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.
Voss writes that "kidnappers are just businessmen trying to get the best price," and he should know; before founding a consulting firm, the Black Swan Group, he spent over two decades as an FBI hostage negotiator. While taking an executive negotiating course at Harvard, he realized that his hostage-saving techniques were well suited to the business world. Voss, who believes that "life is negotiation," has set out to help readers get what they want out of any given situation, without harming the other parties. Along with telling stories of his time in the FBI, he guides readers through key lessons, such as how to "confront without confrontation," understand an opponent's emotions, become good at saying no, manipulate your opponent's reality, and develop the calm but authoritative vocal style he calls "the late-night FM DJ voice." Chatty and friendly and packed with helpful resources, this is an intriguing approach to business and personal negotiations.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The insight to the human psyche that Chris delivers is worth so much more than $15 it's almost laughable.
Drawing examples from real hostage negotiations, Chris explains the "why" behind the method and then reinforces with more real life examples from former students.
I think what is most helpful to me are the examples from former students. Through those examples you get a handle on when and how each technique is applicable.
Can't wait to see what he comes up with next!
Totally changed the way I talk to people now.
The techniques in the this book helped me do the impossible. I was actually able to get an elderly person to stop using Internet Explorer! You might think I’m joking but it’s no laughing matter to those in tech support.
After this review I plan on re reading it again because I’m sure I will learn even more stuff I missed out on the first time around.
Chris Voss is a genius. Grateful he wrote this amazing book. Great examples of position vs interest negotiation along with the power of open ended questions. Must read for people in have a career in sales.