• Toby Sinclair

Never Split the Difference Summary By Chris Voss

📚 Buy Never Split the Difference on Amazon

⭐ Rating: 10/10 - Recommended For: Everyone


3 Big Ideas from Never Split the Difference 💡


If this book accomplishes only one thing, I hope it gets you over that fear of conflict and encourages you to navigate it with empathy.

- Chris Voss


Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss helps you change minds:


  1. Don't compromise. It is a bad outcome of a negotiation. Compromise generally leads to a win-lose. You should aim for a win-win. You do this by listening and understanding the needs of everyone involved in the negotiation.

  2. Active Listening is the foundation of all successful negotiations. One way to do this is by mirroring another person. Summarising back what you have heard.

  3. Embrace conflict. This does not mean attacking, belittling or undermining someone. The best negotiation is an information-obsessed, empathic search for the best possible deal—you are trying to uncover value, period. Not to strong-arm or to humiliate.


2 Best Quotes from Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss 💬


Listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do.
Embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation—and of life.

Never Split the Difference Summary

Tobys Top Takeaway


How to change minds when your life depends on it.


Thankfully, most workplace leaders are not in life or death situations.


Even though sometimes it can feel that way.


Never Split The Difference teaches you how to navigate crucial conversations with impact.


I'm a self-confessed people pleaser.


This means I seek compromise.


The problem. You win, I lose.


I learned from Never Split The Difference: don't compromise.


To make my point on compromise, let me paint you an example: A woman wants her husband to wear black shoes with his suit. But her husband doesn’t want to; he prefers brown shoes. So what do they do? They compromise, they meet halfway. And, you guessed it, he wears one black and one brown shoe. Is this the best outcome? No! In fact, that’s the worst possible outcome. Either of the two other outcomes—black or brown—would be better than the compromise.

With the right techniques, you can find win-win situations in the workplace.


What I found very surprising.


Many of these techniques are similar to coaching.


Active Listening, Asking Open Questions, Showing Empathy, Summarising.


The good news is that implementing the ideas from Never Split The Difference got a little easier.


This Never Split The Difference cheat sheet pdf has all of the techniques.


It will help you stop comprising and start influencing today.


never split the difference pdf cheat sheet

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Big Ideas Expanded 💡


Listening


Listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do.


Start with the universally applicable premise. People want to be understood and accepted. Listening is the cheapest, yet most effective concession we can make to get there. By listening intensely, a negotiator demonstrates empathy and shows a sincere desire to better understand what the other side is experiencing. It begins with listening, making it about the other people, validating their emotions, and creating enough trust and safety for a real conversation to begin.


Good negotiators are ready for surprises; great negotiators aim to use their skills to reveal the surprises they are certain exist.


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.


Behavioral Change Stairway Model (BCSM). The model proposes five stages—active listening, empathy, rapport, influence, and behavioral change—that take any negotiator from listening to influencing behavior.


behavioral change stairway model (bcsm)

Creating unconditional positive regard opens the door to changing thoughts and behaviors. Humans have an innate urge toward socially constructive behavior. The more a person feels understood, and positively affirmed in that understanding, the more likely that urge for constructive behavior will take hold.


Create a Subtle Epiphany


The sweetest two words in any negotiation are actually “That’s right.”


You don’t want to hear “You’re right.”


This indicates they see the solution as yours, not theirs.


Negotiation is about finding irrational blind spots, hidden needs, and undeveloped notions.


Don’t Compromise


To make my point on compromise, let me paint you an example: A woman wants her husband to wear black shoes with his suit. But her husband doesn’t want to; he prefers brown shoes. So what do they do? They compromise, they meet halfway. And, you guessed it, he wears one black and one brown shoe. Is this the best outcome? No! In fact, that’s the worst possible outcome. Either of the two other outcomes—black or brown—would be better than the compromise.


Deadlines are often arbitrary, almost always flexible, and hardly ever trigger the consequences we think—or are told—they will.


As a negotiator, you should always be aware of which side, at any given moment, feels they have the most to lose if negotiations collapse.


People trust those who are in their in-group. Belonging is a primal instinct. And if you can trigger that instinct, that sense that, “Oh, we see the world the same way,” then you immediately gain influence.


Bottom line: People who expect more (and articulate it) get more.


Embrace Conflict


People generally fear conflict, so they avoid useful arguments out of fear that the tone will escalate into personal attacks they cannot handle.


Embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation—and of life.


More than a little research has shown that genuine, honest conflict between people over their goals actually helps energize the problem-solving process in a collaborative way.


With the style of negotiation taught in the book—an information-obsessed, empathic search for the best possible deal—you are trying to uncover value, period. Not to strong-arm or to humiliate.


Decades of goal-setting research is clear that people who set specific, challenging, but realistic goals end up getting better deals than those who don’t set goals or simply strive to do their best.


There are fill-in-the-blank labels that can be used in nearly every situation to extract information from your counterpart, or defuse an accusation:


It seems like _________ is valuable to you.


It seems like you don’t like _________.


It seems like you value __________.


It seems like _________ makes it easier.


It seems like you’re reluctant to _________.


Effective negotiators look past their counterparts’ stated positions (what the party demands) and delve into their underlying motivations (what is making them want what they want).


Never forget that a loss stings at least twice as much as an equivalent gain.


 

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