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1 minute reading

A definitive yes is when you get 3 yes in the conversation

A definitive yes is when you get 3 yes in the conversation A definitive yes is when you get 3 yes in the conversation
Source: William B. King "The Negotiation" (1915) via 1stdibs.com
Never Split the Difference
From a book
Never Split the Difference
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I’m positive that sometime in your life you’ve been involved in a negotiation where you got a “Yes” that later turned out to be a “No.” Maybe the other party was lying to you, or maybe they were just engaged in wishful thinking.


Either way, this is not an uncommon experience. This happens because there are actually three kinds of “Yes”: Commitment, Confirmation, and Counterfeit.

So many pushy salesman try to trap their clients into the Commitment “Yes” that many people get very good at the Counterfeit “Yes. “

One great tool for avoiding this trap is the Rule of Three.

The Rule of Three is simply getting the other guy to agree to the same thing three times in the same conversation. It’s tripling the strength of whatever dynamic you’re trying to drill into at the moment. In doing so, it uncovers problems before they happen. It’s really hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction. When I first learned this skill, my biggest fear was how to avoid sounding like a broken record or coming off as really pushy. The answer, I learned, is to vary your tactics.

The first time they agree to something or give you a commitment, that’s No. 1. For No. 2 you might label or summarize what they said so they answer, “That’s right.” And No. 3 could be a calibrated “How” or “What” question about implementation that asks them to explain what will constitute success, something like “What do we do if we get off track?”. Or the three times might just be the same calibrated question phrased three different ways, like “What’s the biggest challenge you faced? What are we up against here? What do you see as being the most difficult thing to get around?”.

Either way, going at the same issue three times uncovers falsehoods as well as the incongruences between words and body language (...). So next time you’re not sure your counterpart is truthful and committed, try the 3-yes rule.

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