Never Split the Difference is an audiobook by Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator who shares his insights and strategies on negotiation techniques. The audiobook is narrated by Michael Kramer and is just over 8 hours long. Throughout the book, Voss emphasizes the importance of active listening and empathy in negotiation, encouraging listeners to approach any negotiation as a conversation rather than a confrontation. He also stresses the importance of building rapport with the other party, finding common ground, and understanding the other party’s perspective and needs.
One of the key takeaways from the audiobook is Voss’s emphasis on the power of “mirroring” in negotiation. This technique involves repeating the last few words of what the other party says, which can help build rapport and encourage the other party to share more information. Voss also discusses other techniques such as “labeling” and “calibrated questions” which can help to uncover hidden information and disarm the other party.
The audiobook is well-organized and provides practical examples of negotiation scenarios, ranging from high-stakes hostage situations to everyday business deals. Voss shares personal stories from his time as a negotiator, as well as case studies from other successful negotiators to illustrate his points. The narration by Michael Kramer is clear and engaging, and he does an excellent job of conveying Voss’s enthusiasm for the topic. However, some listeners may find the pace of the narration to be a bit slow, which can make the audiobook feel longer than it actually is.
One potential criticism of the audiobook is that some of Voss’s techniques may not be applicable in all situations. For example, some of the more confrontational tactics may not be appropriate in negotiations with long-term business partners or in situations where building long-term relationships is important. However, Voss is clear that his techniques are not a one-size-fits-all solution and that negotiators should adapt their approach to suit the specific situation.
Overall, Never Split the Difference is an informative and practical audiobook on negotiation strategies that is well worth a listen for anyone looking to improve their negotiation skills. Chris Voss’s expertise as a former FBI hostage negotiator shines through in his engaging storytelling, and the audiobook is packed with useful tips and techniques that can be applied to a wide range of negotiation scenarios.