Negotiate as if your life depended on it.

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In today’s book of the day ‘Never Split the difference’ Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator reveals his strategies for high stake negotiations.

Voss says the key to his success in numerous negotiations was ‘tactical empathy’.

Tactical empathy is the ability to sincerely empathize with your counterpart’s situation. The second half of it is active listening, this means tuning out the voice in your own head and prioritize what the other person is saying. It’s the most effective way to make someone else feel safe and quiet the voice in their head at the same time.

When entering a negotiation, the first objective is to get your counterpart to agree with you. Commonality builds relationships, and relationships build trust. Once you have trust, you have the opportunity to influence your counterpart’s thoughts and actions.


It’s important not to be in a rush.

If you’re too much in a hurry people can feel as if they’re not being heard and you risk breaking the rapport and trust you’ve built. The passage of time is one of the most important tools for a negotiator.

You can pass the time by asking a series of open-ended questions. (questions you can’t answer with a simple yes or no). This technique is used to remove aggression from conversations and give the other party an illusion of control. This technique is practiced in psychotherapy, the objective is to make the patient feel like he/she has solved their own problem when in reality the therapist led them to the solution.

In the end, the subject is more likely to follow his own advice than follow somebody else’s. That’s why this technique is so effective.


It’s hard to compile so much valuable information into a few paragraphs, however, you must learn to leverage people’s emotions to guide them where you need them to go. It will become your most valuable skill when practiced correctly and ethically.

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Here’s another book that will help you

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