Chris Voss : Never Split the Difference : Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

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25/03/2020, 00:32:56

Hilton gave me this book (the name at least, i'm reading it on epub). My thoughts on how i'm gonna read this book :

  • Day 1 : read all the headings of each chapter to get a sense of the structure, jot down some notes
  • Day 2 : Read the introductions of each chapter, skim read the chapter, read the key lessons section of each chapter
  • Day 3--> end : Read the Book of the book, taking notes, perhaps a quote or two per chapter

Chapter 1 - The New Rules :

The author introduces himself and his carreer and through this what the book is going to be about.

The smartest dumb guy in the room : he describes how in a Harvard negotiation masterclass he is just way better than all of them as an FBI agent who handles negotiations.

Heart vs Mind : uses Daniel Khaneman's framework of system 1, system 2 to explain how you can change someone's opinion by guiding their emotion; your system 1 is like a filter which feeds into your system 2 - rational thought, or even your system 1 (the monkey in your brain) sometimes has opinions that your system 2 then makes up ad-hoc rationalizations for.

The FBI gets emotional : after realising that most hostage situations involve extreemely irrational agents, the FBI changes their game shifts the emphasis on emotinoal intelligence and understanding rather than rational negotiation tactics.

Life is negotiation : the author shows us how the experience aquired from his domain of expertise - negotiation with kidnappers and criminals - is a highly transferable skill that can be used in almost all aspects of life.

Like a contractor building a house, this book is constructed from the ground up: first come the big slabs of foundation, then the necessary load-bearing walls, the elegant but impermeable roof, and the lovely interior decorations. Each chapter expands on the previous one. First you'll learn the refined techniques of this approach to Active Listening and then you'll move on to specific tools, turns of phrase, the ins and outs of the final act - haggling - and, finally, how to discover the rarity that can help you achieve true negotiating greatness: the Black Swan.

Chapter 2 - Be a Mirror

In Chapter 2, you'll learn how to avoid the assumptions that blind neophyte negotiators and replace them with Active Listening techniques like Mirroring, Scilences, and the Late-Night FM DJ Voice. You'll discover how to slow things down and make your conterpart feel safe enough to reveal themselves; to discern between wants (aspirations) and needs (the bare minimum for a deal); and to laser-focus on what the other party has to say.


Assumptions Blind , Hypotheses Guide

Calm the Schizophrenic

Slow It Down

The Voice


How To Confront - And Get Your Way - Without Confrontation

Key Lessons

Chapter 3 - Don't Feel Their Pain, Label It

Chapter 3 will delve into Tactical Empathy. You'll learn how to recognize your counterpart's perspective and then gain trust and understanding though Labeling- that is, by repeating that perspective back to them. You'll also learn how to defuse negative dynamics by bringing them into the open. Finally, I'll explain how to disarm your counterpart's complaints about you by speaking them alound in an Accusation Audit.


Tactical Empathy


In one brain imaging study,2 psychology professor Matthew Lieberman of the University of California, Los Angeles, found that when people are shown photos of faces expressing strong emotion, the brain shows greater activity in the amygdala, the part that generates fear. But when they are asked to label the emotion, the activity moves to the areas that govern rational thinking. In other words, labeling an emotion—applying rational words to a fear—disrupts its raw intensity.

  • This is exactly how meditation works, you have some emotion and you just asknowledge it and sit with it for a little while, it naturally becomes less intense and soothed

The following statement is obvious but somehow very insightful at the same time.

The trick to spotting feelings is to pay close attention to changes people undergo when they respond to external events. Most often, those events are your words.

I like this bit, it reminds me of Hilton :

we said "it sounds like..." and not "I'm hearing that..." That's because the word "I" gets people's guard up. Whean you say "I", it says you're more interested in yourself that the other person, and what makes you take personal responsibility for the words that follow and the offense they might cause. But when you phrase a label as a neutral statement of understanding, it encourages your counterpart to be responsive. They'll usually give a longer answer than just "yes" or "no". And if they disagree with the label, that's okay. You can always step back and say, "I didn't say that was what it was. I just said it seems like that." The last rule of labeling is silence. Once you've thrown out a label, be quiet and listen.

Neutralize the Negative, Reinforce the Positive

Clear the road before adverising the destination

Labeling the fears is what clears the road, when you label a fear you go straigh for the amygdala and pacify it - remember aknowledging a fear dampens the fear, aknowledging unrest makes you feel more at ease.

We do that by labeling the fears. These labels are so powerful because they bathe the fears in sunlight, bleaching them of their power and showing our counterpart that we understand.

The thing about labelling is that you need to empathise with the person, the stronger you empathise the better, but you must do this like a sage - with the same disinterest with which a scientist conducts an experiment or a Buddha observes his own emotions - disinterest in the sense that you're ego is not involved, it's in this sense of the word that the scientist can be passionately conducting an experiment or thinking about some theory while remaining disinterested, as objective as possible; similarly someone with high emotional intelligence will be able to examine their feelings in a ditached manner, which is not to say that they are un-involved.

def. Empathy : The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner also : the capacity for this

def. Vicarious experienced or realized through imaginative (OR sympathetic) participation in the experience of another

def. Sympathy : a. An affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other; b. mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by it c. feeling of loyalty : tendency to favor or support

Theorem : This practice that I've been interested in in the bhuddism and zen that I've read is really an art of empathising without sympathising. The theory is that you need some sort of mastery of your self before you can master others, because if you allow you're emotions to cloud you're judgement, you won't be able to empathise with someone without sympathising with them. True mastery of the other and of the world - the transcendental type that makes you feel like God - is when you are able to step into the other's head without being persuaded by their point of view. Taking this to it's logical extreem we find that you must hold ALL of you're opinions tentativly and be able to detach yourself (emotionally) from them, this will allow you not only to revise and improve them more efficiently but also not to be swayed by others.

