Business Skills: Chris Voss teaches you how to negotiate without compromise


If you want to diffuse tense situations and get what you want, then this book might help. Not like any other negotiation book, which promotes a win/win deal, this book insists that there are no compromises: you have to win and you do not need scripts! You aim at gathering all the necessary information and never splitting the difference—like a hostage negotiator who can’t haggle with hostages.

After reading this book:

  • You will know how to diffuse tense situations
  • You will know how to dodge meaningless tasks that bosses like to invent
  • You will know how to haggle the right way

Something specific I really like

I never knew how easy it would be to counter unreasonable demands, like clients who exaggerate their problems, or your boss who likes to invent tasks. I simply have to ask “how can I do that?”. This creates an illusion that the other part is in control, but in reality they are solving your problem. It works as a sneaky “no”, by avoiding saying it directly.

Another thing I really like

A popular negotiation tactic is to ask people questions, which make them say “yes” a lot. In theory this should also make them say “yes” in the end, when it’s time to close the deal. It’s probably the most common tactic used by telemarketers, who try to sell you things over the phone. But, according to this book, you should start with a “no”. It’s the word that gives the speaker feelings of safety and control. “No” starts conversations and creates safe havens to get to the final “yes” of commitment. An early “yes is often just a cheap, counterfeit dodge.

Quotes I want to remember

Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. the goal is to uncover as much information as possible.

Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea.