Never Split the Difference

By Chris Voss, Tahl Raz,

Book cover of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It

Book description


A former FBI hostage negotiator offers a new, field-tested approach to negotiating - effective in any situation.

'Riveting' Adam Grant
'Stupendous' The Week
'Brilliant' Guardian
After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked Never Split the Difference as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I love this book because his techniques are so practical and easy to use.

I re-read his book when I was in the middle of a difficult business negotiation over Zoom and email and followed his directions step by step. This led to a positive outcome for both of us.

He makes sure that you are very clear on what is essential for you, enables you to figure out the sometimes hidden motivations of the other person, and guides you through on what to say and do next. I will go through it again the next time I am preparing…

I found this not only a confirmation of the psychological impact on hostage negotiation and how this reflects in real life and also my professional life as a therapist. At times I found this shocking and admired the truth behind the FBI agent's skills and the parallels in therapy.

Voss is an excellent writer and former FBI hostage negotiator, and he’s not shy about sharing his experiences, warts and all, with readers from the very beginning. 

He does so from the opening chapter, where his mettle is tested by Harvard’s top experts in negotiation. Of course, as Voss shows later, his talents and experiences had already been forged and tested in many hostage scenarios overseas, where Voss led FBI teams negotiating some of the most challenging cases worldwide. 

Voss shares these stories in a practical, narrative style, and highlights the importance of tactical empathy, and using such skills to…

From Kenneth's list on hostage negotiation.

There was a time when I used to be hopeless at negotiation.

I convinced myself that marketing and negotiation was not my strength, but it was not sustainable. This book taught me tactical empathy: how to quickly understand your audience and leverage this in your favor.

I was able to understand human needs and quickly gained the skills needed to succeed in job negotiations, salary discussions, and appraisals. 

I even used these skills in getting funding from top executives for a corporate sports association in the company. My personal relationships also improved as a result of following the principles taught…

Chris Voss goes into detail on how negotiation tactics and methods he has learned as a public servant influence everyday life and strategy. The wisdom carried in this book leads to many impressive and valid forms of negotiation that can be used within all professional environments. The five principles provided by Voss, give you a great idea of how you can become comfortable with asking for what you want in an amicable manner with little to no compromise.  

Written by an ex-FBI hostage negotiator, this book uses real-life examples from Voss’s experience in law enforcement as a backdrop to his advice on successfully navigating just about any conversation. Creating a persuasive sales message isn’t that different from negotiating a raise or a hostage release. You need to understand who you’re talking to, what makes them tick, and why they make the decisions they do. Voss’s book is an entertaining read that is jam-packed with actionable advice you can use in your everyday life.

From Jennifer's list on to deliver more persuasive messages.

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