Never Split the Difference | Chris Voss

Summary of: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
By: Chris Voss


Negotiation is often misconstrued as a skill limited to board rooms and legal disputes, but it is a vital part of everyday life. In ‘Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It’, author Chris Voss highlights the importance of negotiation in all aspects of life and illustrates how our complex, irrational human nature shapes the art of negotiating. Deconstructing conventional thinking on negotiation, Voss brings insights from cognitive psychology and real-life scenarios to give readers invaluable advice on becoming more successful in their communication and interactions.

Mastering Negotiation

Negotiation is not just a skill reserved for professionals; it happens in every aspect of life. To be an effective negotiator, one must understand the irrational and unpredictable nature of humans. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Amos Tversky discovered that humans are prone to cognitive biases, which make them act irrationally. Successful negotiation requires an approach that takes into consideration the complexity of humankind.

Negotiation Strategies

Successful negotiations involve gathering as much information as possible about the situation and the counterpart. While negotiations unfold, new information may come to light, and effective negotiators must be prepared to adapt. Building rapport and establishing trust are also crucial in gathering information, as people are more likely to share useful details with those they trust. Negotiators should aim to get the other party to talk as much as possible to uncover their needs and wants. A real-life example of the importance of misinformation and trust in negotiations is provided, where a robber spread false information to buy time and plot his escape. Overall, successful negotiation strategies involve gathering information, building trust, and adapting to new circumstances.

The Power of Mirroring in Building Trust

When building trust in negotiations, active listening through mirroring can be an effective technique. Mirroring involves repeating what the other person says in an inquisitive tone. This approach can help establish similarities and foster a sense of belonging, leading to increased trust and more productive negotiations. Richard Wiseman’s experiment with waiters showed that mirroring can also lead to higher tips and better outcomes.

The Power of Your Voice in Negotiation

How you speak during negotiations can make or break a deal. Employing a slow, reassuring tone, also known as your Late-Night FM DJ voice, can calm and soothe the other party, while a positive and playful voice can put them at ease. The author illustrates these points through personal anecdotes, including negotiating with a bank robber and witnessing his girlfriend’s successful bargaining in Istanbul. By mastering the power of your voice, you can achieve negotiating success.

Want to read the full book summary?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed