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Never Split the Difference

Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

By Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
12-minute read
Audio available
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

Never Split the Difference (2016) is your guide to negotiation. Based on the extensive FBI work of Chris Voss, the authors offer up hands-on advice about how to negotiate your way to success, whether it’s in the office, the home, or a hostage stand-off.

  • Leaders and managers
  • Workers in the market for a job or a raise
  • Anyone with a spouse, partner or friend

Chris Voss is a former lead kidnapping negotiator with the FBI. His many years of experience negotiating with all manner of criminals make him an expert in the field. He’s the founder of negotiation consultancy The Black Swan Group and a professor who has taught negotiation courses everywhere from Harvard University to MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Tahl Raz is a journalist and co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Never Eat Alone.

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Never Split the Difference

Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

By Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
Synopsis

Never Split the Difference (2016) is your guide to negotiation. Based on the extensive FBI work of Chris Voss, the authors offer up hands-on advice about how to negotiate your way to success, whether it’s in the office, the home, or a hostage stand-off.

Key idea 1 of 7

Negotiation occurs in every aspect of life – and there’s more to it than rationality and intellect.

People tend to think of negotiation as something reserved for lawyers and corporate board rooms, but the truth is, humans negotiate in every part of life. In other words, while negotiating is what the police do when dealing with hostage situations, it’s also something that happens at work, at home, with your partner and with your kids.

In a simple sense, negotiation is just trying to get things to go your way; it’s having an interaction or communication with a specific outcome in mind. Whenever two or more people want something from one another, negotiation is taking place. Say you want a raise and your boss wants your salary to stay where it is. Or maybe you want your kids to go to bed by eight, but they want to stay up till ten.

OK, so negotiation is more common than most people think. But what makes for a successful negotiator?

It’s more than just mathematical logic and a keen intellect. That’s because humans aren’t always rational; they often fail to act on the basis of logic or reason. To make matters more complicated, humans aren’t always predictable either. People often act based on their animal nature, which is irrational, spontaneous and a bit wild.

That’s precisely what the psychologist Daniel Kahneman and the economist Amos Tversky found after years of study. Their findings challenged conventional thinking on negotiation. Here’s how.

In the 1970s, when negotiation first became defined as a field, it was based on the assumption that each individual acted rationally and to her own advantage. However, Tversky and Kahneman’s research discovered that humans are prone to what’s called cognitive bias, which makes them unconsciously irrational.

They even identified 150 different types of biases, including the so-called framing effect; this concept states that, when faced with the same options, people will make different choices depending on how the alternatives are framed.

Simply put, to be a successful negotiator, your approach has to take into account the complex nature of humankind. In the blinks that follow, you’ll learn how to do just that.

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