Summary of Never Split the Difference

Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It

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Never Split the Difference book summary
The FBI’s lead hostage negotiator shares the secrets of his bargaining tactics.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Knowing how to get what you want and need from other people is crucial to your happiness. Yet most people avoid conflict, hate bargaining, fear confrontation and capitulate to get along. This is bad for business and harmful to relationships. Writing with award-winning journalist Tahl Raz, former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss recounts his role in nail-biting negotiations with kidnappers and hostage-takers in which victims’ lives hung in the balance. His spots of self-promotion aside, Voss teaches professional negotiating techniques including “active listening,” “tactical empathy” and “calibrated questions.” getAbstract particularly likes the way he uses case studies to share the valuable lessons he learned. Voss’s real-world advice will show you how to manage a full range of negotiation scenarios at work and at home.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What role negotiation plays in your life,
  • How the negotiating skills of an FBI hostage negotiator translate into everyday scenarios, and
  • How to deploy practical negotiation strategies at work and at home.


Getting Past “Getting to Yes”
Negotiation theory coalesced as a formal study in 1979 with the formation of the Harvard Negotiation Project. The project set out to study, develop and teach negotiation techniques for use in business contracts, hostage negotiations and more. The bestseller...
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About the Authors

Former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss founded The Black Swan Group, a consulting firm that supports major companies during complex negotiations. Award-winning journalist Tahl Raz co-authored the New York Times bestseller Never Eat Alone.

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