3 Ideas in 2 Minutes on Saying Yes
Three Types of Yes, Avoiding Negative Feedback & Confirmation Bias
I. Three Types of Yes
According to negotiation expert Chris Voss, there are three types of saying ‘Yes’:
A counterfeit ‘yes’ is one in which your counterpart plans on saying ‘no’ but either feels ‘yes’ is an escape route or just wants to disingenuously keep the conversation going to obtain more information or some other kind of edge.
A confirmation ‘yes’ is generally innocent, a reflexive response to a black-or-white question; it’s sometimes used to lay a trap but mostly it’s just simple affirmation with no promise of action.
And a commitment ‘yes’ is the real deal; it’s a true agreement that leads to action, a ‘yes’ at the table that ends with a signature on the contract. The commitment ‘yes’ is what you want, but the three types sound almost the same so you have to learn how to recognise which one is being said.
—Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference
II. Avoiding Negative Feedback
Saying ‘Yes’ to everything can have devastating effects when it’s done to avoid negative feedback. Senior lecturer of intelligence analysis Charles Vandepeer explains the unintended consequences of encouraging fake positivity:
A 2015 U.S. Army War College report highlighted a culture in which the Army placed unachievable demands on units and individuals while simultaneously encouraging — however tacitly — the false reporting of successful completion of tasks. One of the authors noted that reactions to the report’s findings appeared divided between those at the post-brigade commander level and those below: “We saw anger and denial from the senior ranks and ‘no kidding’ from the junior ranks.” Such a response from senior leadership appears to encourage self-censorship or suppression of anything but overly positive reporting.
—Charles Vandepeer, Self-Deception and the Conspiracy of Optimism
III. Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is a human tendency to think and act in a way that confirms our prior beliefs and values. For example, you may think Australians are laid-back and carefree and Germans are strict and organised. You may then be inclined to interpret everything that an Australian or German does as evidence for your belief.
Any evidence to the contrary may be ignored or dismissed. Until you meet a German-Australian. 🐘
Have a great week,
P.S.: Check out my latest post about 5 Books on Critical Thinking to Help You Develop a Reflective Mind