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

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  20,747 ratings  ·  1,759 reviews
A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.

After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrori
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by HarperBusiness
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4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,747 ratings  ·  1,759 reviews

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James Q. Golden
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hypnosis, business
I'm sorry, but it seems you're looking for a review to help you decide if you Really want to read this book--if it's worth your time--or not. Wondering if somebody would be kind enough to provide you with that one review which would appeal to your tastes.

I have EXACTLY what you're looking for, but why would I provide it for you? I'm thinking No. Go ahead: tell me. Why would I bother saving your time with an eloquent and thorough review that would Definitely appeal to you and surely help you deci
Pouting Always
A lot of what affects how much you enjoy these books is, again, how self aware you are or how much consideration you've given to how you talk to people and the best way to get what you want from others. If you already easily have any easy time convincing people, or have thought about it and are self aware of how you behave and talk to others then I don't think any of these things are going to be surprising or helpful but if you haven't ever actually considered the way you interact with people th ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read over the last few years. In my opinion, the title does NOT do it justice. While this is applicable to negotiating, and the title DOES highlight a critical component, this book is valuable to MANY types of negotiating, even situations that we may not consider to be negotiating... things that happen every day. This borrows heavily from behavioral and neuro science areas to get at the way people work (all of us). It of necessity helps gain trust. It helps in understa ...more
Rita Arens
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-shelf
I actually TOOK NOTES on this book.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible-listens
Recently, I've snagged a couple interesting titles off the Audible deal-of-the-day. This book popped up and the premise was just so interesting, I had to get it for a couple dollars.

Chris Voss, the author, was a lead FBI hostage negotiator and haggled with terrorists, kidnappers, and a host of other bad dudes for a lot of years. I had an initial concern that Chris would be authoritarian and a tad bit self-enamored when I bought the book. The only reason for this being that most "bargain-like-a-
Mario Velarde
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. While I recommend it to everyone, I almost don't want to give away a competitive edge and prefer no one reads it--it's that good!
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, goodgift
tl;dr My animated summary of Never Split the Difference is available here:

Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator. If you want to learn how to negotiate, he’s your top teacher. Every chapter in his book is a lesson. Each of them feels like an episode of some crime TV series. Every lesson is based on a real-life example from author’s involvement with hostage negotiations. After the storytelling, Chris explains which negotiating techniques worked and which didn’t
Simon Clark
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very practical, easy to read book on the various psychological tricks and techniques you can use in persuading people to see things your way. I was recommended to read this with regards to negotiating with brands (making sponsored video content) and it has certainly beefed up my skillset. I've actually already used a bunch of tips from this book outside of formal negotiations, and I can confirm that much as some of the tricks sound unnatural on paper they really do work!

As I say, the book is v
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book should have been titled "Start at No in Negotiations." Often, a "no" means "wait" or "I'm not comfortable with that." Probe deeper and listen carefully to uncover key information behind the "no" (such as "I want to but I don't have the money now" or "it is actually my spouse, not me, who doesn't agree"). This is a much more effective approach than trying to get the counterpart to say "yes," which the person might say just to get rid of you.

The author, who is a former FBI hostage negotia
Petr Bela
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible-us
One of the most useful books I've ever read. Full of great tips, practical examples and surprising points about negotiating (without the other party feeling they've been cheated), which can be used in business, school, or any casual situation.

A few points I've remembered:
- Every negotiation starts with a "no". If you start with questions leading to "yes" (Do you want to help the world? Do you think we should stop animal abuse? ...), the other party will go into defense mode. By getting them to d
Christopher Lawson
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing

And so begins this surprising book. The author begins the book by relating his experience at a prestigious seminar at Harvard University. Several of the college's top negotiators put him on the spot to see how he would negotiate in a hypothetical hostage negotiation.

The author held his own against the expert negotiators, surprising the professors. How did he do so well? Mr. Voss explains that the methods used by the FBI were developed
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was prepared to hate this book and lump it in with the whole useless self-help genre (which begs the question why I keep reading those books), but I actually learned a lot. The book is basically a behavioral psychology approach to negotiations. I was taught all the BATNA and rational negotiations strategies in law school, but all those assumptions were based on rationality and lack of feelings. But we now understand that we are more prone to emotional decision making (system 1 or the elephant) ...more
Simon Eskildsen
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread
What a phenomenal book. Who would've thought we could learn so much from a field that could not be further from our life: hostage negotiation. In the end this is a book about listening. It's a book about making people feel listened to. This is a compilation of secret weapons that works like black magic when put into practise. Read the three first chapters, try it, and I promise you will not be disappointed.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best book on negotiation I've ever read and newly entered into my top reads list. Never split the difference takes conventional thinking that negotiating is logical, is about "getting to yes" and "splitting the difference" to get achieve a "win-win" situation, then flips that thinking on it's head. The author frames negotiation as two parties working collaborating where the situation is the adversary - what a great way to approach a negotiation. The author stresses the importa ...more
Update 31 October 2017:

I used one of the techniques presented here (if you're asking for money, make the number look as precise as possible to imply that you've thought deeply about what exactly you need) in a small grant application to sequence some seagrasses and the grant was awarded in full, nice! Sadly I can't prove that it was awarded because I used a precise number...

