Negotiating is all about active listening

Never Split the Difference - Chris Voss

Negotiation is not an act of battle.

Negotiation is an information gathering process. Your goal is to uncover as much information as possible by mastering the art of active listening.

What about adding Never Split The Difference TO your summer readings ?

I warmly recommend you to dive into this book. Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, takes you inside his world of high-stakes negotiations revealing field-tested tools to negotiate efficiently.


Great negotiators know that they need to be ready for surprises; great negotiators use their skills to reveal the surprises they are certain to exist. Great negotiators question the assumptions that others accept on faith or in arrogance. Thus, they remain more emotionally open to all possibilities and more intellectually agile to a fluid situation.


To quiet the voices in your head, make your sole and all-encompassing focus the other person and what they have to say.


Your goal is to identify what your counterpart actually needs and get them feeling safe enough to talk about what they want.


Negotiation begins with listening, making it about the other people, validating their emotions, and creating enough trust and safety for a real conversation to begin.


Going too fast is one of the mistakes all negotiators make. If you’re too much in a hurry, people can feel as if they’re not being heard and you risk undermining the rapport and trust you’ve built.

Your best weapons in negotiation ?

  • asking open-ended question
  • mirroring what people say
  • labeling their emotions and needs
  • using silence to underline your message and let people think
  • observing the non verbal and para verbal communication of your interlocutor to identify incoherencies with what they are saying
  • synchronizing your communication style to create trust

And you, what are your tips to negotiate efficiently ?

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