Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

If you have read enough books, then you will observe that this book is a combination of two great books “Secrets of Power Negotiating” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

The author of this book Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, where negotiation is just not about numbers rather it’s about saving or losing kind of situation.

One single wrong move can cost someone’s life. So this kind of situation, we need to watch our steps more closely than we usually do in business.

Compare to other negotiations books which I’ve read so far, this book is different because it’s just not focusing on numbers rather its focuses more on human physiology and how it works.

Understanding human physiology helps us to extract more information from the counterpart and use that information to turn to our advantage and influence the counterpart.

As Chris Voss says “Negotiation is an art of extracting information and using that as leverage” (Need properly quote)

Now how do you extract that information from the counterpart? The books have a very good set of techniques like

  1. Asking calibrated questions.
  2. Building empathy.
  3. Labeling.
  4. Mirroring
  5. Bargain
  6. Finding Black swan. (Finding unknown’s unknown)

Extracting information using these techniques builds leverage for us. Each of these techniques is explained with an example of real-life hostage negotiation and some student’s stories from Chris Voss’s negotiation classes.

In the end, the author explained that most people avoid negotiations in life and business is because of the conflicts nature of negotiations. People don’t like to have conflict and negotiation is all about resolving conflicts and create a win-win situation for both parties.

Don’t run away from conflicts instead Embrace it.

Get it from amazon.

Highlighted Quotes

  1. Negotiation serves two distinct, vital life functions-information gathering and behavior influencing-and includes almost any interaction where each party wants something from the other side.
  2. The first step to achieving mastery of daily negotiation is to get over your aversion to negotiating.
  3. Negotiation is the heart of collaboration. It is what makes conflict potentially meaningful and productive for all parties. It can change your life, as it has changed mine.
  4. Once people get upset at one another, rational thinking goes out the window.
  5. Whether your deadline is real and absolute or merely a line in the sand, it can trick you into believing that doing a deal now is more important than getting a good deal.
  6. While we may use logic to reason ourselves toward a decision, the actual decision-making is governed by emotion.
  7. The negative emotional value of unfairness outweighs the positive rational value of money.
  8. People feel obliged to repay debts of kindness.
  9. He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.
  10. People always make more effort to implement a solution when they think it’s theirs. That is simply human nature.
  11. Any response that’s not an outright rejection of your offer means you have the edge.
  12. The person across the table is never the problem. The unsolved issue is. So focus on the issue.
  13. Prepare, prepare, prepare. When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion; you fall to your highest level of preparation.

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