Never Split the Difference Summary – February 2022

Author: Chris Voss, Tahl Raz

Short Summary
Never Split the Difference (2016) gives us tips and tricks on how to negotiate effectively. Moreover, it also teaches us to never compromise and master the art of negotiation.
never split the difference summary
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

In the Never Split the Difference summary, the author highlights the importance of negotiation. He says that it is important for everyone to know how to negotiate effectively whether you are at a workplace dealing with your boss, you are finalizing a deal, or even at home with your parents. We negotiate every day in our daily life.

Every time we try to convince someone, we are actually negotiating with them. Just like when your spouse wants to go to a usual restaurant for the dinner but you want to try a new eatery. And a mother who tries to convince her kid to eat broccoli before she gets a dessert.

Never Split the Difference Key Points

Be a good listener

According to the author Chriss Voss, if you want to be good at negotiation you should start listening effectively to the other person. When you pay attention to what the other person is saying, they start feeling like you understand them and this is how trust is built between two people.

Repeat what they say

Besides this, a good way to know someone is to repeat what they say but with the addition of a question so that you get to know them more. In this way, the person will feel like you are similar to them and they will start trusting you.


One another tip shared by the author is to use a soft tone when you are negotiating with anyone. The tone of your voice plays a very important role. Sometimes we feel offended just because of the tone of a person. They don’t mean it but the way they said it makes you feel offended. Whenever you feel like the other person is getting upset by your tone, try using a soft voice to calm down the situation. In this way, you can better negotiate with them and they will understand you better.

Moreover, smiling while talking to someone is another secret of negotiating with someone. It makes another person feel comfortable while talking to you. You seem more empathetic.

Be empathetic

The author motivates the readers to be empathetic while negotiating. When you feel other people’s emotions, it makes them feel that you understand them and can see things from their perspectives. When you feel their emotions, you can better negotiate with them by repositioning yourself.

The author says that this formula works for him while negotiating. He shares that when he was negotiating with four fugitives. All of them believed that he had atomic weapons in his apartment. So, in order to understand them, he talked to them. By talking to them, he got the feeling that they are scared to leave the apartment. If they will leave, they will go back to prison. But after a lot of negotiations, they surrendered. It happened because of the way the author talked to them and make them feel comfortable.

Never compromise

The author in his book emphasized on never compromising in negotiation but taking things slow. This is the key to finding a better solution. When you compromise, you won’t be able to reach a better solution. Moreover, the author considered it a bad idea to compromise while negotiating with someone.

Always play smart and take things slow. Take your time and find the best possible solution.

To advocate this, the author shares an example when he was in a negotiation with a kidnapper. That kidnapper had the wife of Haitian police for a ransom of $150,000. The author realized that the kidnappers became more serious about the ransom every Friday. This was because of the weekend and the author guessed that they want money just to party on the weekends. So, the author used the tactics that he negotiated and offered them a much lower price as partying in Haiti was not that expensive. So, this example teaches us that be smart and try to understand the person we are negotiating with.

Who would I recommend the Never Split the Difference summary to?

The Never Split the Difference summary is recommended to teenagers who should know that compromising is not a good idea when dealing with people. Moreover, a sales representative would get some tips and tricks on how to convince people and how to negotiate effectively with the clients. Lastly, anyone who wants to understand people and their psyche should give it a read.