Join Fred Kofman for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting a commitment, part of Fred Kofman on Managing Conflict.
- So how will Angeli get a commitment from Alice? How could she do it? Imagine that they had the conversation, as they did, they finished the conversation and Alice says, "Okay, I'm going to organize my pile alphabetically." It would be a mistake for Angeli to say thank you and leave. Because that's not a commitment, that's a statement of purpose, but not a commitment. How do you turn that into a commitment? Well, I would say, "Thank you Alice.
"I appreciate that. "By when will you have this done?" If you hear any hesitation in Alice's voice, it's that she didn't realize that this was a commitment. That hesitation is the best diagnostic that, no, she wasn't committed, she was just saying something to get through the situation. So I would say, "By when will you have it done?" And she would have to give me a date. "I don't know, next week." "Okay, so next Friday, you and I will sit together "and look at the alphabetized pile "and check how that's working for you." And she would, at that point she would say, "Yeah".
Another option is that she would say, "Well, I'll try to do it as soon as possible." That's not a commitment, there's no try. There's do or not do. So commit or not commit. And when she said try, I say, "Okay, I know you'll try but by when "can I have a commitment from you? "I want a promise that by a certain date you will have "this alphabetized so we can review how it's working. "What's the date? "Could be next week, could be a month. "But let's start with a date. "You give me a date." You see, it's really pushing the point until there's a concrete deliverable at a concrete moment in time.
Simply finishing the conversation with "I'll do my best" or "I'll try" or "Okay, I'll see what I can do" those are non-committal phrases which should raise a red flag for you. When you are negotiating with a person and you get to an agreement, push for the commitment.
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