NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE – Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

| Author: Chris Voss, 2016 |

What's it all About?

This is one of the most practical reads as you can actually apply skills and get immediate results. You can stop reading this book report now and get straight to it!

Chris Voss worked as the lead international hostage negotiator for the FBI and got to apply techniques on the highest stake – people’s lives.  He blends in some great, raw stories on what has worked and what has not, which is captivating. These are skills that apply in almost any conversation where you are talking some into or out of something!

What I loved about the style in which this was written, is that it ties in simple and complex real life situations at work and at home.  Simple things you can remember if you start practicing them, with instant results.  I tried it and it worked!

By taking empathy to another level; focusing on the awareness of others; being present and focused on the moment with a desired outcome in mind, we all have the ability to create more desirable outcomes. Is that not the reason we read self-improvement books?

The audio version was so easy to listen to, and it was one of the quickest reads for me lately, as I had to see what else was to come!  Best of all it still stayed within my personal values as he uses healthy styles of negotiations with core skills you can feel good about. He is not at all about being deceptive. In fact, he explains how it is really doing a disservice to both parties by shying away from some strategic conflict as it will build your confidence and create more productive outcomes.

You can learn more about Chris and his company The Black Swan Group on their website: .  

He also teaches a master class here

To purchase the book you can get links of his website as well:

Favourite Quote

“If you approach a negotiation thinking the other guy thinks like you, you are wrong. That's not empathy, that's a projection.”

Biggest Takeaway

I have actually read parts of this book before going into different types of negotiation, It is truly a go-to, even simply to get into the right mindset.  In the first part of the book, he talks about approaching the Pitbull using a 4-step approach - Use a late-night voice; Start with I’m sorry; Mirror; and Silence.  You don’t win a negotiation taking the same approach with an aggressive counterpart, and thinking they think like you.  That is a false belief.  Chris got me taking a different approach that works. How many books can you say you developed a new skill from reading them?  By repeating a few words that person just said, and getting curious and patient to learn their insights, it can all lead you to a better place.  I can see how these tie into the coach approach and studies in emotional intelligence.  

It is not about winning the negotiation, or splitting the difference, it is about getting the desired outcome.  If you want to focus on your actions to get results, this is a great read for you!

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel, September 26,  2020

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