Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Book Review: 'Never Split the Difference' by Chris Voss

Author Chris Voss has a wealth of knowledge that he brings to this topic and this book. Not only is he a 24 year veteran of the FBI, he is also a preeminent practitioner and professor of negotiating skills having taught at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, Harvard University, MIT's Sloan School of Management, and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. 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.

One aspect of Chris’ background that makes this manual feel all the more cogent is the fact that he is a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, which among other aspects of his experience offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations, both in business and personal issues. He uses his own strengths to write this book with opening each chapter with a personal experience in negotiations – many of which sound like episodes from a Liam Neeson film!

As the synopsis clearly explains, ‘Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life. Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.’

This book is so rich in emotionally practical advice on how to protect yourself and still win the negotiation – no mater what type of negotiation that you enter. Chris’ smart, at times witty, always targeted book reads as much like a novel as an instruction manual. His aim is at redirecting the way we approach people with our newly enhanced wisdom – a technique he inserts into our thinking effortlessly. This book is a treasure, no matter what your occupation or situation. Grady Harp, May 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.