Read: October 2020

Inspiration: Heard a former FBI hostage negotiator had a book on lessons he learned from his job and was immediately intrigued (recommended by a friend)


Written with the help of ChatGPT, below is a brief summary to understand what is covered in the book.

“Never Split the Difference”, published in 2016 by author and former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss, discusses the principles and techniques of negotiation, and how they can be applied in a variety of situations, including business, relationships, and everyday life. Voss argues that effective negotiation requires understanding the other side’s perspective and using empathy and emotional intelligence to build trust and find common ground. He also discusses the importance of framing and using tactical language, and the role of power dynamics in negotiations. The book provides practical tips and strategies for negotiating successfully, and includes examples and case studies from Voss’s own career as a negotiator.

Unedited Notes

Direct from my original book log, below are my unedited notes (abbreviations and misspellings included) to show how I take notes as I read.

Negotiate using open ended questions (how am I supposed to do that? turns the table), leverage Kahneman’s two systems of thinking—1 is emotional response to suggestion or question and this is key and informs more rational system 2 (use 1 to change 2), enter with several hypotheses and remain open to all info to guide (smartest people may think know motives, don’t do this, be agile), slow process to calm process (don’t rush), use mirroring to connect (repeat last 3 words of other person or critical 1-2), mirroring insinuates similarity (buy time, encourage other to keep talking), use empathy for labeling—bring negative emotions of others into daylight to relax, think about what others feel and why (“It seems like”, “it sounds like” then silent to let other reply—don’t use “I”), labeling helps diffuse (be up front about fears, mistakes, negative emotions), use accusation audit pre-empt negative things to he said about you, distinguish counterfeit yes from committment yes (yes just to please you and get you to leave or yes b/c agree and will act), “no” early in conversation gives other party sense of control to then get to committment yes (early yes not good, ask “is now a bad time?”), intentionally mislabeling can be good (“seems like you want this to fail”), good summart = paraphrasing + labeling (to get a “that’s right”, show understand their world), “thats right” better than “you’re right” (you’re right is counterfeit), no deal better than a bad deal (compromise not always good), if say “give you a fair offer” respond with “fair?”–let sink in and imply they should show proof (don’t let it guilt you into concessions), say at start “i want you to feel like you’re treated fairly so stop me..”, anchor in terms of loss aversion (you miss out or other party will gain if you decline), in monetary negotiations let other side start (usually, depends on counterpart and reputation), use bosltering range where cite other firms offer b/w x and y with x being what you want, use odd numbers b/c sound legit (32,763, not rounded), negotiate salary with nonmonetary items and ask what it takes to succeed so they have stake in you, use calibrated question to remove aggression (“how” question gets other party to volunteer answer so you don’t owe anything back–illusion of control where other side helps you toward your goal), “how am I supposed to do that?” is GOAT calibrated question, “what” and “how” are best starters for calib q’s (sometimes why)–what about this is important to you? how does this look to you? what about this works for you? how can we solve this problem? how can I help make this better for us?, 7% of message is words vs 38% tone vs 55% body language (look for words and tone/body misaligned), rule of 3 to get agreeement 3 times in diff ways if unsure about liar, less use of “I” means more important, for assertive types silence=nothing to say or don’t want to be there, for analyst silence=time to think, accomodator get nervous in silence, let other name price or if you go first refer to alternative cost (if other say extreme counter with How or nonmonetary), counter with anger if needed (“i dont see how that would ever work”-strategic umbrage), Ackerman Bargaining: set target P, first offer 65%, calc 3 raises (85%/95%/100%), use empathy and diff ways of No before increase (don’t use round numbers), at final number add nonmonetary they don’t want to show limit, feel more to lose=less leverage, knowing what other wants is key to leverage

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Welcome to JeffReads, where I share summaries of the best books I’ve read on business, politics, science, technology and more.




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