I first heard about this interesting book when the author Chris Voss started to pop up on some of the podcasts that I listen to. He interviewed really well and the angle from which he was approaching negotiation was an interesting and different one.
I have read a fair few books on negotiation over the years after reading Everything is Negotiable many moons ago. One of the key concepts that stuck with me from that book is that many more of our social interactions than we initially think involve negotiation. If asked, many think well I negotiate when I buy a new car or house… that’s about it. In reality negotiation skills also apply to so many other interactions besides ones involving money. One of the interesting angles I have applied some of these skills is my work with disengaged PT clients and then later learners on the various courses I have taught.
Negotiation skills are vital in life to get things done and in some cases get others to do things they may have initially been resistant to. Such as that client who does not want to give up that one can of red bull a day, or that learner who does not see the point in re-submitting a unit of work in order to complete their course. Either way to try to get that individual to a point where you feel as though it is a win you will need to negotiate.
Being a fan of crime dramas on TV a book written by an ex-FBI negotiator immediately jumped out at me. Never split the Difference is written by Chris Voss, ex lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, stakes do not get much higher than that. Reading over the about the author shows his experience in the area of high risk negotiation can not be questioned.
There is no getting away from where Voss learnt and applied his negotiation techniques. The book is filled with real life stories of how certain negotiation techniques were applied within his role in the FBI. However this is always nicely drawn back to the wider application of the technique to business or life.
It is this nice mix of gripping FBI style application, theory and then more everyday life application that really makes the book entertaining and educational. The book is an easy read and although, Voss demonstrates his vast understanding of the academics of negotiation, this is kept light and actionable.
Chris Voss approaches different principles of negotiation in a logical order over the ten chapters. One of the nice things is the key lessons that sum up at the end of each chapter. These give you something to focus in on and then try out during your next negotiation.
I would recommend the book to anyone really that has an interest in negotiation techniques. There is not really a type of person that I think should read this book, there are elements that could be applicable to so many people in so many situations. If you’re a Kindle user have a look at the free first chapter download, if you approach it with an open mind and I am sure you can see 101 places these techniques may be applicable to you. Awesome book… so much so it is going on my re-read list! Amazon link.