The general idea behind Never Split the Difference is that you should view a negotiation as an attempt to get what you want, rather than a compromise where both parties get slightly less than what they want. I believe the best and simplest example of this is the black/brown shoe example shared by Mr. Voss; if your wife wants you to wear black shoes, and you prefer brown, you do not compromise by wearing one of each, because then neither you nor your wife are actually pleased with the result.

Below are some of my notes and links to notes I found very useful sharing with colleagues and team members who I continue to encourage to read this book.

Notes of Reading:

  • Mirroring and effectively extracting information
  • Tone of voice is extremely important
  • Learn to interpret and accept silence during a negotiation
  • Emotional intelligence is an essential skill for any interaction
  • Tactical empathy is a focal point of both sides being pleased with the deal
  • There are three types of “Yes” — you only really want one of them
  • A vital part of the communication is labeling the emotion behind what people are saying
  • Understand that “You’re Right” and “Fair” are usually very bad
  • Loss aversion: people will take greater risks to avoid losses than to achieve gains
  • Calibrated questions transform confrontational showdowns into joint problem-solving sessions; the best of which is “How am I supposed to do that?”

Three styles of negotiators:

  1. Assertive – fill voids/silence with talking, respond well to direct conversation, easy to manipulate with “mirroring”
  2. Accommodating – silence is perceived as insulting, eager to please and find mutual benefit,
  3. Analytical – slow and methodical, challenging to work quickly with, value information and detail over anything, merely initiating a negotiation is a concession and sign of good intention

Additionally, Michael Parker of the Khan Academy has shared some excellent notes chapter by chapter.