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
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When we’re faced with a difficult negotiation, many of us make the mistake of thinking that niceness will help us get what we want. To make ourselves seem more agreeable, we switch into an overly energized tone and take every opportunity to smile or nod enthusiastically—sometimes without knowing we’re doing it.
I’ll be honest—I’m not a fan of the elevator pitch. The idea of preparing a 30-second sales speech in which you explain your idea or solution and why it’s valuable goes against every unwritten rule of persuasion. Although it’s intended to drum up excitement in a short window of time, this sales technique inevitably breeds resentment and rejection.
The term “active listening” is easy to misinterpret. Oftentimes, it’s used to describe the nonverbal cues (like nodding and direct eye contact) that we use to show someone that we’re paying attention to what they’re saying. Other times, it’s used to refer to minimal encouragers—short verbal expressions like “uh-huh” and “hmm” that we interject to demonstrate our engagement. Although both examples are powerful communication techniques, they don’t fully encompass or explain what makes this approach active.