Never Split the Difference
Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
Everything we’ve previously been taught about negotiation is wrong: you are not rational; there is no such thing as ‘fair’; compromise is the worst thing you can do; the real art of negotiation lies in mastering the intricacies of No, not Yes. These surprising tactics—which radically diverge from conventional negotiating strategy—weren’t cooked up in a classroom, but are the field-tested tools FBI agents used to talk criminals and hostage-takers around the world into (or out of) just about any scenario you can imagine. In NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator Chris Voss and co-author Tahl Raz break down these strategies so that anyone can use them in the workplace, in business, or at home.
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
Our Latest Posts
Where smart communicators go to get the negotiation edge.
We’re all drawn to interesting people. Here’s how to improve your communication skills and become the most interesting person in the room.
Start with this three-step opening:
- Simultaneously hold out your hand, smile, and introduce yourself with your first name only—nothing more.
- Use Dynamic Silence™. Let them react. Wait for them to give their first name.
- While smiling, ask them: “What about (one-second pause) what you do makes you passionate?”
Here’s your fourth follow-on step: Mirror™ and Label™ from this point on, using Dynamic Silence liberally. This is a version of the one-on-ones we use as the foundation for mastery of the Black Swan Method™—also known as the quick 2+1.
Leaders are charged with promoting their organization’s mission and getting people to produce. To influence your direct reports to do what you want without a begrudging attitude, it’s essential to employ hostage negotiation tactics and principles every day.
In the world of hostage negotiation, your goal is to influence hostage-takers to surrender. But you don’t just start the conversation by telling them to give it up. Instead, you approach the surrender in a subordinate manner, ensuring you are not viewed as a threat. Making a concentrated effort so that the hostage-taker knows you see things from their perspective. Only at that point can you begin to accomplish your objective.
Yes doesn’t always mean yes. This is why shrewd negotiators don’t aim for yes, but instead try to get their counterparts to say no.
In this installment of our negotiation training series, we examine the top four no-oriented questions™ from The Black Swan Group, what they replace, and why you should use them.