“Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.”
― Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
Any guy that has stared death in the face, talked hostage takers into giving themselves up, and buys a new car for pennies is bound to write one heck of a book. Chris Voss has done so here, unearthing his superpowers of negotiation and showing the reader how they can do it too.
If you read one book this year, make it this one. This book is already my #1 non-fiction book of the year, and I will be surprised if any other book in 2019 will beat it. Good stuff throughout not only for negotiating business deals, but also for general everyday interpersonal use. I already put to use one of his tactics the other day and it WORKED! 🙂
Let’s dive into the good, the bad, and the great.
The book is filled with practical strategies that make sense to perform in the real world. I loved getting to practice negotiating with my wife, even though she is reading the book too. We’ve been able to trick each other several times when we asked an open ended question (something the book talks about quite a bit) and got the other person talking.
I like books with theory that get me thinking. I love books that show me how to take action in the real world.
“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.”
I also found it fascinating that “yes” is seen as worse than “no” and comprise isn’t what we are after either. Voss gave me a new perspective on conversation and helped me see that there is often much more going on beneath the surface of every conversation.
There was very little bad about this book. The stories of hostage situations were spread out just enough to keep you interested and kept me listening. My only small complaint (and I mean small because as you can see if you scroll down, this book got a 98 on my rating scale) is that some of the stories don’t wrap up. I wanted to hear exactly what happened and what the resolutions were. I realize the book is more about the negotiating tactics than telling a story, but I was curious as to the details surrounding the events.
This book as a whole was great. I can’t wait to listen again soon so I can truly put to use everything I heard.
Never Split the Difference focuses on relationships, listening, and getting to know your partner. You are communicating with a real live human being that has wants and desires just as you. It’s not about manipulation or bullying, it’s about understanding and letting the other side talk so that you can listen intently and actively. It’s about recognizing that the other person matters.
You can pick up the book on Amazon here.
Enjoy and best of luck in all of your entrepreneurial and communicative endeavors.