Skip to content

Never Split the Difference – Interview with FBI Hostage Negotiator and Author Chris Voss

    Episode 2 of Season 2 brings us a conversation between host Owen Matthews and Chris Voss, former FBI hostage negotiator, CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd, and co-author of the book, Never Split the Difference.

    We first learned of Chris Voss when Wesley Clover portfolio company Solink listed “Never Split the Difference” as recommended reading for their staff. In his book, Voss introduces nine effective principles, based on counterintuitive tactics and strategies, to become more persuasive, both professionally and personally.

    We were eager to sit down with Chris and ask him about his experiences.

    Listen to this episode to hear Chris and Owen Discuss:

    • Chris’ background in the FBI and in hostage negotiation situations
    • The best way to succeed in any negotiation: hint – adapt to the other side
    • Cognitive Empathy vs Sympathy
    • Approaching negotiations with investors
    • Listening strategically, not passively
    • the ‘Proof of life’  concept in a hostage situations

    and more

    About Chris Voss

    Prior to 2008, Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group.

    During Chris’s 24 year tenure in the Bureau, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.

    Chris has taught business negotiation in the MBA program at University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.  He has taught business negotiation at Harvard University, guest lectured at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland and The Goethe School of Business in Frankfurt, Germany.

    More from Between 2 Termsheets

    Catch up on all of season one of Between 2 Term Sheets here, including conversations with:
    * and many more

    You can listen to these podcasts, and more, on the streaming platforms listed below:

    Subscribe to Between 2 Term Sheets on your favourite podcast player to avoid missing out on the rest of season two. We have lots of exciting conversations with amazing guests coming up, including:
    * Jay Rhind from Vancouver Founder’s Fund
    * Margaret Wu from Georgian Partners
    * Vinny Pujji of Insight Venture Partners

    about the host – alacrity chairman owen matthews

    Owen joined Wesley Clover as a General Partner in 2004 and has invested in Echosec Systems, Encepta Corp., HYAS, Pretio Interactive, Referral SaaSquatch, Tutela Technologies, and Certn, among others.
    Prior to joining Wesley Clover, Owen founded NewHeights Software, a pioneer in enterprise unified communication software which was eventually acquired by CounterPath Corporation. With his love of tech and creating opportunities for young entrepreneurs, Owen co-founded the Alacrity Foundation. Alacrity provides an intense incubation environment to prepare graduates for entrepreneurship in the tech industry.

    about alacrity canada

    Alacrity Canada is a venture builder that supports driven entrepreneurs. We help create thriving companies & connect them to our global network of expert investors & mentors.
    For more articles like this, sign up for our newsletter.

    Return to top