Chris Voss: Never Split the Difference. Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.

Chris outlines reasons why we should not only negotiate based on past experience, but also continue exploring different negotiation strategies.

These reasons are:

1. There is never enough data in a personal past experience pool to define a universal or semi-universal rule. Maybe the same strategy wont work as effective in a different industry with a dissimilar group of players, or under a changed economic background.

2. It’s easy to track short term effects of one action based on life experience, but hard to relate long term results with strategies we choose.

3. The negotiation strategy we apply might be one good method, but might not be the best method. Maybe there are more efficient ways that can reach similar or better results.

As a former FBI hostage negotiator, Chris believes that negotiation is all about getting what you want from and with other people. Instead of problem solving skills, what we need are psychological skills and emotional intelligence to calm down, establish rapport, gain trust, display empathy, and thus gather information and influence behaviors of our counterparts while maintaining a great relationship.

The negotiating techniques introduced by Chris include:

– Gather information through active listening skills like mirroring, silences, and voice changes.

– Tactical Empathy through emotion labeling and accusation auditing.

– Establish rapport by summarizing your counterparts worldview.

– Trigger a no response to give your counterpart the illusion of control in order to start the negotiation process.

– Anchor expectations to set limits for the discussion.

– Use calibrated questions to get your counterparts to bid against themselves.

Use calibrated questions, summaries, and labels to get your counterpart to reaffirm their agreement at least three times to guarantee execution.

– Recognize different negotiation styles and associated behavior patterns.

-/Display anger and assertion strategically.
Old school Ackerman bargain system.
Discover knowledge which is outside our regular expectations and therefore cannot be predicted.

In the book, Chris provides solutions on how to win it all.