If Getting to Yes is the book that teaches you how to negotiate with someone who’s looking for the best outcome in collaboration, the Never Split the Difference is the book you need to read to get better at negotiating in adversarial conditions.
The author has been involved in high stakes hostage negotiations, and uses this experience to distil a series of tactics and techniques you can use in daily life to get better negotiation outcomes.
Through each chapter we start with a scenario from the hostage negotiation world, and then translate that into usable advice, with examples of putting it into practice.
The book encourages you to build rapport quickly by mirroring, using empathy to label the pain of the other side and starting off looking for ‘no’ to gain real commitment to any later ‘yes’. It recommends you to seek “That’s right” to show agreement, and how to discuss what is or isn’t ‘fair’. Finally, it pushes on securing commitment, and also uncovering the ‘unknown unknowns’ that can transform a negotiation when discovered.
It ends with a guide on how to prepare for a negotiation, with steps and sample questions you can tune to your own needs.
This was an interesting read, with some new and updated techniques that are great to add to your toolbox. It very much benefits from familiarity with ‘Getting to Yes’ and other books that are referenced in the text, but it can still be read standalone.
I’d certainly recommend it.