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Book Plunge: Never Split The Difference

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  • Book Plunge: Never Split The Difference

    How do you best go about negotiating?

    Link

    ----------

    What do I think of Chris Voss’s book published by Harper Collins? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    I don’t just read apologetics books. I sometimes read books on other areas. Based on some personal situations going on in my life, someone recommended I read this book. I later found out my own personal mentor has read the book and owns it. I got this book and was just wondering what could be in it.

    The guy who wrote it was a hostage negotiator with the FBI. Most of the chapters he does involves actual situations where hostages were involved and how to talk with them. Most of us will not be in hostage negotiation situations, but if these techniques will work in the greater, they will work in the lesser, such as in business or interpersonal relationships. Only one chapter didn’t involve an FBI situation that I recall and was instead about Voss working on a suicide hotline. (It’s a very memorable story as well, but not for why you might think.)

    So there aren’t many books that I read that aren’t related to apologetics, like history or philosophy, and at the same time aren’t history, but I count this as one of the most important books I have ever read. I hope to someday soon get it on Kindle so I can always have it. It’s also a very readable book as the stories are quite vivid and well-described and the lessons are easy to grasp. Even just going through it once, I still remember many of the points.

    So let’s cover a few ideas that Voss has about how to talk to people.

    One simple idea is to mirror people. By doing this, you are demonstrating that you are listening. This is done by repeating a few of the last words that they said to you. We could think of Matt Chandler saying “Are you tracking with me?” Also, if you are doing that, then on some level, you are listening.

    What do you do when it’s your time to speak? You ask a question that is open-ended and is not limited to a yes or to a no. The best questions for this are ones that begin with a how or with a what. Voss writes about how a drug dealer approached the FBI once because another drug dealer had kidnapped his girlfriend. It’s kind of odd, but okay.

    While driving with the drug dealer who was on the phone with the other, he was wanting to know about his girlfriend and if she was okay. The other dealer was making his demands and Voss was not coaching the guy, but he was wondering how he could ask an open question in a hostage situation only to hear the drug dealer he was driving with say to his enemy, “How do I know she’s still alive?” There was silence and then he was told, “I’ll get her on the phone.”

    For a hostage situation, getting to talk to the hostage on the phone is huge.

    This is the power of the what or how question. When you ask that, you actually get the other person to work on your problem and to come up with a solution. Not only that, they also think that it’s their own idea. Ask a question that ends in a yes or no answer and you get the answer and it’s a conversation stopper.

    If you give a number such as in a business situation, giving a round number shows no thinking. You can say something like “I would buy that car for $30,000” and that shows no imagination. Now imagine saying to the salesman, “I will buy that care for $29,323”. When anyone hears that, they think that there has been some serious calculation going on and they will take it much more seriously. Reality? You just made up the number.

    Also, it’s good to give a number way off from where you plan to start. You could say you would buy the car $25,000 at first so that the salesman when he talks you up thinks that he has done something. You establish the anchor right at the start.

    The biggest tip he has is to be aware of black swans. These are unknown unknowns. This means that there are things going into every negotiation that are unknown, possibly even to both parties. That means there are also things about your own side that you don’t know. You need to be prepared.

    This also means knowing as much as you can about your opponent. One area related to religion Voss says is if you are doing to dialogue with someone, you really need to know their worldview. (Consider this atheists who don’t really read the other side.) He talks about a farmer who went to D.C. and claimed to have explosives. It involved a standoff situation and then one FBI agent had an idea. The goal was to get the guy to come out and surrender and yet he as a veteran would want to do so honorably. How do you do this?

    One agent said that the guy was a Christian. (I would say claimed to be Christian.) They were nearing the third day of the standoff. If Jesus came out of His tomb on the third day, why not this guy? You might think that sounds ridiculous, but whether or not it is, it worked. The guy came out and was found to have no explosives.

    This is also something that led to the chaos at the Branch Davidian compound, by the way. Because the thinking of a cult mindset was not understood, we had a disaster. We could say the same about if we’re trying to understand militant Islam. Those fighting against it need to understand Islam, whether or not they agree with Islam.

    This is simply a great book to read for dialogue in every area of your life. Do Christians need to read it? Yes. Do non-Christians need to read it? Yes. This book will really leave you rethinking how you handle a lot of interpersonal dialogues. I was skeptical wondering what I could find. I walked away wondering why I had never heard this before.

    Get this and read it.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)

  • #2
    Chris gives an overview, of sorts....



    And I've used that --- how do you negotiate with Terrorists who want all Jews killed and Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

    Kill HALF of all Jews, and wipe out HALF of Israel?
    Last edited by Cow Poke; 08-11-2021, 05:21 PM.
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

    Comment


    • #3
      He's also asked what's the difference between a terrorist and a Southern Mama.

      You can negotiate with a terrorist.

      Comment

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