A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.
After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.
Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
And so begins this surprising book. The author begins the book by relating his experience at a prestigious seminar at Harvard University. Several of the college's top negotiators put him on the spot to see how he would negotiate in a hypothetical hostage negotiation.
The author held his own against the expert negotiators, surprising the professors. How did he do so well? Mr. Voss explains that the methods used by the FBI were developed over time, "products of experiential learning; they were developed by agents in the field, negotiating through crisis and sharing stories of what succeeded and what failed." In other words, these tactics HAD to work. If hostage negotiators failed, people literally DIED.
The author discovered that the same techniques used in life and death situations could be generalized--they "made great sense intellectually, and they worked everywhere...In the twenty years I spent at the Bureau we’d designed a system that had...
WHY THIS BOOK MATTERS: We negotiate or persuade dozens of times a day. Then there’s the big stuff that changes the course of life: getting a raise; landing a job offer; buying a car or house. Most of us had no formal training in negotiation, or were taught incorrectly. This book is your secret weapon for mad success. MAIN CONCEPT: Tactical empathy: “This is listening as a martial art, balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence, to gain access to the mind of another person.” IS IT FUN TO READ: Finished it in a day. The book’s full of riveting life-and-death hostage negotiations, and Voss spins a damn good yarn. OKAY, BUT IS IT USEFUL?: I highlighted 109 passages and took 20pp of single-spaced notes. There is so much crazy useful stuff in this book that it would be a bargain at 100x the price. For example, Voss advocates getting to “No” before getting to “Yes.” To those...
Author Chris Voss has a wealth of knowledge that he brings to this topic and this book. Not only is he a 24 year veteran of the FBI, he is also a preeminent practitioner and professor of negotiating skills having taught at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, Harvard University, MIT's Sloan School of Management, and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. 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.
One aspect of Chris’ background that makes this manual feel all the more cogent is the fact that he is a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, which among other aspects of his experience offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations, both in business and personal issues. He uses his own strengths to write this book with opening...
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