Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

  • Chapter 1 -

    • Ask open ended ("calibrated") questions: buys you time and gives them the sense of control

    • Negotiation can be overly rational and formulaic: we need to keep in mind that we are people and have emotions



      • Use Kahneman's understanding of our two types of thinking



    • Use tactical empathy to gain access to the mind of the other

  • Chapter 2 - Mirroring

    • Your most powerful tool in verbal communication is your voice

    • Mirroring (isopraxism), is imitation to establish rapport and lead to trust - we trust what is alike us



      • Repeat the last 3 words (or one important word) they said



    • Mirroring allows you to disagree without being disagreeable

    • The intention behind mirrors should always be "please help me understand"

    • Lessons from this chapter



      • A great negotiator uses his skills to reveal the surprises he is certain to find


      • Use assumptions as hypotheses and use the negotiation to test them vigorously


      • A negotiation isn't a battle, it's an opportunity to discover information


      • Make your sole focus the other person and what they have to say


      • slow it down


      • put a smile on your face



    • Three voices of negotiators



      • Late night DJ: downward inflection calm and slow to make a point with authority without awakening defensiveness


      • Positive/playful voice: should be default, relax and smile while talking


      • Direct/assertive voice: use rarely



  • Chapter 3 -

    • Empathy: the ability to recognize and vocalize the other person's perspective. You don't have to agree with them, just imagine yourself in their shoes

    • Tactical empathy: understanding feelings and emotions-and what is behind them-so you can increase your influence

    • Labeling: validating someone's emotion by naming it



      • use "It sounds like..." rather than "I'm hearing that...": "I" gets people's guard up


      • After labeling, wait in silence


      • Labeling diffuses negative emotions and reinforces positive emotions



    • Accusation audit: list everything negative they could say about your to "take the sting out"

  • Chapter 4 - No

    • Allow yourself and the other to say "no", it helps you feel comfortable and somewhat in control. No can mean:



      • I'm not ready


      • I'm uncomfortable


      • I need more information


      • ...etc.



    • No is a starting point

    • There are 3 kinds of yes: Counterfeit, confirmation, and commitment

    • Our primal urges: to feel safe/secure, and to feel in control

  • Chapter 5

    • "That's right" is better than yes

    • "You're right" is dangerous

  • Chapter 6

    • Compromise rarely leads to great results (think one brown shoe and one black shoe)

    • It is important to know each other's deadlines, but they aren't fixed in stone

    • "if you approach the negotiation thinking the other guy thinks like you, you're wrong"

    • The most powerful word in negotiation is "fair":



      • "we just want what's fair"


      • "we have given you a fair offer"


      • "I want you to feel like you're being treated fairly at all times, so please stop me if you feel otherwise"



    • Anchor their emotions



      • anchor their emotions and expectations low and then play on loss aversion



    • let the other guy go first, usually



      • let them anchor and adjust, especially when you don't have all the information



    • establish a range



      • understand that if you offer a range they will come in low



    • pivot to non-monetary

    • when you talk numbers, use odd numbers



      • an odd number ($115,500) sounds more exact, calculated, and immovable than a round $110,000



    • make a surprise gift - which they will feel obligated to repay

    • SALARY NEGOTIATION



      • be pleasantly persistent on non-salary terms: builds the right environment for discussion and can lead to higher salary if they can't meet those desires


      • define success for your position and metrics for your next raise


      • "what does it take to be successful here": once they give you guidance they have a stake in if you succeed and you have gained a mentor



  • Chapter 7

    • asking calibrated questions (asking for help) is the most powerful way to suspend unbelief, allows them to focus on solving the problem and gives them the illusion of control

    • instead of saying what you "need", describe what you are looking for and ask for suggestions

    • ask: "How am I supposed to do that?"

    • calibrated questions



      • be open ended, start with "what", "how"



    • calibrated questions require self-control



      • bit your tongue



  • Chapter 8

    • "yes" is nothing without "how"

    • signs that they're not on board with you:



      • "you're right" instead of "all right"


      • "I'll try" means "I plan to fail"



    • identify and motivate the players behind the table

    • Dealing with difficult/aggressive negotiators:



      • 7-38-55: % contribution of message, tone, and body language, respectively


      • Rule of 3: get 3 yeses in the same conversation to confirm you are on the same page


      • Use your name in your speech as a form of "forced empathy"


      • use a multi step empathetic no



  • Chapter 9

    • any response that is not an outright rejection means you have the edge

    • archetypes of negotiating style:



      • Accommodate


      • Assertive


      • Analyst



    • Ackerman bargaining system (for buying):



      • Set your target (goal)


      • Set you first offer at 65% target


      • Calculate 3 raises of decreasing increments (85%, 95%, 100%)


      • Use empathy and "no" to get the other side to counter before decreasing offer


      • Use precise, non-round number for your final offer


      • On final number, throw in a non-monetary item they don't care about to show you're at your limit



  • Chapter 10

    • Black Swan symbolizes the uselessness of predictions based on past experience (unknown-unknown)

    • never make a threat, but use labels to make the point:



      • "It seems like you value that I've always paid on time"


      • "It seems like you don't care what position you're leaving me in"



    • know your opponent's worldview or "religion"

    • People trust familiarity: build rapport

    • Express passion for their goals

    • Give a reason for your requests

    • Don't accept that they are "crazy": search to understand why



      • If they have bad information, they will make bad decisions


      • Weird behavior might indicate constraints that they haven't revealed


      • They may have other interests



    • Get face time

    • Observe the unguarded moments before and after the actual negotiation

    • If it doesn't make sense, there are cents ($) to be made

    • 3 types of leverage



      • Positive (give them what they want)


      • Negative (hurt them)


      • Normative (using their norms to bring them around)



  • Prepare negotiation sheet

    • When the pressure is on, we fall to our highest level of preparation

    • The goal



      • Think though best/worst case scenarios but only write down a specific goal that represents the best case


      • Don't focus too much on BATNA since it can be too low and become your goal


      • Never be so sure of what you want that you wouldn't take something better


      • Write your goal down, discuss it with someone else, and carry the written goal into the negotiation



    • Summary



      • Write out a couple sentences to understand facts that led to negotiation


      • Your counterpart must be able to respond with "that's right"



    • Labels/Accusation Audit



      • Prepare 3-5 labels to perform and accusation audit


      • Make a list of accusations they might bring


      • Then turn that list into labels and role play


      • Examples





        • It seems like x is valuable to you



        • It seems like you don't like x



        • It seems like you value x



        • It seems like x makes it easier



        • It seems like you're reluctant to x






    • Calibrated Questions



      • Prepare 3-5 calibrated questions


      • Example "how" and "what" questions:





        • What are we trying to accomplish?



        • How is that worthwhile?



        • What's the core issue here?



        • How does that affect things?



        • What's the biggest challenge you face?



        • How does that fit in with the objective?





      • Behind the Table killers (committee)





        • How does this affect the rest of the team?



        • How on board are the people not on this call?



        • What does your boss see as the main challenge?





      • Find deal-killing issues





        • What are we up against here?



        • What's the biggest challenge you face?



        • What happens if you do nothing?






    • Noncash Offers



      • Prepare a list of noncash items possessed by your counterpart that would be valuable


      • What could they give us that would get us to do this for free?




Topic: Negotiation