Today's guest is Kwame Christian. Kwame first appeared on the podcast back on episode 39.
Kwame is a business lawyer, an accomplished Ted Talk speaker and founder of the American Negotiation Institute. Kwame hosts a podcast called Negotiate Anything where he shares powerful persuasion techniques.

Listen On Apple Podcasts

Connect with Kwame:


Buy Kwame's New Book:

Book Description:

It doesn’t make sense to give recipes to people who are afraid to get in the kitchen.

The best things in life often lie on the other side of difficult conversations. However, fear and anxiety often overwhelm us and prevent us from standing up for ourselves and, as a result, we don’t get what we want or deserve.

This book will give you the confidence you need to overcome the psychological and emotional barriers that surround difficult conversations. You’ll cultivate a winning mindset and learn how to consistently put yourself in the best position for success.

You’ll learn the the Compassionate Curiosity Framework to approach every difficult conversation, whether at home or at work.


“The unique, robust approach offered in this book will give you the confidence and strategy you need to overcome anxiety and get the most out of your difficult conversations.”

Yvette McGee Brown, Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice

Charitable Purpose:

100% of the sales the first week will go to the United Way’s efforts to fight poverty!

Key take aways from Kwame:

  • I am grateful for the pressure that I'm feeling right now.  Tennis is my favourite sport, and Billy Jean King once said that “Pressure is a privilege.”
  • At this point I am not going to complain about the pressure I’m feeling because at this point i recognize that it’s a privilege, and it’s a sign that I’m on the right direction.
  • Every year, since 2016, I resolved that I’m going to do something that scares me.  In 2016, it was quitting my job, starting my own business and starting the podcast; 2017 was the TED Talk which was absolutely terrifying; and this year it is the book.
  • I’m scared for what next year is going to bring. It’s a fun way to gauge your improvement; you have to scare yourself.
  • Finding Confidence in Conflict has been the most viewed TED Talk on Negotiation and Conflict
  • A big part of our business is contingent upon whether or not people truly believe that we are thought leaders
  • I see thought leadership as somewhat of a three-legged show: (1) you have a show or some pathway to disseminate content regularly to a large audience (i.e. podcast); (2) the TED Talk is another one.  It is a nationally recognized speaking engagement that’s displayed as a single-shot, so people can see that you’re speaking without notes in front of people and it’s easy for them to see you as a leader in that regard; (3) the other one is a book. People still have a lot of respect for published authors.
  • Going through the process of writing this book made it abundantly clear why so many people want to write books and why so few people actually do it.
  • I used cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with my fear of public speaking.  Part of that was exposure therapy which meant speaking whenever I could and putting myself in front of people, beating that weakness out of me in controlled ways.
  • I still use cognitive re-appraisal today.  Our body responds in the exact same way to certain circumstances.  The only thing that changes is our interpretation.  The science of re-appraisal is assigning a new interpretation to that same response.
  • You can’t let those feelings of fear and anxiety hold you back.  You need to find the opportunity on the other side and focus on that and reinterpret those feelings as something that is worth it.
  • Competence breeds confidence. My fear was a trigger for me to practice more.
  • I’m a recovering people pleaser, and I believe the best things in life lie on the other side of difficult conversations.
  • As a Black man living in America, I realize there is a dearth of representation on the best seller list for young Black males.
  • One of my passions is mentoring young Black males who want to become professionals, and so I want to change the paradigm where they can look on the best seller list and say, “Oh, wow! There’s another avenue. We can be recognized by broader society as thought leaders in academic spaces.”
  • In the first half of my book I’m walking people through how they can find confidence in conflict with specific strategies rooted in cognitive behavioural therapy
  • A lot of times with my podcast I found that I’ve been giving recipes to people who aren’t in the kitchen.
  • We need to equip people with the confidence mindset necessary to actually engage
  • I’ve created a framework that I call the compassionate curiosity framework, that I introduce in the TED Talk
  • With the second half of the book is simple and broadly applicable, so you can use it at home and at work easily as affectively

One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

Find a difficult conversation and engage. We are typically programmed to avoid that. But change your programming to take advantage of those opportunities to engage in conflict because there’s value on the other side. Even if you don’t win or you don’t get what you want, you still benefit because overtime you practice you get stronger.


Thanks for Listening!

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