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This changes the whole game

Never Split the Difference

Never Split the Difference

by Chris Voss, Tahl Raz

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3.5K reads

CHRIS VOSS

No deal is better than a bad deal

Beware "yes", master "no"

For good negotiators, "No" is pure gold.

Why?

That negative provides a great opportunity for you and the other party to clarify what you really want by eliminating what you don't want.

Remember:

"No" is a safe choice that...

All starts with "No"

We've been conditioned to fear the word "No". But is a statement of perception far more often than of fact. 

"No" is often a decision, frequently temporary, to maintain the status quo.

Remember:

Change is scary, and "No" provides a little prote...

Let them say "No"

When you preserve a person's autonomy by clearly giving them permission to say "No" to your ideas, the emotions calm, the effectiveness of the decisions go up, and the other party can really look at your proposal.

Remember:

Great negotiators seek "No"

Train yourself to hear "No"

When someone tells you "No", rethink the word in one of its alternative meanings:

  • I am not yet ready to agree
  • You are making me feel uncomfortable
  • I do not understand
  • I don't think I can afford that
  • I want something else
  • I need more information

3 types of "Yes"

  •  Counterfeit: When the counterpart wants to say "no" but feels that "yes" is an easier exit route or just wants you to keep talking to get information. 
  • Confirmation: It is usually innocent; sometimes it is used to set a trap but almost always it is ...

"No" is protection

Saying "No" often spurs people to action because they feel they've protected themselves and now see an opportunity slipping away.

Remember:

"No" is not a failure. Used strategically it's an answer that opens the path forward.

The skills of "No"

  • "No" allows real problems to come to light
  • "No" protects people from making bad decisions
  • "No" slows things down so people can think through their decisions
  • "No" helps people feel safe, secure, emotionally comfortable and in control...

Force the "No"

If despite all your efforts, the other party won't say "No", you're dealing with people who are indecisive or confused or who have a hidden agenda. In cases like that you have to end the negotiation and walk away.

Think of it like this: No "No" means go

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