Never split the difference

by Bruce (5881 views)
(48) | Rate this:
Estimated reading time: 1.5 minute

Chris Voss, an ex-FBI negotiator, will get you wondering what could you possibly learn from him? Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, and we rarely come across with kidnap cases in this safe country like ours. So, what has hostage negotiation got to do with you and your daily life?

It boils down to the animalistic urge of: I want.

“I want my kid to sleep by 10 pm.”

“I want my kids to revise his work regularly.”

“I want a pay raise.”


In his book, you will learn about mirroring, labelling, accusation audit, body language and much more.


Mirroring is about repeating the last 1 to 3 words of what the person has just said, in a curious voice. For example: Instead of saying “I want to study hard.” Try “Study hard?”. This keeps the conversation going as it requires the person to expand on their thoughts. It feels more like an open-ended question, and the speaker would feel listened to, as their words are being repeated. You will get to find out more about what the other person is thinking about.


Labelling is attaching a descriptive word or phrase of how someone could be feeling. It can help to defuse the negative tension, or it could be another method to keep the conversation going like in mirroring. If one senses that the other person is angry, try “It sounds like you are angry?” This will help the other person realize that they are angry, and they may take a step back.


Accusation audit is getting ahead of negation from the other person and accusing yourself with an adjective about how you feel the other person could think, feel or say about you. The elephant in the room will always be there until someone addresses it, and it will be helpful for you to be the one to point it out as it may bring the other person to your side of the table.


Grab a copy of Never split the difference and have your life improve drastically.