Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrori...

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Title:Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
Author:Chris Voss
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It Reviews

  • Mario Velarde

    Fantastic book. While I recommend it to everyone, I almost don't want to give away a competitive edge and prefer no one reads it--it's that good!

  • Rita Arens

    I actually TOOK NOTES on this book.

  • Mark

    One of the best books I've read over the last few years. In my opinion, the title does NOT do it justice. While this is applicable to negotiating, and the title DOES highlight a critical component, this book is valuable to MANY types of negotiating, even situations that we may not consider to be negotiating... things that happen every day. This borrows heavily from behavioral and neuro science areas to get at the way people work (all of us). It of necessity helps gain trust. It helps in understa

    One of the best books I've read over the last few years. In my opinion, the title does NOT do it justice. While this is applicable to negotiating, and the title DOES highlight a critical component, this book is valuable to MANY types of negotiating, even situations that we may not consider to be negotiating... things that happen every day. This borrows heavily from behavioral and neuro science areas to get at the way people work (all of us). It of necessity helps gain trust. It helps in understanding others and what their true motives are, so you can meet their needs. This can be applied whether you are negotiating for just helping someone. It's an amazing book... there are only about 4 books that I will repeat (maybe more than a 2nd time). This is DEFINITELY one of them. Thanks for an amazing lesson and reference, Chris! You're amazing.

  • Petr Bela

    One of the most useful books I've ever read. Full of great tips, practical examples and surprising points about negotiating (without the other party feeling they've been cheated), which can be used in business, school, or any casual situation.

    A few points I've remembered:

    - Every negotiation starts with a "no". If you start with questions leading to "yes" (Do you want to help the world? Do you think we should stop animal abuse? ...), the other party will go into defense mode. By getting them to d

    One of the most useful books I've ever read. Full of great tips, practical examples and surprising points about negotiating (without the other party feeling they've been cheated), which can be used in business, school, or any casual situation.

    A few points I've remembered:

    - Every negotiation starts with a "no". If you start with questions leading to "yes" (Do you want to help the world? Do you think we should stop animal abuse? ...), the other party will go into defense mode. By getting them to disagree early on, you'll establish boundaries and when they then say "yes", they really mean it (commitment yes).

    - Empathy is important. You can't negotiate without understanding what (and why) the other party wants.

    I've found this list of more notes you might find helpful, too:

  • ScienceOfSuccess

    tl;dr My animated summary of Never Split the Difference is available here:

    Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator. If you want to learn how to negotiate, he’s your top teacher. Every chapter in his book is a lesson. Each of them feels like an episode of some crime TV series. Every lesson is based on a real-life example from author’s involvement with hostage negotiations. After the storytelling, Chris explains which negotiating techniques worked and which didn’t

    tl;dr My animated summary of Never Split the Difference is available here:

    Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator. If you want to learn how to negotiate, he’s your top teacher. Every chapter in his book is a lesson. Each of them feels like an episode of some crime TV series. Every lesson is based on a real-life example from author’s involvement with hostage negotiations. After the storytelling, Chris explains which negotiating techniques worked and which didn’t. At the end of each chapter, there is a nice wrap-up of the key lessons learned.

    The author discovered that the same techniques he used in life and death negotiations can be applied to everyday conflicts. Whether you are negotiating with kidnappers, trying to get a raise, or just negotiating “bedtime” with your kid, the principles stay the same. The main rule of negotiations is to remember that you’re dealing with a person who wants to be appreciated and understood.

    “Never split the difference” is an impressive book, filled with practical knowledge. This is not theoretical science. All of those advices were proven right when someone’s life was on the line. You can’t read it like a textbook. This book is written like a thriller. It’s very absorbing and easy to read. After finishing it I feel like not only my negotiation skills improved, but my social skills overall got better. I believe everyone should read it. Most people don’t wake up every day expecting negotiations, but who knows, maybe tomorrow you’ll have an opportunity to discuss something that’s important to you? I can guarantee that such talk could go WAY better if you read this book.

