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BEST Never Split the Difference Summary and pdf 2021

never split the difference summary

Negotiating is a best thing to bargain or negotiate with anyone. Let’s understand it with never split the difference summary.

Chris Voss is a hostage negotiator who has worked for the FBI for nearly 20 years and is an expert in his work.

One day Robert calls Chris Voss to meet and as Chris Voss arrives, then robert places a recorder on the table and says your son is with me, give me 2 million dollars or else I will kill your son.

Robert smiles and says what will you do now?

Although it was a drama, this situation was stressful for Chris because this time there was no criminal but a negotiating expert sitting in front of him.

After a while, Robert says, if not 2 million dollars, then cut off your child. After which Chris speaks a little thinking how can I give money?

This changes Robert’s entire situation as if a dog is chasing a cat and suddenly the situation changes, Robert says that you want me to kill your boy.

Chris replies to this. I’m sorry But how do I know that he is alive too and with some open ended questions and tactical empathy, Robert despairs in three minutes and accepts his defeat.

The author says that he always faces such situations. Where if he fails, either someone will die or there will be a huge loss.

Here his negotiating tools help him and he has told such principles and techniques in his book never split the difference that he can become a great negotiator and with this, you can also negotiate people.

Also read- How to Win Friends and Influence People Summary

Let’s dive into never split the difference summary.

Never Split the Difference Summary

We are Emotional Beings

we are emotional beings

The first mistake we make is that we treat humans like a robot.

Daniel Kahneman has proved that most of the time we take decisions based on our emotion and not by looking at some facts, hence raining facts on someone in negotiation Not a good approach, so keep in mind that you are treating an emotional person, so what the person is saying or asking for.

Instead of It, focus on why he is speaking so that we can understand what he wants in reality.

Also Read- Five Love Languages Summary

Active Listening

active listening

We all want us to understand and the easiest way to do this is active listening.

Whenever we make someone feel that he is being heard and understood, that person remains defenseless and shares his feeling with you well.

The author says this tactical empathy means listening to someone active, understanding their perspective and accessing their mind by showing empathy so that you can gain more information in the conversation.


You can do mirroring to gain more information.

Psychologist Richard Wiseman did a test.

He divided some waiters into two groups and tell the first group to use positive words such as great, no problem, sure,etc.

And tell the second group to do only mirroring. So the group that was mirroring got 70 percent more tip.

This shows that whenever we copy the speech pattern, body language, and tone of any person, we give comfort to them and this behavior can be seen not only in humans but also in animals.

With this, we signal to the other’s subconscious mind that me and you are the same.

Also Read- Atomic Habits Summary

The author speaks to use a calm and relax tone for mirroring such as a positive and playful voice because when you are in a hurry, people may think that you are not listening to them, so you will not be able to build trust with them.

And when you use a calm and relax voice, then the front person also treats you in the same way.

To use mirroring, you have to repeat some of the words in the form of a question. By which the person in front gives you detailed and extra information which makes it easy for you to negotiate, like a thief caught in a bank robbery, the police checks all the van and car so that they get information about the thief.

On which Chriss tells the thief that we have checked all the cars and vans, we got a gray and blue car outside, now we have to talk to the owner, then we will get some information. Do you know anything?

the thief talks angrily, we have no van outside.

Because of you, our driver ran away, on which Chriss repeats his words and says that the driver ran away because of us?

Then the thief replies that you guys chased him so he ran away and using the mirroring technique Chriss collects the information from the thief and the driver is also caught in the end.

Don’t Feel their Pain Label it

Identify and label any emotion in any conversation or deal, rather than considering it as an obstacle, because if we label someone’s emotion then you will be able to show empathy towards it and we are an emotional creature.

So you can easily negotiate by labeling the emotion. For this, you have to observe other’s face gesture, tone and things.

So that you can identify their feeling. It is called neural resonance.

If you want to improve your neural resonance skill, then focus on any conversation in your surroundings or in TV, imagine yourself instead of the person who is giving the interview. Improve this skill there.

