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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It Hardcover – May 17, 2016
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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.
** A Wall Street Journal Bestseller **
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 terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles―counterintuitive tactics and strategies―you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.
Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.
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Chatty and friendly and packed with helpful resources, this is an intriguing approach to business and personal negotiations. -- Publishers Weekly
From the Back Cover
A field-tested, game-changing approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.
Never Split the Difference is a riveting, indispensable handbook of negotiation principles culled and perfected from Chris Voss’s remarkable career as a hostage negotiator and later as an award-winning teacher in the world’s most prestigious business schools. From policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, to becoming the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator to teaching negotiation at leading universities, Voss has tested these techniques across the full spectrum of human endeavor and proved their effectiveness. Those who have benefited from these techniques include business clients generating millions in additional profits, MBA students getting better jobs, and even parents dealing with their kids.
Never Split the Difference provides a gripping, behind-the-scenes recounting of dramatic scenarios from the gang-infested streets of Haiti to a Brooklyn bank robbery gone horribly wrong, revealing the negotiation strategies that helped Voss and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. As a world-class negotiator, Voss shows you how to use these skills in the workplace and in every other realm of your life.
Life is a series of negotiations: whether buying a car, getting a better raise, buying a home, renegotiating rent, or deliberating with your partner, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.
Advance praise for Never Split The Difference
“This book blew my mind. It’s a riveting read, full of instantly actionable advice—not just for high-stakes negotiations, but also for handling everyday conflicts at work and at home.”—Adam Grant, Wharton Professor and New York Times bestselling author of originals and give and take
“Emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence without sacrificing deal-making power. From the pen of a former hostage negotiator—someone who couldn’t take no for an answer—which makes it fascinating reading. But it’s also eminently practical. In these pages, you will find the techniques for getting the deal you want.”—Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
“Former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss has few equals when it comes to high-stakes negotiations. Whether for your business or your personal life, his techniques work.”—Joe Navarro, FBI Special Agent (Ret.) and author of the international bestseller What Every Body Is Saying
“Your business—basically your entire life—comes down to your performance in crucial conversations, and these tools will give you the edge you need. . . .It’s required reading for my employees because I use the lessons in this book every single day, and I want them to, too.”—Jason McCarthy, CEO of GORUCK
- Publisher : Harper Business; 1st edition (May 17, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062407805
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062407801
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 1.3 x 6.3 x 9.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Rather than spending your money and time on this book, I would suggest taking a look at Voss's YouTube videos, he says everything in the book in less than 10 min across a few different vids, minus all the war stories, and you get more out of it, because you hear his tone and the way he puts things.
Read the whole thing, was a bit disappointed, promises the world until the last page, but doesn't really deliver.
By Dan Liesener on March 24, 2019
My rating: This is one of the two best books anyone can read on negotiation. The other is Cialdini's famous, "Influence: The Art and Science of Persuasion." While there are many good books on the subject, I can't think of any others that are as complete and useful as these.
Advice: Remember that negotiation is a practice. You will be best aided by these books by taking a chapter at a time and practice the ideas and techniques. Practice them on your family, on your colleagues and on your friends. (Forget pets. Dogs are too obliging and cats too indifferent.)
You would fire the teacher.
This is my least favorite genre of book - the bait and switch non fiction. Expert promises to share expertise with you, then writes a book that is 90% autobiography and 10% useful, actionable information.
I thought I’d learned what I needed to know about negotiation. I went to a prestigious business school and took their negotiation class, learning all about Getting Yes, BATNA, and other fancy acronyms. I’d also had to bargain my share in both work and personal life. Yet, I felt like the tools I’d been given were meant for some alternate reality where people are totally dispassionate, rational robots, doing math in their heads to get to logical outcomes. The negotiations I’d been in with were instead with passionate, irrational (including myself) humans, sometimes getting angry or sad, often making decisions that didn’t “make any sense” (to me). I was pretty sure the negotiation outcomes we were getting to were subpar, both for me and for them: a lot of splitting the difference, mostly to make the negotiations — which felt uncomfortable for all parties — stop.
Note, when I mean “negotiation”, I’m speaking pretty broadly: from “negotiating" with my fiancée on who should walk the dog tonight, to negotiating with an employee on why this feature needed to be built urgently, to negotiating with an angry customer who’d called me angry about something, to negotiating with my parents on wedding plans, the list goes on. Each negotiation tougher and more emotional than the next, yet with tools that told me emotions didn’t matter. Huh?
I don’t remember how I came across Never Split the Difference, but man, am I glad I did. The book exposed me to a whole different way of negotiating, questioning the rational toolkit I’d been given in business school and replacing it with a more human set of tools. This set based on psychology and understanding of normal human emotions. It builds on empathy and active listening skills, layers on ways to label emotions and ask open-ended calibrated questions. It includes polite ways to say “no” without offending the other party, and many more. Most importantly it builds a framework that lets you deeply understand what the other party needs, wants, and desires, and work with them to achieve an outcome where you get your goals met — without ever “splitting the difference” again.
And it has worked wonders. Since reading this book, I have:
- Forged a better relationship with my fiancée by actively listening to her before jointly finding solutions
- Negotiated successful resolutions to emotionally charged topics with parents and friends
- Brought angry customers — who felt we had failed them — back from the brink to trusting us again
- Forged a better relationship with my business partners by understanding how they value time, silence, relationships, surprises, etc…
- Gotten discounts on things that I didn’t think could be discounted, just by using my name
- Gotten to the front of the waiting line at busy restaurants
- Said no to bad deals, because no deal is better than a bad one
- the list goes on.
I warn you that this book is the start of a rabbit hole that you might want to keep digging down. I’ve recommended this book to anyone who will listen, personally bought it 29 times as a gift for friends & coworkers alike, taken an online class (taught by the author’s son, a brilliant negotiator in his own right), etc...
Negotiation, in the broadest sense as described above, is something I want to become an expert in, because I now understand that every conversation is a negotiation. This is likely the most useful skill you can learn and apply.
It all started with this book. Are you too busy to read it?
Top reviews from other countries
I had high hopes for this book... waste of money. I've just thrown it into the bin!
This stuff works a treat if, and only if you are willing to put the methods into practice
on a daily basis. I am using it constantly every single day and it has produced amazing results.
As Chris Voss said "everything is a negotiation" and I would agree 100% it's just i've never noticed it before..but i do now.
Try it out for yourself, you will be surprised at how effective it is.
Just be prepared to put in the work required to learn a new skill. I really had to laugh at one of the negative reviews that implied they should
now be a skilled negotiator as if reading the book once worked like some sort of osmosis straight from Chris Voss.
Yeah...get real mate.
A couple of weeks after starting the book I negotiated a vendor at work from a 'list price' of about £68,000 for some equipment down to about £22,000*, partly by applying techniques from this book. Given that I spent £4.45 on the book, I think it's paid for itself by now.
*Obviously, having read the book my final offer was not a rounded number. Read it yourself, and you'll see what I mean.
I am half way through the book, it took a while to read as I have decided to digest the techniques and to see how effective they are.
I have applied mirroring, showing empathy labelling techniques when I communicating with my daughter and I found I have stopped saying no to her automatically and the relationship has improved since.
The poor printing is not the whole book and only on a dozen pages. But still, very disappointing.
Reviewed in Canada on March 8, 2020
The poor printing is not the whole book and only on a dozen pages. But still, very disappointing.