After a recommendation from Jan Farasyn, one of our ORMIT’ers, I started reading ‘Never split the difference’ from Chriss Voss. The book presents several techniques every negotiator should know, enriched with examples from the author's own experience as an FBI hostage negotiator, professor and consultant.
I have to say I was a bit skeptical when reading the title (and tagline: 'negotiating as if your life depended on it'). “Another smooth, polished book about negotiation tactics: batna, zopa’s, sneaky way of influencing, using power in the battle, convincing arguments and lists, ... ” was what I thought. Well, I was wrong 😊
To me, the title ‘never split the difference’ is kind of misleading. The book mostly talks about how to create an atmosphere of trust, how to have a discovery/curious mindset, how to establish rapport and persuade the other of your empathy. The core message is found a bit further: No deal is better than a bad deal.
The most creative solutions arise when there is ‘conflict’ and perhaps a bit of irritation
We are taught that finding a ‘compromise’ is always a good thing: it makes sure everyone is satisfied. But is that really true? Imagine my wife wants me to put on black shoes, and I prefer the orange ones (for those of you wondering: yes I have orange shoes). A compromise would mean that I put on one shoe each, resulting in a horrible outcome.
A compromise is often the easy solution, however it’s not always the best one. The most creative solutions arise when there was ‘conflict’ and perhaps a bit of irritation. For this to happen you can’t chicken out, or throw in the towel, or go for the quick compromise.
My take-away? Encourage yourself to take position for your interests and open up to the interests and perspectives from the person sitting on the other side of the table.
Other key learnings from the book:
My main resolutions after reading this book: