That’s right is the answer we need in a negotiation. That’s a main point in the Chris Voss book Never Split the Difference: Negotiate As If Your Life Depended On It. I’m reading that book right now, and in negotiation you need the other person to say, “That’s right.”

If other people say “yes” or “you’re right”, that’s a stalling tactic and nothing changes. A summary gets you the “that’s right” response because they not only understand the reality of the situation but they feel understood. Their perspective changes.

In active listening, Voss says a good summary is a combination of things. First, articulate the meaning of what the other person said in your own words. Then acknowledge the emotions underlying that meaning by giving the feelings a name.

that's right is the answer when negotiating

I’ve been negotiating with myself for a while. I want to keep doing what I’m doing: create websites, write books, and do a variety of other things clients want. I’m developing an Adobe RoboHelp course for Udemy right now. I also designed a book cover for a friend’s new novel recently.

My health problems keep me from getting more business, but the work I have now keeps me at my computer and saps my limited energy. When work stops, so does my income. And most of my books pay only advance royalties, not post-advance royalty sales.

I work with web contractors, but that solution is a “you’re right” answer to the negotiator voice in my head. Working with web contractors frees up time for other work, but the marketing and income problems remain. And my physical problems keep me from doing more.

My negotiator voice understands why I’m frustrated and why I feel trapped.

That’s right.

Now how do I help myself change? I’ll talk about the answers to that question in my next post.