My Never Split The Difference Review is based on The Rubric.

I began reading Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz on 2/25/2020 and finished 3/1/2020.

This review is based on my first reading of this text.

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Never Split The Difference Review – Arguments


Chris Voss and Tahl Raz presents a well-reasoned approach to negotiation supported by years of experience and practice. Seriously, his credentials are impressive.

Bolstered mostly by stories – a lot of them first accounts – the authors manage to work some academic references into the text, and it all seems to bear out in the personal experience of the reader as well.

At times it’s clear that their arguments/reasoning are actually obscured by the story telling and circuitous path they take to the point, but in all the arguments are worth studying… Even those the reader might find counter intuitive.

By The Rubric, Never Split The Difference scored “Excellent” for arguments.

Never Split The Difference Review – Practicality


This is a rather high score for practicality on the rubric, most of which is earned in the “key lessons” sections at the end of each chapter.

To get the most out of the practical aspects of this book will require some effort – I think that’s the point of writing a book as a marketing instrument for a consulting firm – but there is solid advice here that can be used straight from the book if you’re willing to take the time to extract it.

Or you can take the shortcut offered by Voss, and trade your email for a study guide here.

By The Rubric, Never Split The Difference scored “Decent” for practicality.

Never Split The Difference Review – Readability


This book was packaged and edited well, and is easy to read (and listen to – I did both).

I will say that I’m disappointed that Voss didn’t narrate the book himself. This normally wouldn’t bother me, but in this case it matters.

The text specifically references the way the author means for you to speak while employing the techniques he’s teaching the reader – something that would have been much enhanced if he was able to demonstrate it in the audio version of his book.

That aside, with all of the story telling, I would have preferred a bit more formal structure to the chapters; more organization.

By The Rubric, Never Split The Difference scored “Excellent” for readability.

Never Split The Difference Review – Enjoyability


There is something about high-stakes negotiation stories that’s right up there with the Die Hard/Bad Boys Hollywood action. Or maybe Swordfish?

Anyway, there is a lot of exciting shop talk happening in this book, which accounts for at least part of its popularity – right up there with Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, I’d say.

There were times when getting into the weeds that the storytelling wasn’t woven into the specifics as well, and the chapters tended to drag when that happened.

But for the majority of the time, the value was delivered within interesting stories that are sure to keep most readers engaged.

And, there were plenty of engaging stories that were more real life than Hollywood, just to keep things in perspective and practical.

By The Rubric, Never Split The Difference scored “Excellent” for enjoyability.

Never Split The Difference Review – External Resources


In my first pass, I only caught one external resource referenced – a .pdf guide to the three types of negotiators.

The sheet is not necessary to get the meaning – all of the meaning was in the book itself.

Therefore, it didn’t detract much from the score here.

By The Rubric, Never Split The Difference scored “Excellent” for external resources.

Never Split The Difference Review – Rhetoric


Chris Voss definitely knows his stuff and presents it well in this book. The value that is promised on the cover is delivered, and there isn’t too much selling happening directly in the pages.

By The Rubric, Never Split The Difference scored “Excellent” for rhetoric.

Never Split The Difference Review – In Total


Never Split The Difference is a solid book choice for anyone looking to up their skills in negotiation and/or communication, and I recommend it.

By The Rubric, Never Split The Difference scored “Excellent” in total.