Guaranteeing Execution

Agreement must be accompanied by implementation in a negotiation. I.e. “Yes” is nothing without “how” 1.

  • Calibrated “How” questions can politely say no, while getting the counter party to focus on arriving at a solution.
  • There are two key questions you can ask to push your counterparts to think they are defining success their way: “How will we know we’re on track?” and “How will we address things if we find we’re off track?”
  • Use the 7-38-55 Rule to determine if there is incongruence, indicating lying or at least dissonance with the decision.
  • Rule of Three “Yes"es
  • Mind the use of pronouns, the more someone says “I”, “me”, “my” the less important they likely are. Savvy operators will use “we”, “they”, “them” so as not to be backed into making a decision.
  • Saying “No” four times allows you to get the opponent to bid against themselves.


Voss, C. & Raz, T. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. (Harper Business, 2016).