Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss, Tahl Raz Book Summary

Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss, Tahl Raz | Free Book Summary

Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss, Tahl Raz

Negotiation tactics.

Your Voice When Negotiating

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Your most powerful tool in any kind of verbal communication is your voice.

There are essentially three voice tones available to negotiators: 

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  • The late-night FM DJ voice: “Inflect your voice downward, keeping it calm and slow, to create an aura of authority.”
  • The positive, playful voice: It’s the voice of an easygoing, good-natured person.
  • The direct or assertive voice: Used rarely. will cause problems and create pushback.

Passage Of Time: The Most Important Tool For Negotiators


Going too fast is one of the mistakes all negotiators are prone to making. If we’re too much in a hurry, people can feel as if they’re not being heard and we risk undermining the rapport and trust we’ve built.

The passage of time is one of the most important tools for a negotiator. When you slow the process down, you also calm it down. After all, if someone is talking, they’re not shooting.

The goal is to identify what your counterparts actually need (monetarily, emotionally, or otherwise) and get them feeling safe enough to talk and talk and talk some more about what they want. The latter will help you discover the former.

The Mirroring Technique


A “mirror” is when you repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said.

Mirroring is the art of insinuating similarity, which facilitates bonding. By repeating back what people say, you trigger this mirroring instinct, and your counterpart will inevitably elaborate on what was just said and sustain the process of connecting.

Labelling Emotions

Instead of ignoring emotions, good negotiators identify or influence them.

Labeling is a technique used to acknowledge a counterpart’s emotion, leaving them feeling validated:

Detect the other person’s emotional state

After spotting an emotion you want to highlight, label it aloud without using “I” statements

After throwing out a label, be quiet and listen.

You’re dealing with a person who wants to be appreciated and understood. So use labels to reinforce and encourage positive perceptions and dynamics.

Great negotiators seek ‘No’ because they know that’s often when the real negotiation begins.

“No” Has A Lot Of Skills


“No” allows the real issues to be brought forth

“No” protects people from making—and lets them correct— ineffective decisions

“No” slows things down so that people can freely embrace their decisions and the agreements they enter into

“No” helps people feel safe, secure, emotionally comfortable, and in control of their decisions

“No” moves everyone’s efforts forward.

Reaching The Right Decision

Negotiation: “That’s Right” > ” Yes’

Reaching “that’s right” in a negotiation creates breakthroughs (it conveys a true understanding of someone’s reality).

Use a summary to trigger a “that’s right.” The building blocks of a good summary are a label combined with paraphrasing.

Create The Illusion of Control

  • Don’t try to force your opponent to admit that you are right.
  • Avoid questions that can be answered with “Yes” or tiny pieces of information. Ask calibrated questions that start with the words “How” or “What.”
  • “Why” is always an accusation, in any language.
  • Calibrate your questions to point your counterpart toward solving your problem.
  • When you’re attacked in a negotiation, pause and avoid angry emotional reactions.
  • There is always a team on the other side. If you are not influencing those behind the table, you are vulnerable.

The Pinocchio Effect

People who are lying are more worried about being believed, so they work harder at being believable.

The researchers dubbed this the Pinocchio Effect because, just like Pinocchio’s nose, the number of words grew along with the lie.

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