ask questions they know an answer to. The explanation shared by Voss made a lot of sense. A lawyer builds his case on the findings they have been able to establish and seek to use these in court to win their case. Being caught by surprise brings up the risk to lose their case.
Different situations, different needs.
It’s a situation people encounter in everyday life too. In an effort to find support or achieve a task they’ll ask a question in the hope to find their idea acknowledged or to be able to lead the conversation in a specific direction.
When a different answer than the hoped one is given, they feel caught off-guard.
A frequent reaction then will be to search for ways to reorient the conversation in the desired conversation.
It’s the moment when people decide if the question was genuine or not.
The next step will confirm them in feeling like having been manipulated or not.
In a negotiation, it’s the crucial moment where the negotiation may fall apart.
As Voss explained, the ability to negotiate depends on the ability to be good at asking questions and feeling ok to not know the answer.