The Value of No

From Weekly I/O#13

The value of being answered with "No".

Online Course: MasterClass | Chris Voss Teaches the Art of Negotiation

Most people think the most important word in negotiation is "Yes". However, Chris Voss argues that getting a "No" can be more valuable.

There are three types of yes answers:

  • Yes as a commitment (used to agree)
  • Yes as a confirmation (used to affirm commitment)
  • Yes as counterfeit (used tactically by someone who doesn’t trust you, feels trapped, or wants you to go away)

The problem of answering yes is that people may feel that every piece of information they provide is another commitment to be made when answering yes. By contrast, answering "No" can relieve them of the sense that they may surrender their negotiating position.

For example, we can ask “Is this a ridiculous idea?” instead of “Is this a good idea?”, “Do you think it’s unreasonable if we can both agree to take things in this direction?” instead of “Can you agree to do it this way?”.

Avoiding yes in favor of no helps ease the other side's fear of commitment. Therefore, negative emotion is being deactivated.

Want to learn 5 bite-sized cool things like this every week to understand the world better? Sign up below for my free weekly newsletter and learn together!

Weeklyio Banner

You might also like