Original text:

Fun short book from a former hostage negotiation expert turned business consultant. It's a bunch of technique
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
While I enjoyed reading the book, I couldn't help realize it was mainly about how to manipulate and use people in order to get your way. No matter how Chris worded his stories, examples, and techniques it all sounded like he is teaching "how to use others for your personal (or business's) gain. I honestly felt dirty reading it as it does teach how to be a horrible person to others while smiling and coming off as a great person.
I'll say as some one with high functioning autism and learning "to b
Andrei Savu
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Powerful like a knife or fire. It reads as a description of a military tool that can be used to nurture, drive change and action but also to exploit so many of the biases that plague us as humans in a very effective way. I find some ideas very challenging from an ethical and moral perspective outside of the FBI crisis negotiation realm but that doesn't dimish their power. Definitely worth reading multiple times. Take what you need to improve your life and enjoy the important history lessons.
Sreejith Pp
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very useful book and one who's ideas I plan to test in the near future. I felt there was a lot of common ground with the charisma myth.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This does not work well as an audiobook because there's a lot of filler and hot air. I agree with the starting premise of the book, i.e. that "Getting to Yes" is more or less useless because people aren't robots: When everybody involved is nice and logical, no one needs help with negotiating.
Having said that, I'm not sure how especially useful his advice is.
Personally, I got much more out of: Talking to Crazy How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life by Mark Goulston.
I would also recommend The Introvert's Edge How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone by Matthew Pollard. The author there recognizes that introverts have different strengths/weak
Alper Çuğun
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Totally delivers what it promises and then some: a Talebian addition to the literature about negotiation. Good pace and a nice mix of theory, summary and real-world cases that makes this a thrilling read.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent !!
The content. The writing style. The summary at the end of each chapter

I make no illusion that I'm going to become a better negotiator just by reading it. It requires re reading (which I'm planning to do) and practice and experience
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author, a former hostage negotiator, put together tips in dealing with others. This actually felt like a "How to Parent the Terrible Teens." So much of this reminded me of those years. But I really liked this one. He shares how to negotiate anything that you are up against...buying a new car, job raises, promotions, etc. I also liked how he related these lessons learned and applied them to normal life. So 4 stars.

Also, the title was perfect for this book.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nejlepší knížka o vyjednávání, jakou jsem zatím četl. Žádná suchá teorie nebo vykalkulovaná soupiska rad bez šťávy a hloubky. Kdepak. Chris je bývalý šéf vyjednávač FBI a je to znát. Oceňuji přiznané neúspěchy i následné ponaučení. Skvělá je polemika nad klasickými přístupy, například kritika klasické 'Getting to yes', pod kterou se můžu, byť jen jako laik, podepsat. V praxi jsem vyzkoušel pár rad a byl jsem vskutku překvapen výsledkem. Bohužel ale jako u všech knih i zde platí, že jen četba nes ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zajímavá a nad očekávání praktická kniha o vyjednávání. Raději jsem se připravoval, že budu zklamaný, ale zbytečně. Jednu hvězdičku si schovávám, protože to jistě lze napsat ještě o něco lépe, abych si z toho sedl na zadek. Ideální by bylo s praktickým cvičením, ale určitě něco zkusím sám i bez učitele.

Nejspíš opravdu popisuje aktuální trendy ve vyjednávání, protože se v mnohém shodoval s tím, co na školení říkal Daniel Štrobl. Rovněž jsem si vzpomněl na jiné školení, kde jsme měli „protivníkovi
Michiel Berger
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ik heb hem meteen 2x achter elkaar geluisterd. En ik vertel iedereen er over. Erg interessant en leuk verteld boek over onderhandelingen. Met verrassende inzichten, voor mij althans, zoals dat die hele 'laat mensen meteen ja zeggen, dan zijn ze in een ja-bui' onzin blijkt te zijn. Juist een 'Nee' biedt veiligheid om van daaruit naar de ja te gaan zoeken. En over de manieren waarop je empathie kan opbouwen, en de gedachten van de tegenpartij kan veranderen. Lees dit boek als je ooit onderhandelt. ...more
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, business
This book on negotiating also happens to be the best book on sales I've read in a long, long time.

Most folks just skim the surface in their interactions with others, but this book will teach you how to set your ego and fears aside to break through the facades we project.

Among other incredible insights, the author reveals techniques to uncover the information that makes a sale happen or not happen (what he refers to as black swans).
Pavel Annenkov
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Эта книга поменяла мои многие установки про переговоры. Очень чётко, без воды и множество примеров из практики автора.
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
tried to use it when negotiating for a new car. Epic fail. Will need to spend a bit more time on it.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Anyone will get something useful from this book.

At the start of this old Nintendo (NES) game a player had to choose one of four characters. There was a footman, archer, wizard, and thief (I think). Each character had certain features. The footman was slow but strong. The archer was fast but weak and so on. None were perfect and after I died I always thought that if I only had the speed of the archer and strength of the footman.

That idea came up while reading Voss's book. There were some sectio
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A 24 year veteran of the FBI, Chris Voss is one of the preeminent practitioners and professors of negotiating skills in the world. He is the founder and principal of The Black Swan Group, a consulting firm that provides training and advises Fortune 500 companies through complex negotiations. Voss has taught for many business schools, including the University of Southern California's Marshall Schoo ...more
“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.” 28 likes
“Conflict brings out truth, creativity, and resolution.” 15 likes
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