The figurative language of Chris Voss….

Reading time: Less than1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes from Chris Voss…

A reader of my blog whose name I’ve managed to misplace (my apologies!) strongly suggested I read the book Never Split the Difference.

Author Chris Voss (pictured above) is a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI and his book is aptly subtitled, Negotiating As If Your Life Depended on It. It’s a truthful title because the book contains practical and compelling advice about how to be a much more effective self-advocate.

Chris Voss offers  many provocative and sometimes counter-intuitive suggestions for how to negotiate. He also uses some effective figurative language. Here are my favourite examples:

  • My counterpart was a languid redhead named Andy…one of those guys who wear their intellectual superiority like they wear their khakis: with relaxed confidence.
  • The thing was, it was the cutting-edge techniques these guys were using that felt dated and old. I felt like I was Roger Federer and I had used a time machine to go back to the 1920s to play in a tennis tournament of distinguished gentlemen who wore white pantsuits and used wood rackets and had part-time training regimens.
  • Otherwise, treat “why” like a burner on a hot stove — don’t touch it.

On the theory that no one person is good at everything — and with the understanding that Chris Voss is truly an expert negotiator — I’m guessing he had some help from a particularly skillful ghostwriter.  This book is highly interesting and very readable.