Friday, April 15, 2016

NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator Chris Voss.

Voss makes the provocative argument that everything we’ve previously been taught about negotiation is wrong: humans are not rational; there is no such thing as ‘fair’; compromise is the worst thing you can do; the real art of negotiation lies in mastering the intricacies of No, not Yes. These surprising tactics — which radically diverge from conventional negotiating strategy — weren’t cooked up in a classroom, but are the field-tested tools FBI agents used to talk criminals and hostage-takers around the world into (or out of) just about any scenario you can imagine. 

In NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE, Voss and co-author Tahl Raz break down these strategies so that anyone can use them in the workplace, in business, or at home. Voss draws on his experiences in truly life-or-death situations to illustrate these techniques, and offers scores of examples of how they translate into our working lives. He explains how simple these tools can be, such as your tone of voice, the types of questions you ask the other party, or even how you enter the conversation in the first place. Successfully asking for a raise, a new position, a client concession, or a change to the terms of a contract can all be influenced by the techniques outlined in the book. Voss was part of the generation that revolutionized and refined the FBI’s approach to the process  of negotiation. And now he can help readers do the same in their own lives.

We spend most of our days at work negotiating for something. Knowing the most successful, crisis-tested approaches to the process will ensure the conversation more frequently goes your way. What sets these strategies apart from other negotiation paradigms — i.e., the standard thinking in negotiations is to approach them as logical and sequential problems to be solved—is the injection of emotional intelligence and empathy into the negotiation process. This was the game-changer for the FBI, Voss writes, and these are the unique skills emphasized in NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE.

Chris Voss teaches negotiation at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He has also taught at institutions such as Harvard University, the Sloan School of Management, and the Kellogg School of Management. Through his firm The Black Swan Group, Voss works with Fortune 500 companies around the world. He is a frequent guest on CNN and Fox News, and has appeared on The Daily ShowAnderson Cooper 360, and NPR.


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