Close this search box.
Close this search box.


#44 Chris Voss and Jordan B. Peterson on Negotiating

Chris Voss (former lead FBI hostage and kidnapping negotiator, author, and CEO of Black Swan Ltd.) joins @Jordan B Peterson and Mikhaila Peterson, to discuss his book Never Split the Difference, highlighting some of his guiding principles to use in negotiations at work, home, with your spouse, or even in hostage situations.

Find more of Chris Voss on YouTube at @The Black Swan Group, Instagram @thefbinegotiator, his free negotiation newsletter at, or text to sign up mobile for the newsletter in the USA to 33777” black swan method”

A special thank you to Ground News for supporting this week’s episode. Download the Ground News app for free at to join the fight against media bias.

Are you looking for some help with your New Year’s resolutions?
Self Authoring helps you sort through your past to get past trauma, write your present life, and organize your mind for the future by identifying and prioritizing goals. Get 15% off Self Authoring by visiting and using the promo code “MP”

If you’d like to stay updated in a more personal fashion, sign up for my newsletter at…

Show Notes:
[4:30] Jordan kicks off the podcast by asking Chris about how he came to develop an interest in the negotiation process.
[6:00] Why Chris thinks that everyone could benefit from better negotiation skills in all their relationships. Jordan references Carl Rogers’s work with active listening and reflection, emphasizing repeating what the other person said back to them to see if they agree or not. Chris Voss calls this statement mirroring.
[11:00] The group talks about the importance of the word “No” and how powerful it can be for you to get someone to say no.
[13:30] Common negotiation techniques including tactical empathy, repeated interaction, and long-term investment.
[17:00] “Even a hostage negotiator has reputational concerns. We have repeat customers.” Avoid preconceived notions about what someone is telling you.
[19:30] Manipulation and influence are so close to the same thing. Manipulation is “I’m trying to hurt you (or just help me),” Influence is “I’m trying to help you.”
[20:00] The essential relationship between business, interpersonal relationships, and the success of capitalism. Being a great collaborator is one of the best skills essential to life and can make you very wealthy.
[21:30] Is there a difference between negotiating with a man vs. a woman? Women are more likely to pick up the “Soft Power” style of negotiation sooner than men. They typically become better negotiators from a young age because they are less likely to get things through strictly physical means.
[23:30] How you keep your emotions in check when negotiating. Genuine curiosity is a way to avoid getting upset. How we are information scavengers as human beings.
[28:00] How to negotiate for a raise. You negotiate based on the bigger picture; how do you add value to your team? Adopt the view of becoming as successful at your company as possible and the money will follow.
[35:00] Adding falsehoods to negotiation for manipulation is a very bad strategy.
[35:30] Accusation audits. A technique attorneys use that lays out all the weaknesses and issues with their position, takes much of the negative power away, minimizes the impact of faults, and increases the integrity of character through admission.
[38:30] What is the anchoring technique? What is relevant is delivery, phrase things in a way that you underpromise or at least over-deliver on what the other party thinks you are going to do.
[41:30] Neutralize the negative and reinforce the positive.
[43:00] Negotiation in marriage. Marriages fail primarily because of a misalignment of core values.
[46:30] Hostage negotiation story.
[53:00] What does never split the difference mean? Don’t negotiate to compromise and meet in the middle; both sides end up unhappy and this does not result in a successful negotiation. It’s impossible in this situation to feel that a good compromise has been made. We feel loss much more than gain so a slightly negative outcome feels twice as bad as it really is. Chris Voss says he believes that no deal is better than a bad deal.
[54:30] Dan Sullivan’s book “Who Not How” gave all money from proceeds to his co-authors but got back far more than that in exposure for his new business.
[1:00:30] Is absolute authority an acceptable way to end a negotiation?
[1:03:00] Story of how negotiation helped a business client.
[1:06:00] How Chris Voss starts coaching a new client.
[1:09:00] Ways to become better at spotting the pitfall deals and the not-so-apparent failures. “The how is much more important than the yes.”
[1:15:30] “People will do the most incredible things if they feel it is taking them to a better place, and won’t do the simplest things if they feel they are meaningless.”