“Negotiator – How To Overcome Non-Compliance For Better Improvement” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“To feed improvement, starve non-compliance.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“Negotiator – How To Overcome Non-Compliance For Better Improvement”

Well, I guess that’s it – we lost. No, we didn’t, was the reply. Our opponents offered us a quid pro quo. And I don’t believe half of the folks negotiating knew what the heck that meant. We don’t have to comply with the outcome. And if we don’t, the only thing they can do is reopen the negotiation for our non-compliance. That was an exchange that occurred between two people that were on the short end of what they’d just branded as the initial phase of a negotiation. They were tough negotiators that sought the improvement of their plight. The strategy they’d just chose was to ignore the agreement they’d just made. Instead of abiding, they’d find a reason to ignore it.

I’m sure you can recall a time when you thought you had everything on the right track. It may have been at the end of a negotiation, or any interaction you had with someone. Everyone agreed to abide in a specific manner. Later, you discovered, that was the last thing the other party intended to do.

Here’s how you can handle non-compliance in the future.


First, be aware of the other party’s perception of an outcome. If they don’t believe they received a good deal, they may attempt to renege on it. Also, remember, someone’s perception is their reality. That means, you can think it’s a good deal from their vantage point, but unless they do, it’s not.

Seek Leverage:

Look for points of leverage that can be used to thwart the offender’s opinions. That may lie in unsuspecting places (e.g., church, community, business, political, family, social media, etc.). Depending on your ferocity to alter his non-compliance, leave no stone unturned. The more advanced the leverage you can bring to bear, the less effort you’ll have to exert to achieve a better outcome.

Seek Allies:

Allies can be a huge source of leverage. But you have to be cautious about how you choose them, and the environments from which they come.  

  • Internal – Be aware of the allies you have inside your camp. Members within your environment may have different goals and aspirations. Thus, some may work against you while casting the pretense of being on your side. To reduce the chance of working with subversives inside your camp, work with trusted sources you’ve worked with before.
  • Social media – Because you can’t completely control your messaging on social media, this can be a daunting channel to use when attempting to alter the opinions of your adversaries’ supporters. Thus, it’s one reason to exercise caution when placing information in those venues. Nevertheless, you can promote premises that might resonate with some individuals. Do that by placing timely information on appropriate social media outlets. To enhance your efforts, consider the outlet that the oppositions’ supporters retrieve information from when considering this as a possible tool.
  • News outlets – Who do you know in the news outlets in your town? If you don’t have any contacts, create some. When you want to get a message to stakeholders that might be used as leverage or for any other advantage, news outlets can be an invaluable resource. Don’t ignore them. And, if you don’t want something disparaging you say to reach others, don’t say it. Even if it’s ‘off the record’, someone may leak your words.


  • Speak the right language – When communicating and attempting to bond with other parties, speak their language. That means, use the same words and idioms they use. To bond even better, use the same inflections and accents they use too. Mirroring them through speech will create the impression that you and they are similar. And it’s difficult for someone to dislike someone that’s like themselves. Conversely, if you wish to lord over others, use lofty language that signals your prominence over them.  
  • Keep communications simple – In some cases, it may be better to keep your communications simple. For some information consumers, you should use words that are easy to understand. Don’t speak over their heads by using words that they can’t comprehend. If you do, your communication may become challenging to grasp and understand. If it’s overly challenging, they may perceive you as putting on airs, or worse, misleading.
  • Galvanize opponent’s supporters – It may appear contradictory to galvanize your opponent’s supporters. But your efforts to thwart their non-compliance may be enhanced by using an opponent’s supporters against him. Sometimes this can be accomplished by appealing for fairness in an attempt to capture the hearts and minds of those individuals (e.g. how would you like someone doing this to you or those you care for).  At other times, you may pursue their support by casting your opponent in a light that is far outside of what’s typical for a situation. Adopting either of these maneuvers, depending on the circumstances, should allow mental movement to occur in the minds of your opponent’s followers. Remember, you’re seeking the hearts and minds of those individuals. If you want either or both, use the appropriate strategy required to acquire the outcome you’re seeking.


Striving to overcome non-compliance can be a daunting task if someone’s actions are allowed to fester into a formidable foe. Therefore, always be watchful of situations going awry. Take action before they hinder you. The quicker you’re able to identify the beginning of a straying position, one that’s departing from an agreement or expected behavior, the faster you can address it. That will be half the battle of confronting those that later contradict their commitment.  You will have uncovered them at the early stages of their betrayal, which will give you more time to reposition yourself and them … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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