--> thought and speculation philosphy is uses very precise definitions for words, it's like math but without as much rigour... i don't know enough to make broad sweeping statements -->

Do an Accusation Audit

Get a seat - and an upgrade - on a sold-out flight

Key Lessons

Chapter 4 - Beware "Yes" - Master "No"

Next, in Chapter 4, I'll examine ways to make your counterpart feel understood and positively affirmed in a negotiation in order to create an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard. Here, you'll learn why you should string for "That's right" instead of "yes" at every stage of a negotiation, and how to identify, rearticulate, and emotionally affirm your counterpart's worldview with Summaries and Paraphrasing.


"No" starts the negotiation One of my favourite quotes so far

A trap into which many fall is to take what other people say literally. I started to see that while people played the game of conversation, it was in the game beneath the game, where few played, that all the leverage lived.

persuade in their world

"No" is protection

Email Magic : how never to be ignored again

Key Lessons

Chapter 5 - Trigger the two words that immediately transform any negotiation

Chapter 5 teaches the flip side of Getting to Yes. You'll learn why it's vitally important to get to "No" because "No" starts the negotiation. You'll also discover how to step out of your ego and negotiate in your counterpart's world, the only way to achieve an agreement the other side will implement. Finally, you'll see how to engage your counterpart by acknowledging their right to choose, and you'll learn an email technique that ensures that you'll never be ignored again.


Create a Subtle Epiphany

Trigger a "That's right!" with a summary

"That's right" is great, but if "You're right", Nothing Changes

Using "That's Right" to make the sale

Using "That's right" for career success

Key Lessons

Chapter 6 - Bend Their Reality


Don't compromise

Deadlines : Make them your ally

No such thing as fair

The F-word: Why it's so Powerful, When to use it and How

How to discover the emotional drivers behind what the other party values

Bend their reality

1. Anchor their emotions

2. Let the other guy go first... most of the time

3. Establish a Range

4. Pivot to nonmonetary terms

5. When you do talk numbers, use odd ones

6. Surprise with a gift

How to negotiate a better Salary

Be pleasantly persistent on nonsalary terms

Salary terms without success terms is russian roulette

Spark their interest in your success and gain an unofficial mentor

Key Lessons

Chapter 7 Create the Illusion of Control

After this, Chapter 7 is dedicated to that incredibly powerful tool I used at Harvard: Calibrated Questions, the queries that begin with "How?" or "What?" By eliminating "Yes" and "No" answers they force your counterpart to apply their mental energy to solving your problems.


Don't try to negotiate in a firefight

There is always a team on the other side

Avoid a showdown

Suspend Unblief

Calibrate your Questions

How Not to get paid

Key Lessons

Chapter 8 - Guarantee Execution

In Chapter 8 I emonstrate how to emplow these Calibrated Questions to guard agains failures in the implementation phase. "Yes", as I always say, is nothing without "How?" You'll also discover the importance of nonverbal communication; how to use "How" questions gently say "No"; how to get your counterparts to bid against themselves; and how to influence the deal killers when they're not at the table.


"Yes" is nothing without "how"

Influencing those behind the table

Spotting Liars, Dealing with Jerks, and Charming Everyone Else

The 7-38-55 Percent Rule

The Rule of Three

The Pinocchio Effect

Pay Attention to their Usage of Pronouns

The Chris Discount

How to get your counterparts to bid agains themselves

Key Lessons

Chapter 9 : Bargain Hard

At a certain point, every negotiation gets down to the brass tacks: that is, to old-school haggling. Chapter 9 offers a step-by-step process for effective bargaining, from how to prepare to how to dodge an aggressive counterpart and how to go on the offensive. You'll learn the Ackerman system, the most effective process the FBI has for setting and making offers.


What type are you




Taking a Punch

Punching Back : Using Assertion Without Getting used by it

Real Anger, Threats Without Anger, and Strategic Umbrage

"Why" questions

"I" messages

No Neediness : Having hte Ready-to-walk Mindset

Ackerman Bargaining

Negotiating a Ren cut after Receiving Notice of an Increase

Key Lessons

conflict brings out truth, creativity, and resolution.

Chapter 10 - Find the Black Swan

Finally, Chapter 10 explains how to find and use those most rare of negotiation animals: the Black Swan. in every negotiation there are between three and five pieces of information that, were they to be uncovered, would change everything. The concept is an absolute game-changer; so much so, I've named my company The Black Swan Group. In this chapter, you'll learn how to recognise the markers that show the Black Swan's hidden nest, as well as simple tools for employing Black Swans to gain leverage over your counterpart and achieve truly amazing deals.


Finding Leverage in the Predictably Unpredictable

Uncovering Unknown Unknowns

Focusing so much on the end objective will only distract you from the next step, and that can cause you to fall off the rope. Concentrate on the next step because the rope will lead you to the end as long as all the steps are completed.

Most people expect that Black Swans are highly proprietary or closely guarded information, when in fact the information may seem completely innocuous. Either side may be completely oblivious to its importance. Your counterpart always has pieces of information whose value they do not understand.

The Three Types of Leverage

Positive Leverage

Negative Leverage

Normative Leverage

Know Their Religion

The Similarity Principle

The Power of Hopes and Dreams

Religion as a Reason

It's Not Crazy, It's a Clue

Mistakes #1: They are Ill-Informed

Mistake #2: They are Constrained

Mistake #3: They have other Interests

Get Face Time

Observe Unguarded Moments

When it doesn't smake sense, there's cents to be made

Overcoming fear and Learning to get what you want out of Life

Key Lessons

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