Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It” as Want to Read:
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

by
4.40  ·  Rating details ·  61,079 ratings  ·  4,494 reviews
'A kidnapper is nothing more than a commodities trader. In both situations, it's kill or be killed.'

Chris Voss is an award-winning business school professor and corporate consultant. He's also former lead international hostage negotiator for the FBI. In Never Split the Difference, he draws on the unique experience of both of those careers to create the definitive playbook
...more
Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Published May 19th 2016 by Cornerstone Digital (first published May 17th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  61,079 ratings  ·  4,494 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It
James Q. Golden
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, hypnosis
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
...more
Mark
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Always Pouting
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
Rita Arens
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-shelf
I actually TOOK NOTES on this book.
Mario Velarde
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Alexander
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
...more
Annie
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
...more
Paige Halper
Jan 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did I really just read 288 pages of a white dude describing the world and how he manipulates others to "get the right answer" to his questions? I feel sick.

With the preface, you really believe Voss is the expert in his field (and a humble expert, which is refreshing beyond belief). But you'll also start to realize about 15 pages in that Voss' techniques only work because he lives in a world where everyone is systematically inclined to make men like him happy (either for fear of retribution or b
...more
ScienceOfSuccess
tl;dr My animated summary of Never Split the Difference is available here: https://youtu.be/pWu6ie-QXjI

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
...more
David
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a FANTASTIC book! The author, Chris Voss, is an expert hostage negotiator for the FBI. He can never "split the difference"--a euphemism for compromise--because to compromise in a hostage negotiation is to lose a life or many lives.

Voss explains how to negotiate--not just for the FBI, but in any realm of life. So much of his advice sounds completely anti-intuitive. Just as an example, one should not be encouraged by the answer "Yes". It is much better to hear the answer "No". Why? A "Yes"
...more
Cori
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-
...more
Andy
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 . The author there recognizes that introverts have different strength
...more
Simon Clark
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Mehrsa
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Petr Bela
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Bradley
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, 2020-shelf
Honestly, I got a weird feeling when I first read the title because it felt almost like a call to arms, like I was being told that the idea of compromise was utterly insane...

and I was right. It is. But not for the sake of arguing for argument's sake. It's funny, but I really liked this book. Any book that has a call to arms like this but keeps a central tenant like "tactical empathy" and "Really, truly listening to someone" isn't crazy.

And besides, it reminds me of the old story of Solomon and
...more
Christopher Lawson
“WE’VE GOT YOUR SON. GIVE US ONE MILLION DOLLARS OR HE DIES!"

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
...more
Yevgeniy Brikman
Crap title, GREAT book.

The premise: the FBI's former chief international hostage negotiator (what a job title!) shares what he learned about negotiation throughout his career. These are the lessons the FBI has learned the hard way—those strategies that have been found to work when people's lives depend on it. And these strategies work not only for hostage negotiation, but in the types of negotiations you come across throughout life: asking a boss for a raise, convincing your kids to take out th
...more
Simon Eskildsen
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jeff
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Philipp
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
...more
Trung Phạm
This book has changed my life !

Or my reality’s simply just been bent by some tricks of Chris Voss. Because this FBI guy is an outstanding negotiator. He has a special passion in negotiating, as we can find while reading this book, some times he was so glad when hearing that someone had been captured as hostage (!)

But having said that, this book truly contains many good advice. And they are also very practical, so I rate this book 5* and recommend it for everyone who is in need of a good book in
...more
Sarah
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I learned a lot from this, but have refrained from highlighting much to avoid revealing my forthcoming methods.
Siobhán
It's a nice premise and I like some of the articles I've read that the author has taken part in, but honestly I picked the book up again and reached a part where the author says how you can't see things as being all about you and then proceeds to tell all these stories about himself thinking things are all about him, and it didn't grip me or provide me with anything beyond a sense of this guy has good stories to tell but that isn't what I came here for.
Andrei Savu
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rob
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
Yoda
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely an important book, I really like Voss´ writing style and I enjoyed his real life experience. However I didn´t really learn so much, had I read it a year ago then I would get a lot more out of it. A lot of negotiations strategies he describes are part of communication in my nursing education. Types of negotiations he describes, mirroring, using non-verbal communications such as silence, reformulating, repetition, its all part of how we learn to communicate with patiens.

I still
...more
Rafael Lucas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sreejith Puthanpurayil
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.
Justas
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some well known manipulation techniques, some doubtful claims. Limited practical applicability, but some okeyish stories
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
  • Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE
  • Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
  • The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
  • The 4-Hour Workweek
  • Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
  • Principles: Life and Work
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
  • Outliers: The Story of Success
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
See similar books…
803 followers
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

News & Interviews

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts...
8 likes · 2 comments
“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.” 58 likes
“Conflict brings out truth, creativity, and resolution.” 39 likes
More quotes…