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Dear colleague,


Today we are proud to highlight the perspective of Melissa Fortunato, a Managing Director with the Negotiations Collective.  


Melissa is a retired FBI agent, who spent years honing her strategic assessment and targeting skills working as an Undercover Agent and Crisis Negotiator. Having now transitioned from a career in the FBI to a role as a national trainer in conflict resolution, Melissa’s unique point of view, which she shares in her training, can help guide you toward success in your work. 


Melissa’s years of experience and training taught her about people’s mental processes, persuasion, and influence. One concept we want to look at today is cognitive biases and how they impact us and our decision making. Cognitive biases often influence our perceptions and decisions more than we realize. They are shortcuts in how we process information.


One such cognitive bias is called the Recency Effect. The American Psychology Association defines the Recency Effect as a memory phenomenon in which the most recently presented facts, impressions, or items are learned or remembered better than material presented earlier. Understanding and leveraging this psychological phenomenon can lead to more informed decision making and improved outcomes, particularly in negotiation scenarios.


Last month, Melissa was conducting a professional development training with a company and the CEO was participating in this round of training. During one of the sessions, the CEO shared a story displaying both the Recency Effect and the importance of professional development training.


The CEO was engaged in an important negotiation with a client, and it was time for him to present his position. He put his offer on the table and found himself feeling compelled to continue speaking and explaining. The CEO relayed how he remembered his most recent training with the Negotiations Collective, where we discussed the power of silence in negotiations. He resisted the temptation to over-explain and possibly begin negotiating against himself. This disciplined approach led to more favorable terms and financial benefits for the company. The CEO attributed this success directly to the training he received, noting that it had already paid for itself with that one negotiation.



This example showed the Recency Effect with the CEO remembering the recent information he just learned. It was fresh in his mind, and he was able to effectively put it into practice. He also deployed strategic silence, another effective negotiation tactic.


The CEO’s story reinforces the importance of professional development training for teams. Now, imagine if every member of your team had similar knowledge and discipline in their daily negotiations. The collective impact on your business would be substantial. By investing in their ongoing growth and learning, you equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate complex business scenarios effectively. Put the power of the Recency Effect into effect with your team.


Connect with Melissa (Melissa) or any of our team members (NC) and share your experiences or thoughts on the Recency Effect. We would love to hear if you’ve witnessed this effect or can think of how you would use it in your work.


Curious to learn how else you might find success when you partner with a career FBI agent? Learn more at

Does your organization benefit when the team members are more influential? Most simply put, this means getting more of what you want. This may be seen in areas such as leadership, sales, marketing, customer service or human resources.

How does your team work to be more influential? Do you have a strategy or a roadmap?

Managing Partner Joanna Shea offers a 2 hour virtual module on Power, Influence, and Persuasion. In this segment we offer strategies to find influence, even in positions of perceived lower power.

Even with a short training, that could accommodate 30 of your team members, they will walk away with tools for a mindset shift that could result in significant results for your organization. Curious to learn more? Chat with us at

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