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Worth the Read? Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

Never Split The Difference is an engaging negotiation guidebook about how to get your way in interpersonal situations. It presents a different ideology towards negotiation in that the situation itself is your adversary, not your counterpart in the argument. His argument is that the only way to win a negotiation is to guide your counterpart into solving your problems for you. This approach is a much more collaborational approach to negotiation than traditional negotiation approaches might argue. An article from Harvard also echoes this idea by saying "under most circumstances collaboration is the primary style you should use."


So what sets this book apart from droves of other negotiation classics like Getting to Yes? The way it spins the narrative, through storytelling is especially interesting because Voss was an FBI hostage negotiator, and most of the examples are high-stakes scenarios in which his ideas about negotiation are tested through real-world past experience. This reaffirms his points as it proves that if hostage takers respond to the tactics used in the books, your everyday business and personal application of his lessons certainly will.


The book feels at times like a cheat code manual for human interaction, anecdotally showing how weaving basic human psychology with business can lead to remarkable outcomes. The biggest takeaway to cause these seemingly impossible outcomes is working with your counterpart, not against them. Sympathize with their views, and arrive at a conclusion together.


A possible negative for this book is that Voss does seem to have a personal goal of writing a book better than Getting to Yes, one of the leading negotiation books of all time. This takes the form of slight jabs at the content and ideas of that book, but depending on how you look at it, this just makes it more fun to read.


Overall, this book is certainly worth the read, as negotiation skills are needed for nearly every profession, but rarely taught formally. This book offers great insight on the necessary skill of negotiation, and is definitely worth the time to go through it. Those of you interested in reading it can check it out here.




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Fayetteville AR

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