Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It Mass Market Paperback – 5 June 2018
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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
About the Author
Chris Voss is one of the preeminent practitioners and professors of negotiation skills in the world. He is the founder and principal of The Black Swan Group, a consulting firm that provides training and advises Fortune 500 companies through complex negotiations. He currently teaches at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, and has lectured at other leading universities, including Harvard Law School, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Tahl Raz uncovers big ideas and great stories that ignite change and growth in people and organizations. He is an award-winning journalist and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Never Eat Alone. When not researching or writing, he coaches executives, lectures widely on the forces transforming the new world of work, and serves as an editorial consultant for several national firms. He invites readers to e-mail him at email@example.com and to visit his website at www.tahlraz.com.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
Reviewed in the United States on 25 March 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.)
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?