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“We’ve got your son, Voss. Give us one million dollars or he dies,”
Chris Voss had spent more than two decades in the FBI, and fifteen years negotiating hostage situations in places like New York, the Philippines and the Middle East.
But that was the strongest opening line he had ever had to face in a negotiation.
That’s because he was at Harvard University sitting across the table from Robert Mnookin, the director of the Harvard Negotiation Project.
He was brought there to see how his field tested techniques would hold up against some of the world’s foremost negotiation experts.
“C’mon. Get me the money or I cut your son’s throat right now,” Mnookin said. Voss gave him a long stare, smiled, and then said “How am I supposed to do that?”
From there, Voss proceeded to dismantle the Harvard negotiators piece by piece by using the techniques he learned in the field.
As it turns out, the techniques that you’ll learn in Never Split the Difference are equally effective in the boardroom or on a sales call as they are in negotiating with terrorists.
Here’s how you can become a master negotiator by forgetting everything you know about negotiation.