Beware “YES” – Master “NO”

We always want to hear yes in negotiation and consider no is the end of the negotiation, but speaking no to someone gives protection and makes feel safe, so give people the right to speak no.

Let me explain it properly. Author says that there are three types of yes – counterfeit yes, confirmation yes, and commitment yes.

Counterfeit yes is when someone wants to say no, but by saying yes he/she can get escape easily so he/she speaks it.

In confirmation yes, someone comes in a trick or speaks innocently yes in which there is no promise of action. And the last commitment yes is a real one.

This is a true agreement. We need commitment yes for negotiation but most people say counterfeit or confirmation yes and if you want commitment yes, first you have to make them feel safe and secure and you can do this by giving them the right to say no.

So that it is safe and he/she will feel control and after saying no, if he/she says yes, then it will be a commitment yes.

So you first ask them questions that answer no such as if you are selling something, do you have a little time instead of speaking it or can you say if you have a little bad time to talk.

Also Read- Thinking Fast and Slow Summary

If the person in front also speaks yes to talk, then you can ask him/her the right type to talk and if he says no, then it is a very good thing.

Trigger the Two Words “That’s Right”

You must have a goal in negotiation, to trigger that’s right.

One student of the author wanted to sell a new medication to the doctor, which was like that doctor’s old medicine. She tells the doctor all the positive points of the medicine but in the first appointment, the doctor refuses to take the medicine.

Then she comes to know that the doctor is very passionate for his patient, so he does not want to take the wrong medication even by mistake.

On which she understands the desire and condition of the doctor and speaks to the doctor, you are very passionate about the treatment of the patient on which the doctor speaks that’s right I think I am treating an epidemic.

On which other doctors do not want to pay attention, that means, many patients are not getting well treatment, then doctors and students talk about a lot about how the usual medicines do not work on every patient and she summarizes the doctor talks and tell him.

On which the doctor says that’s right, then she explains to them the treatment and procedure of their product, how this treatment is best for those who have not benefited from normal treatment, and finally, the doctor is ready to give their medicine a try.

You too can use that right by labeling the emotion by summarizing practical empathy and things.

Bend Their Reality

I have a cup of coffee that looks really good.

Would you like to buy it, how much would you buy, maybe 40 or less, or maybe you would like to take it for free, but if we reverse this situation.

That means that the coffee cup is yours, so how much would you like to sell me that item, maybe 70 or even more.

In both these conditions, this thing was the same but the price was different because our perspective was different.

So if you make the person feel your perspective in the negotiation, then you can negotiate easily and get a fair deal.

Calibrated Questions

You can ask questions that begin with how, who, what, when, etc. ex- In the kidnapping case of a girl, the author speaks to those kidnappers to talk to that girl, then they do not make them talk to that girl.

After this, instead of speaking directly to the kidnappers, the author says how do I know that she is alive, the kidnappers speak after thinking for a while.

Okay, I make you talk to him. So with such calibrated questions you can get empathy of others.

For example, if someone is giving you a wrong deal, instead of refusing, you can say that how can I do this on which the person in front may speak that’s right that you cannot do it.

Instead of compromising you can get a fair deal and the most important thing in negotiation is not to get caught in the emotion trap.

To avoid this, you should do slow thinking like Daniel Kahneman has told in his book thinking fast and slow.

Fast thinking is mostly emotional and slow thinking is intellectual.

Whenever emotions have to be stopped, bite your tongue pause, and think.

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In this books, there are many techniques which expert negotiators use to negotiate criminals, robbers, thieves, etc.

I recommend this book to those who really want to learn this negotiating skills. I think this skill is very useful to convince others.


As you know the few techniques about negotiating from this book. You can use it anywhere and practice it anytime with your friends, relatives, and other peoples.

Thanks for reading never split the difference summary

About the author



Hi, I'm Hasib Ahmed, founder of Book Briefers. I am Content Writer and book lover. I love to spread the knowledge to people.

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