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Negotiating Your Contracts

Lesson 3 of 10

How To Build Rapport

Vanessa Van Edwards

Negotiating Your Contracts

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

3. How To Build Rapport

Lesson Info

How To Build Rapport

if you are already in a difficult relationship or a contentious relationship or antagonistic relationship, it's very hard to be able to start on the right foot. However, it is possible. What I want you to do is I want to actually take a step back from the negotiation. I want you to try to think about how you can get your negotiating partner notice. I didn't say adversary. I said partner. How do you get your negotiation negotiating partner to see you as a human? This sounds crazy, right? Of course for humans, but here's what happens in bad negotiations or bad relationships. It's all over email. It's pink Pink. Pink, Pink pink. It's all paperwork. He didn't do this, she didn't do this. It's all to do list. She didn't do that task. He didn't do that tasks when we get down to the tasks or the contracts or the emails. It becomes very hard to remember. Ah This person is a human being, they have bills to pay, they have kids to feed, they have partners to deal with. So the number one thing tha...

t you should be doing, forget what you actually want. The negotiation, we're gonna talk about that later is to get them to see you as a living breathing human and for you to do the same for them. And that means going back to basics and I love to use context cues for this. What I mean by context. Q. Is recent holidays, recent birthdays, recent ice storms. I'll give you a really specific example in my life. So, and we had a live in austin texas and we had a very, very bad ice storm here where everything broke. I mean everything broke. All of our heaters blew up. We had no water, we had no electric. It was really bad. That was a really important shared experience. And there was a lot that had to be negotiated afterwards. If you wanted to have water or heat, you had to call up the plumber and you had to try to get your do your very best to get them over as quickly as possible. So we didn't have the best relationship with our plumber. We had been back and forth. They got the wrong heater, you know, back and forth, back and forth. The ice storm happened and here's what I could have done. I could have gone in really hard, I could have said, we've got to have a heater right away. What can you do? How can we get on your schedule and gone right in the negotiation? But instead, I emailed him and I said, are you safe? Is your family? Ok, Number one, right? Like, yes, we've had a contentious relationship in the past, but as a human to human, it was a horrible experience. We all went through, he texted back and he was like, we're okay, we haven't had water. And I knew he has, he has two young daughters. And I said, do you have enough food? We have tons of rice and beans, you can come over anytime and we're happy to share them. We also have a bunch of toys we can share from my daughter. And we had to hold back and we said, no, we're fine, thank you so much. And I didn't at that point, it didn't even matter about the heaters. This was just someone in my life that I was hoping was okay. So that's what I want you to do, whether it's an ice storm or New Year's or the building that's going up across the street. I want you to find the human thing. And I know this could be hard, especially if it's been a hard relationship, but people will feel so relieved, especially if you've had a hard relationship. If you're like, hey, you know, how is your, how's your summer going? It's going good, surviving the heat right here in texas, surviving the heat, right? Or if it's New Year's or if there's a holiday, hey, I hope you have a wonderful time with your, with your family over the holidays. Are you doing anything special or even as respectful as if you know, a holiday is coming up and I like to negotiate right before, right after holidays. It's a little trick if you have some flex flexibility. I love negotiating right before after holidays because it's really easy to build report if it's before a holiday and I mean any holiday, I mean like july 4th easter christmas, thanksgiving, passover, whatever holiday, whatever holiday it is, if you think they celebrate it goes like this, Hey, I just wanted to check in, are you taking any time off for the holidays? I don't want to bother you on your vacation. Number one, That's very respectful. Number two, it's report building and hopefully right back. Oh yes, actually I'm taking off time for the holidays. Thank you so much and you can say great, I don't want to bother you on your time off. I hope you have a wonderful time with your family. Are you going away? Are you seeing family? Have any fun plans? This can be in person, this can be over, texas can be over the phone even on email. I do this same thing for after holidays. Did you have a nice holiday season? I hope you had a great time with your family. That little bit of report building is really just humanizing you both and then you can say, hey, the second thing I know this has been difficult. I know we've had some rough conversations. I know it's been a challenging few months. Thank you so much for your patients. So acknowledging that it's not been the best. That is a nice way of hitting the reset button a little bit like when you acknowledge that it hasn't been great. It's a soft way of saying, I want it to be better from here on out and then apologizing or thanking them for their patients. So if you've been rude in the past, this is your time to apologize for that. You know, sometimes it happens right. We had a hard day. I'm so sorry. You know, we've been so stressed with what's been happening with the pandemic. I'm sorry if my, if my emails have been a little terse, it's the time to do that or thank you so much for your patients. Thank you so much for sticking with us through this crazy time and then I want to hit the reset button. If it's really bad, you can say that you can literally say, I know it's been hard, thank you for your patience. I really want to hit the reset button on this. I want to find a way for this to work for both of us. That's a really important thing because you're actually prime in the other person to think in a win win situation as well. So when you call them a partner, when you say you want to find a win win, when you say you want to hit the reset button, when you say I really want to find a way to make this work for both of us, it's actually more likely to put them in a win win mind set as well. So whether you've been in a contentious relationship where you haven't, this setup is critically important before we even get into the actual negotiation.

Class Description

We negotiate all the time -- from lease agreements to suppliers, to lenders, and even to hiring contractors or employees. Everyone needs to understand the dynamics of powerful negotiations, but for many, the thought of negotiating can feel agonizing and uncomfortable. Do you struggle talking about money, asking for money, asking for discounts? You are not alone. No one is a born negotiator and there are tools you can learn right now to improve your negotiation skills. The fallout from the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns wreaked havoc on so many small businesses, but that also means that landlords, suppliers, lenders, and others might be more willing to renegotiate your contracts. The time is now to hone your negotiation skills.

Join Vanessa Van Edwards, published author and behavioral investigators, who has been featured on NPR, TED, CNN, and USA Today who will teach you the science behind successful negotiations.

Negotiation is a life and career skill and in this class you will learn:

  • How to build rapport with your negotiating partner
  • How to prepare for any negotiation
  • Understand Your Better Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)
  • How to get your partner on the YES ladder
  • How to use negotiation as a business research tool
  • Tools for nervous negotiators


Vanessa is Lead Investigator at Science of People. She is the bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. Her book has been translated into 15 different languages and more than 20 million people watch her on her popular YouTube channel.

Her unique work has been featured in dozens of media outlet including CNN, BBC, CBS, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, the Today Show and many more. Vanessa regularly speaks to innovative companies including Google, Nike, Facebook, Comcast, Miller-Coors, Microsoft, and Penguin Random-House. She has been a spokesperson for Dove, American Express, Clean and Clear and Symantec.

Millions visit her website,, every month for her methods turning “soft skills” into actionable, masterable frameworks that can be applied in daily life. Hundreds of thousands of students have taken her communication courses on Udemy, CreativeLive, LinkedIn and her flagship course People School.

Vanessa is renowned for teaching science-backed people skills to audiences around the world including SxSW, MIT, and CES to name a few. Her groundbreaking and engaging workshops and courses teach individuals how to succeed in business and life by understanding the hidden dynamics of people.

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