Here at ADMIN, we are constantly working on enhancing our productivity both as a company and as individuals. For inspiration, we will often turn to things like TEDTalks and podcasts. In fact, that is why we started our podcast series here on our blog. This same initiative has encouraged us to start a new monthly series on the blog that is dedicated to books that have influenced our team. Welcome to the Monthly Book Review.


During the month of May, the ADMIN team read the highly recommended ‘Never Split the Difference’ by acclaimed author, Chris Voss. Having served as the lead hostage negotiator for the FBI, Chris illustrates how the current techniques and tactics used by today’s hostage negotiators were originally developed.  Using stories and anecdotes from his own experience, the author debunks the old approach once used by the FBI and tells how the new ways were established.

Shockingly, we learn that the idea of “getting to yes” is not the best philosophy and that Chris’ principle in negotiations is “getting to the no”. He teaches us that the negotiation starts with “No” and that people do not negotiate rationally but emotionally. Chris also provides examples of the practice of using tools like Mirroring, Labeling, The Accusation Audit and Calibrated Questions to find a win – win solution in negotiations of all types. Additionally, he develops the concept of the “Black Swan” which are key pieces of information that can be revealed at any time and will have a substantial impact on the outcome. Identifying Black Swans requires deep empathy and powerful listening skills.

There is a great deal to learn from the book for negotiators of all experience levels in all walks of live. After all – life is a negation!