DiscoverHuberman LabChris Voss: How to Succeed at Hard Conversations
Chris Voss: How to Succeed at Hard Conversations

Chris Voss: How to Succeed at Hard Conversations

Update: 2023-10-0256


In this episode, my guest is Chris Voss, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent who was the lead negotiator in many high-risk, high-consequence cases. Chris has taught negotiation courses at Harvard and Georgetown Universities and is the author of the book “Never Split the Difference.” We discuss how to navigate difficult conversations of all kinds, including in business, romance and romantic breakups, job firings and tense conversations with family and friends. Chris explains how to navigate online, in person and in written negotiations, the red flags to watch out for and how to read body and voice cues in face-to-face and phone conversations. He explains how to use empathy, certain key questions, proactive listening, emotional processing and more to ensure you reach the best possible outcome in any hard conversation. This episode ought to be of interest to anyone looking to improve their interpersonal abilities and communication skills and for those who want to be able to keep a level head in heated discussions. 

For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit

Use Ask Huberman Lab, our new AI-powered platform, for a summary, clips, and insights from this episode.

Thank you to our sponsors

AG1 (Athletic Greens):


Waking Up:



(00:00:00 ) Chris Voss

(00:02:34 ) Sponsors: LMNT & Waking Up

(00:04:59 ) Negotiation Mindset, Playfulness

(00:11:41 ) Calm Voice, Emotional Shift, Music

(00:18:59 ) “Win-Win”?, Benevolent Negotiations, Hypothesis Testing

(00:28:38 ) Generosity

(00:33:06 ) Sponsor: AG1

(00:33:44 ) Hostile Negotiations, Internal Collaboration

(00:39:40 ) Patterns & Specificity; Internet Scams, “Double-Dip”

(00:48:15 ) Urgency, Cons, Asking Questions

(00:54:46 ) Negotiations, Fair Questions, Exhausting Adversaries

(01:02:18 ) “Vision Drives Decision”, Human Nature & Investigation

(01:07:47 ) Lying & Body, “Gut Sense”

(01:15:42 ) Face-to-Face Negotiation, “738” & Affective Cues 

(01:20:39 ) Online/Text Communication; “Straight Shooters”

(01:26:47 ) Break-ups (Romantic & Professional), Firing, Resilience

(01:32:16 ) Ego Depletion, Negotiation Outcomes

(01:37:35 ) Readiness & “Small Space Practice”, Labeling

(01:45:17 ) Venting, Emotions & Listening; Meditation & Spirituality

(01:51:41 ) Physical Fitness, Self-Care

(01:57:01 ) Long Negotiations & Recharging

(02:02:40 ) Hostages, Humanization & Names

(02:08:50 ) Tactical Empathy, Compassion

(02:15:27 ) Tool: Mirroring Technique

(02:22:20 ) Tool: Proactive Listening

(02:29:48 ) Family Members & Negotiations

(02:35:21 ) Self Restoration, Humor 

(02:39:01 ) Fireside, Communication Courses; Rapport; Writing Projects

(02:47:45 ) “Sounds Like…” Perspective

(02:50:54 ) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


Comments (2)

JJ Superstar

Chris is awesome!

Oct 16th

mas suroyo

Nice 👍👌🙏🏼☕

Oct 2nd
In Channel








Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Chris Voss: How to Succeed at Hard Conversations

Chris Voss: How to Succeed at Hard Conversations

Scicomm Media