    Well deserved 5/5, I'd love to give 6stars here.

  • James Q. Golden

    I'm sorry, but it seems you're looking for a review to help you decide if you Really want to read this book--if it's worth your time--or not. Wondering if somebody would be kind enough to provide you with that one review which would appeal to your tastes.

    I have EXACTLY what you're looking for, but why would I provide it for you? I'm thinking No. Go ahead: tell me. Why would I bother saving your time with an eloquent and thorough review that would Definitely appeal to you and surely help you deci

    I'm sorry, but it seems you're looking for a review to help you decide if you Really want to read this book--if it's worth your time--or not. Wondering if somebody would be kind enough to provide you with that one review which would appeal to your tastes.

    I have EXACTLY what you're looking for, but why would I provide it for you? I'm thinking No. Go ahead: tell me. Why would I bother saving your time with an eloquent and thorough review that would Definitely appeal to you and surely help you decide? Go ahead: tell me.

    Are you done?

    The answer is the same: it ain't happening. It seems you're wasting your time. The answer is a big, fat No.

    What now?

    It seems you're a little stuck right now, doesn't it? My answer doesn't sound it'll change anytime soon--I mean, I'm not the kind of guy who keeps checking his reviews and keeps editing them accordingly, so now what?

    Looks like you could use some of the tips found in this book. Wasn't it about negotiating?

    Hmm. . .

  • Corinna

    Recently, I've snagged a couple interesting titles off the Audible deal-of-the-day. This book popped up and the premise was just so interesting, I had to get it for a couple dollars.

    Chris Voss, the author, was a lead FBI hostage negotiator and haggled with terrorists, kidnappers, and a host of other bad dudes for a lot of years. I had an initial concern that Chris would be authoritarian and a tad bit self-enamored when I bought the book. The only reason for this being that most "bargain-like-a-

    Recently, I've snagged a couple interesting titles off the Audible deal-of-the-day. This book popped up and the premise was just so interesting, I had to get it for a couple dollars.

    Chris Voss, the author, was a lead FBI hostage negotiator and haggled with terrorists, kidnappers, and a host of other bad dudes for a lot of years. I had an initial concern that Chris would be authoritarian and a tad bit self-enamored when I bought the book. The only reason for this being that most "bargain-like-a-boss" books I've read have been that way. But I figured, you don't get to be the FBI's lead hostage negotiator because of a false sense of importance so I figured I'd give 'er a go. And I'm so glad I did.

    This book appealed to me because I thought, "Hey, I can actually use this to negotiate with agitated patients." But holy moly, Miss Molly. You can use these techniques to smooth out rough conversations with a spouse or family member, ease a tense stand-off with your nine year old that doesn't want to go to bed, and use your super-secret-spy techniques on the vegetable vendor on the side of the road. It's nifty stuff.

    In reality, the information here is golden. I wasn't flipping through pages thinking, "I should write the world's most basic book on communication too and make money off it." This was actually valuable and evidenced-based. So many of these techniques are things I either use with aggressive/agitated patients, or will start using! Some of it, I realized, I use a rendition of, but not well, because I couldn't put my finger on the mechanics behind it. This is so simple, and yet, art. It breaks things down into simple concepts, but shows it takes practice to hone the skills (obviously, otherwise I'd be sauntering into that lead FBI negotiator position myself). Why should we start our questions with "what" and "how"? Why do we want the other guy to say no? When is it helpful to use the late night FM DJ voice vs. the chipper, friendly voice? I know the answers now. And they make a hecka-lotta sense.

    If you read one self-help, communication, non-fiction book this year, read this one! Also, the Audible narrator was a pleasure to listen to. He did a wonderful job.

    I'd rate this book a PG for some language and episodes of peril/violence.

  • Simon Clark

    A very practical, easy to read book on the various psychological tricks and techniques you can use in persuading people to see things your way. I was recommended to read this with regards to negotiating with brands (making sponsored video content) and it has certainly beefed up my skillset. I've actually already used a bunch of tips from this book outside of formal negotiations, and I can confirm that much as some of the tricks sound unnatural on paper they really do work!

