Make Decisions Stick

“There are three kinds of yeses. There’s commitment, confirmation, and counterfeit. People are most used to giving the counterfeit yes.”

– Christopher Voss

When we need to gain commitment from our meetings and presentations, let’s make sure we set the stage to get decisions to stick. To ensure you get a “commitment, yes” consider these steps when preparing for and leading meetings where you know decisions need to be made.


  1. Concretely define the decision(s) that needs to be made.
  2. Identify decision makers and influencers
  3. Define the decision-making style/process. (What will the individuals need? Will they want discussion? Is it a vote? Does someone have the final word?)
  4. Determine if you need to socialize the process or options with the decisions makers and/or influences prior to meeting. For instance, if the decision maker likes to have a lot of time to think about options, you may want to give them an idea of what you will say before the actual meeting.

During the meeting:

  1. Clearly state the purpose of the meeting, why they are there, and how you will make the decision. 2Connect’s “what, why, how, do” model helps to do this quickly. (Email and Kristy will happily send over a handout explaining the model.
  2.  As a group, outline what could get in the way and the implications if changes are made to the decision (e.g. loss of time, additional cost)  

  3. At the end of the meeting, be sure to recap the decision, determine the “how”, and agree on individual accountability.

Additional considerations:

  1. Be OK with silence. People need time to process.
  2. A “Yes” – is nothing without the how.  If you suspect they are saying “yes” to just move on, keep asking “how” questions.  They will either get to a real yes OR you will uncover barriers.
  3. Don’t rush the decision – If you sense people aren’t invested or they still have questions, consider tabling the decision until you know there is buy-in from everyone.

When your meeting purpose is clear, you have only the right people in the room, they are prepared and know how to participate, you are well on your way to a “commitment yes”! 

Interested in learning more? Click here and send us a note or explore our website for additional resources. We are happy to help!

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