Never split the difference - Book notes

Negotiating tactics. Bending your counterpart reality. Negotiating offers and numbers.

Never split the difference - Book notes

Negotiating tactics:

  • Mirror
    • Literally repeat what someone says with a question. Then pause and let the person elaborate.
  • Label
    • It seems like you are not happy with the current situation. Then pause and let the person elaborate.
  • Silence
    • Let the person elaborate.
  • Voice tones:
    • Deep CALM late night voice: use it to make direct points and don't hesitate. Don't leave room for the other person to fight the point because it is not a question.
      • I'm in, he is out.
    • Friendly voice with a smile: default voice for everything but points
    • Angry or aggressive voice: never use it.
  • Trying to get person to say "that's right", not "you are right".
    • Never argue. Calm deep voice.
    • Effective pauses: silence to encourage the other party to keep talking.
    • Minimal encouragements: Say "aha", "ok", "yes" to acknowledge that you are listening.
    • Mirroring: Repeat what the other person said.
    • Labelling: Name feelings.
      • It all seems so tragically unfair
      • I can now see why you sound so angry
    • Paraphrase: Repeat what the person just said in your own words.
      • This shows that you are really paying attention and not just repeating the words.
    • Summarise:
      • Paraphrase + Labelling = Summary
      • Repeat what the other person said in your own words and label the feelings and emotions.
      • Really actively listen and summarise everything.
      • When someone is faced with a good summary, the only possible answer is "that's right".

Bend their reality:

  • Find the black swan piece of information.
  • Don't compromise.
    • Meeting half way often leads to bad deals from both sides.
  • Create a deadline.
    • Approaching deadlines often force people to compromise and take decisions that are against their best interest.
  • The F bomb, the word "Fair" is an emotional word used to force someone into a compromise and gain concessions
    • When someone says "that's fair" to you, ask them "Could you explain how am I mistreating you?"
  • When making an offer, anchor the emotions by first mentioning an extreme example of how bad it will be.
    • Examples:
      • This is going to be terrible, you are not going to like it.
      • You really will not like this...
      • I'm sorry father, for I have sinned...
    • The real offer will then seem much more reasonable.
  • People are more afraid of losing than winning.
    • Make sure the counterpart know what they will lose if they take no action.

Negotiating numbers:

  • Set extreme number to make actual offer reasonable
  • Give exact numbers, not finished in 0.
    • 127k-143k, instead of 110k
    • Exact numbers look less flexible and make it look like you made some calculations
  • Give ranges, being the lower end of the range your expected rate.
    • They will probably choose the lower end of the range, but they will feel great because they saved from the higher end of the range.
  • Ask for non monetary compensations:
    • What does the person have that would be valuable to me but cheap to them?
    • Examples:
      • 1 extra week of holidays
      • Relocation package
      • Company car
      • Courses
      • Remote work
  • Define success and metrics during negotiation
    • Free for your boss.
    • Planned salary raise when you meet the target
    • "What does it take to be successful here?"
      • He will give a detail explanation. It will spark he's interest in your success. You gain an unofficial mentor.
      • Your boss will have a stake on you.
      • Sell yourself and your success to your boss, as a way for them to validate their own intelligence and success within the company.