Book Summary of “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss

Richard H Webb
4 min readFeb 16, 2024

Summary:

“Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss is a seminal work that distills the author’s decades of experience as a former FBI hostage negotiator into practical strategies for effective negotiation. Voss shares the keys to becoming an expert negotiator and succeeding in any circumstance with compelling tales and perceptive analysis.By utilizing concepts from psychology, communication, and human behavior, Voss gives readers a thorough toolkit to manage high-stakes situations and get the best results.

Introduction:

Transitioning from uniform police officer to the FBI

In the book’s introduction, Chris Voss describes his transition from his early years as a police officer to his work as the FBI’s chief international hostage negotiator. Voss introduces the concept of “tactical empathy” as the cornerstone of effective negotiation, emphasizing the importance of understanding and influencing the emotions of the other party to achieve desired outcomes.

Chapter 1: The New Rules

This chapter presents readers with Voss’ novel approaches to negotiation and challenges conventional wisdom. Voss explains how tactical empathy can be used to establish rapport, build trust, and gain valuable insights into the other party’s mindset.

Chapter 2: Be a Mirror

Man looking into a mirror at his reflection

Voss examines the effectiveness of mirroring as a negotiating strategy for establishing rapport and encouraging collaboration. Voss provides practical tips for incorporating mirroring into negotiations and illustrates its effectiveness through real-life examples.

Claim your free copy of “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss on Audible or get it on Kindle, in paperback or hard cover.

Chapter 3: Don’t Feel Their Pain, Label It

Voss presents the idea of “labeling” in this chapter as a useful strategy for reducing conflict and revealing hidden feelings during negotiations. Voss provides strategies for effectively labeling emotions and navigating difficult conversations with empathy and respect.

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Richard H Webb

Richard Webb is the author of "Fat Burning Secrets" on Amazon, and a tech, travel and fitness blogger.