    As I say, the book is v

    A very practical, easy to read book on the various psychological tricks and techniques you can use in persuading people to see things your way. I was recommended to read this with regards to negotiating with brands (making sponsored video content) and it has certainly beefed up my skillset. I've actually already used a bunch of tips from this book outside of formal negotiations, and I can confirm that much as some of the tricks sound unnatural on paper they really do work!

    As I say, the book is very readable with punchy prose, and the author Chris Voss punctuates each chapter with relevant (and often gripping) anecdotes. To be honest, the only thing that's preventing me from giving this a five star review is a lack of 'wow factor'. This is a book that states its purpose, knows what its talking about, and accomplishes the goals it sets out. But that's it. It wasn't life-changing, but it was very good.

  • Annie

    The book should have been titled "Start at No in Negotiations." Often, a "no" means "wait" or "I'm not comfortable with that." Probe deeper and listen carefully to uncover key information behind the "no" (such as "I want to but I don't have the money now" or "it is actually my spouse, not me, who doesn't agree"). This is a much more effective approach than trying to get the counterpart to say "yes," which the person might say just to get rid of you.

    The author, who is a former FBI hostage negotia

    The book should have been titled "Start at No in Negotiations." Often, a "no" means "wait" or "I'm not comfortable with that." Probe deeper and listen carefully to uncover key information behind the "no" (such as "I want to but I don't have the money now" or "it is actually my spouse, not me, who doesn't agree"). This is a much more effective approach than trying to get the counterpart to say "yes," which the person might say just to get rid of you.

    The author, who is a former FBI hostage negotiator, included too many hostage stories. These situations where lives are on the line, the negotiator would never split the difference (e.g., you take 2 hostages and I take 2 hostages) and hence, the book title. But for everyday situations (like negotiating with a family member, buying a car, or working with colleagues), the stories aren't that useful and such a perspective on negotiations isn't practical.

    I recommend starting with Chapter 9 to understand the types of people in negotiations:

    Analyst - methodical and diligent; need time to go over facts and consider the options

    Accommodator - builds rapport through a continuous free-flowing exchange of information; not necessarily focused on the desired outcome

    Assertive - direct and candid; getting it done quickly is more important than spending more time on getting it done right

    Then start from the beginning and practice the skills, including:

    Mirror - repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said to draw out more information from the person

    Label - validate someone's emotions and fears by acknowledging it (such as "it seems like you feel you're not being appreciated")

    Accusation List - list the worst things the counterpart could say about you (such as "you probably think I don't spend enough time on this project") and give statements to alleviate that concern (such as "You can trust me to do my part without supervision" and "we all want this project to be successful").

    Ask questions, collect information, and consider creative ways to get to your goals (such as non-monetary items - amenities, upgrades, positive reviews, and referrals). There is much more in the book that goes through the nuances of what to say, how to say it, and how to behave. It is a book that you need to read slowly, take notes, and practice the tips before moving on to the next chapter.

  • Pouting Always

    A lot of what affects how much you enjoy these books is, again, how self aware you are or how much consideration you've given to how you talk to people and the best way to get what you want from others. If you already easily have any easy time convincing people, or have thought about it and are self aware of how you behave and talk to others then I don't think any of these things are going to be surprising or helpful but if you haven't ever actually considered the way you interact with people th

    A lot of what affects how much you enjoy these books is, again, how self aware you are or how much consideration you've given to how you talk to people and the best way to get what you want from others. If you already easily have any easy time convincing people, or have thought about it and are self aware of how you behave and talk to others then I don't think any of these things are going to be surprising or helpful but if you haven't ever actually considered the way you interact with people then maybe this will be an eye opening book for you. Personally I think I've always been a little manipulative so I wasn't all that impressed. The writing was average also so the books clear and easy to read but I wasn't impressed by the writing either.

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