Home Sales and Negotiation Never Split the Difference

Learn the key ideas of the book by Christopher Voss , Tahl Raz

Never Split the Difference

How to become an expert negotiator, and an economic one!

Never Split the Difference means: never accept compromises, because they are likely to be the worst solution for both parties. In his 24 years at the FBI, Chris Voss has learned the art of negotiating in the most difficult field, the one that sees human lives at stake. His experience has allowed him to develop techniques applicable to one’s private and professional life. Active listening, knowledge of others, empathy, use of the tone, analytical skills, are all examples of the tools you can use to master becoming an expert negotiator. Voss also teaches how to distinguish which negotiation style is best suited for different situations.

Never Split the Difference
Read in 16 min.
Listen in 20 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Learn how to negotiate in every context of your personal and professional life, using techniques developed in the field by an FBI agent specialized in hostage negotiations.
  • Learn how to practice active listening in order to prevent and resolve conflicts in any interaction and relationship.
  • Learn how to distinguish the different types of "yes" and understand when someone is lying.

The author of the book:

Christopher Voss is a former FBI agent specialized in hostage negotiation. In 2007, Voss left the FBI after having managed over 150 negotiations in international contexts. He then founded The Black Swan Group Ltd to share his skills and expertise. Today, he teaches his negotiation techniques in various universities, techniques that he has developed through field experience and that are applicable to private and professional life.

Tahl Raz is a journalist and writer. He defines himself as a business storyteller. Raz is the editor of "Fortune Small Business" and former writer for Inc. magazine, the Jerusalem Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and GQ. He lives in New York and also works as a consultant for large companies.


Really listen in order to identify the true needs of the interlocutor

In a good negotiation, we start with every possible scenario in mind and we proceed by discarding each hypothesis thanks to every single piece of information we receive. It is a process of knowledge and attention. This is why many intelligent people aren’t good negotiators, they believe they don’t have anything to discover and that they can move forward while remaining consistent with their initial opinions, which often leads to mistakes. Great negotiators, however, are open to any possibility. They remain intellectually agile and aware of how to operate in a fluid situation. It is essential to know how to listen and fight the cognitive bias that gives weight to every clue we hear in order to seek consistency in what we think, instead of leaving room for the truth. We must also fight the impulse of listening to ourselves. During a verbal confrontation, we often think about what we are about to say instead of listening to the other person. In reality, we should only be focused on what our interlocutor is saying. This is called active listening and it is a fundamental tactic. The goal is to identify what your counterpart really needs (economically, but also emotionally) and make them feel safe. As a result, validating their emotions and creating an atmosphere of trust.


The key ideas of "Never Split the Difference"

Really listen in order to identify the true needs of the interlocutor
The three voice tones you can use to make our interlocutor feel at ease
Use empathy to welcome emotions and successfully negotiate
Using the Labeling technique to negotiate negativity
The word "no" is an opportunity to clarify any doubts about negotiation
Use "The Rule of Three" to strengthen the deal
What is the value of "That’s right" in a negotiation?
Turning time into an ally during a negotiation
How to manage the reactions of an interlocutor who says an offer is unfair
Use loss as an opportunity to close the deal
The tricks of the trade: silence, gifts and empathy
Why you should make the interlocutor feel they’re in control and what words to avoid
The use of pronouns in a negotiation
The three types of negotiation styles: the analyst, the easy-going and the assertive
The negotiation technique of Mike Ackerman
Knowing how to deal with the Black Swan to avoid interrupting the plan
Take-home message

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