Former International FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss lets readers into his head so they can learn how to successfully negotiate in any area of their lives. In this guide he shares the nine essential strategies and he used to successfully negotiate with terrorists, bank robbers and other criminals who had taken a hostage. Ordinary people will learn how to best negotiate in their own lives, for their salary, with their spouse or at work.
My key Takeaways from Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
Takeaway #1: Building Trust to Gather Information
Negotiating successfully, no matter who it's with or in which area of your life, requires you to stay rational and use your intellect, you must build up a rapport so that trust is established and gather as much useful information as possible. You do this by actively listening to what the other person is saying and using the mirroring technique (when you repeat what the other person has said but in an inquisitive tone) to draw more information from them I.e “Your accounts manager quit??” This encourages the other person to elaborate more.
Takeaway #2: Watch your tone of voice throughout these negotiations.
Most times you'll need to use a playful/positive tone, smiling as you speak, but if the other person is nervous or could become upset, use a deep but soft voice, talking slowly to reassure them.
Takeaway #3: Putting Emotions To Use
When negotiating, you must tap into what the other person is feeling, be empathetic towards how the other person is feeling. It doesn't mean agreeing with them, it means understanding the other person's perspective to better position yourself in the negotiations. You can do this through a technique called labeling which means acknowledging the other person's position and feelings so that they become calmer and more rational. Tell the other person that you know they're worried their boss will think they didn't push hard enough, or that you know your kids are worried that their classmates will make fun of them for going to bed an hour earlier.
Takeaway #4: Don't Rush, Don't Compromise, and Don't Accept Demands
Always let the other person make the first offer. If you're in a hurry to settle something you'll come off with the worst end of the bargain. Don't feel rushed as few deadlines are real deadlines set in stone. Take your time to understand what the other person is truly pushing for, not what they say they want as the two are often different and if you rush you could easily give the person something they don't really need or want but just threw in for the sake of it
Never Split the Difference Chapters
Chapter One - The New Rules
Chapter Two - Be a Mirror
Chapter Three - Don't Feel their Pain, Label It
Chapter Four - Beware 'Yes' - Master 'No'
Chapter Five - Trigger The Two Words that Immediately Transform any Negotiation
Chapter Six - Bend Their Reality
Chapter Seven - Create The Illusion Of Control
Chapter Eight - Guarantee Execution
Chapter Nine - Bargain Hard
Chapter Ten - Find the Black Swan