A Great Book

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Never Split The Difference

“Never Split The Difference” by Chris Voss.

As an FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss spent his life learning how to negotiate the best outcome in some very difficult and dangerous situations. After leaving the FBI Voss set up a company to advise businesses.

He describes his development and learning over the years, lots of guns and hostages, but in this book his heart-felt wish is to help all of us negotiate better in our everyday lives.

Because think about it, our lives are filled with negotiations everyday. From arranging family outings to going out to buy something to finding a new job. It’s all negotiation.

Some of the advice is surprising. He distrusts “Yes”. He says there are three kinds of “Yes” and only one of them means they agree with you. The other two are devices to shut you up and make you go away. He says “No” is much more useful because now you can find out why they are saying no, not by asking “Why” (never ask “Why”) but by understanding and wanting to know more and asking how you can work with it.

The sweetest thing about this book is the constant advice to treat whoever you are negotiating with respect and patience, find out why they are taking that position and ways to reach a mutually beneficial and agreeable solution. Five stars!