Trigger a “that’s right” response with a summary.

A “yes” is most often a convention of being sociable and agreeable in a conversation or negotiation. It does not mean that you will get what you want. There is no substitute for real understanding between you and the other party. Getting to “that’s right” (instead of “yes”) signals that you’ve reached the moment where you’ve convinced someone that you truly understand their “world,” dreams, and feelings. It is in a “that’s right” moment that mental and behavioral change becomes possible, and the foundation for a breakthrough has been laid.


  1. Identify your counterpart’s “world.”
    This means listening intently to their beliefs, wants, ideas, and emotions. The goal is to reach a place of understanding the “world according to… (your counterpart).”

  2. Rearticulate (rephrase or repeat) what your counterpart has said as fully as possible to acknowledge that you understand their world and that they are being listened to.

  3. Finish by labeling the emotions and feelings of your counterpart.

  4. Listen.
    If you have successfully summarized and your counterpart feels heard and understood, you will hear “that’s right” or a statement that sounds similar (i.e. “It sounds like you get it.” Or, “Yes, you are understanding where I’m coming from.”) If you missed a key part, or understood incorrectly, your counterpart will correct you or elaborate more, thus giving you more information.

  5. Listen carefully, then repeat steps 1 through 4.


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