“I’m telling you now man, if y’all do anything foolish, these people are gonna get hurt,” Mike said after taking 12 people hostage during a botched robbery. Our being there meant that we wanted him to surrender peacefully. In other words, we wanted Mike to say, “Yes.” His utterance was an emphatic “No.”
Think of this as “You had me at ‘no’” meets “think like Elon Musk.”
“Do you want the FBI to be embarrassed?” –effective pause – “What do you want me to do?”
The above example is from our book “Never Split The Difference” where an FBI hostage negotiator – Marti Evelsizer – was negotiating with her (jealous) boss. He wanted to remove her from her position as head of the Pittsburgh FBI Crisis Negotiation Team.
She walked into his office prepared for the worst and used this sequence to walk out with her position intact.