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Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Lesson 25 of 29

Pounding the Table

Ted Leonhardt

Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Ted Leonhardt

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Lesson Info

25. Pounding the Table

Lesson Info

Pounding the Table

When pounding the table is a good idea you guys have any suggestions? When should we pound the table when we would even consider pounding the table yes when you're pretty much at your your end like at this point you don't really care which way it goes you have nothingto lose nothing lives okay that's point number that's a great great great great uh uh answer when you have nothing to lose so it's ok? Or uh we've kind of run out of options so when we run out of options we might think about pounding the table or we might just spontaneously do it without too much thinking being involved because we're exasperated motions get high so that would talk just before we dive too deep in here you two find kind of what you mean exactly by pounding the table now are you literally talking about slamming your hand down and yelling are you talking about just putting a line in the sand and saying we're done here this is my final like what do you mean by pounding the table? Well, is there too good example...

s? Yeah, I meant when I wrote the slide I meant literally you put your hand down heavily on the table so it makes a noise so hard and fast and you push your chair back so the terror scrapes the floor and you stand up and everybody notices oh he slammed his hand to the table and he slid the chair back and he stood up so there's a point of emphasis there and so it could happen simply spontaneously there might be another example what would be another possibility and used you guys to come up with an idea we've got daniel architect says pound the table when you realize it's pointless a waste of time and that to continue would be an act of self disrespect there you go yeah that's a they're very, very thoughtful okay, so those air that's a real thoughtful a real thoughtful response yeah so you might pound the table when you're simply emotionally decided you don't decide anything it just happens it's just spontaneous your just operating on the on the feeling that you're exasperated or you might plan for it you might plan to slam your hand on the table when what you do that anybody got any ideas when would you actually plan in advance maybe going in you know that you know this client is going to be more on the difficult side like that not willing teo move is much in the way that you need him too, but when it's like okay, I need to have like a shock a moment where it's like hey I'm enter out now or I'm walking risk got it I've got planning ahead to to do something dramatic to get their attention planning ahead, planning ahead so it's an advanced planning? Yes would say you could use it as, uh, punctuation if there's a point that you really want to make sure that people recognized is very, very important to you, that has an exclamation point after it, that could be a time when you can plant it absolutely your most important thought you want this your most important thought? Very well put your most important thought, you might just say, and I want you to know that going forward, we need these things to happen or going forward. This will change your business. This will capture the imagination of people well, and things will change. Things will improve, because doesn't this actually do that for them? It's like it's a moment where, like, they're probably like you never forget. I bet your clients never forgive her for god and your you even talked about your partner who brought it up like years later, leaders were having coffee, and that was the high point of his career, hoping what I was hoping he was just being flattering. It wasn't true, there must have been other things that were better. Yes, d s and eva has a great thought how about when the result is great and you're really excited, excellent underscore your happiness very good, yes I am thrilled we're going to go forward and we're going to do this together this's fantastic yeah yeah so that white be justin emotional response to but it's happy one it's a happy emotional response a lot of them keep coming and we've got daniel architect who says to slam your hand strategically when you have a client who acts that way as well because that levels the field between you it kind of brings you both to that certain emotional point reciprocity reciprocity uhm so we have to be careful if we're doing a thinking planning to slam our hand on the table we have to be careful that we don't overwhelm the other person so we so we wouldn't want to do it if the other person with someone that it might scare them you know so they have to we have to feel ok that it will uh no one will be harmed by this that it doesn't feel wrong it's not too overwhelming that the other person's not sort of ah shrieking, violent and would be damaged you know, pounding the table pounding the table is something you can actually plan for or not and in either case it does make a point be really clear and people get remember it but we need if we're going to be planning it, we need to think very carefully about what the outcome's might be because the outcome might not be quite the way we thought it might be. The outcome might be not go quite the way we think it might go and I'm gonna show you a little video and it's gonna have some very tricky things happen in the video and I want you to look for the unexpected to occur and the title of this little video is the aggressive clothes, the aggressive clothes so we can just tell from the title that there's going to be some slamming on the table that goes on in this in this video and in the video, ben is negotiating the sale of his business, which is named design reach, and he is negotiating that sail with charles, who is thie potential buyer of his business, and I want you to observe the demeanor. I want you to note the numbers because they were talking about the sale of a business, so you note the numbers and then compare notes and we'll all talk about what happens so let's, go ahead and run the aggressive close, mr wiggins, you keep sending people to my office to scope out my business. Uh, just trying to get acquainted. We're learning the intricacies of my operation so that maybe you don't have to buy it no, you know how it is from our side, things take a little longer and, frankly, this audit thing I don't know how long that's gonna take a bigger pardon I said I'm the oracle u u x you came to me I didn't come to you then I think we're getting off on the wrong foot here you know what let's just forget it let's forget it all I don't need this deal I'm running a very comfortable excuse me a very thriving business a business that year to date has a thirty two percent bottom line returning approximately six million in profit on operations it's an issue don't have and we both know you need and that's why you called me in the first place now you on the other hand have just lost your beauty business healthy chunk of your business if I'm correct what was it charles like twenty, twenty five thirty percent how are you going to replace all that? And we both know you lost it because you don't have an effective u u ex operation so my question is why do I need you? I still think we oughta calm oh no I'm I'm feeling really calm actually matter of fact you know what we're gonna do. We're going to issue a press release immediately today and this press release is going to say that the deal's off you're not buying design reach you're not buying quantum, you're not buying anything you see you you're a browser I'm going to continue enjoying my profits you're going to continue to lose your most valuable clients because you don't have the skills to meet their interface needs because of a failed acquisition that paints a pretty little target right on you so all this bodes really well for your future doesn't it your price is too high I have a nice day charles uh twenty five thirty two twenty eight thirty one and that's it yes or no and if it's a no any further communication from your office goes right in my trash can yes good oh one other thing I'm out of here in six months I'm done with it all so my daughter is going to replace me you know her and you trust her okay five year employment contract my lawyers draft him yes or no yes please what you doing? I'm writing the deal you're kidding no I'm not kidding I'm very serious sign it have a good day before I leave what would you have paid for thirty five would you take it twenty then we got a good deal actually I lied I wouldn't take a twenty five how did that make you feel with their some ham slamming on the table there some verbal here slamming uh one thing I definitely noticed was the redshirt it's like I'm going to come in and cross of hard and I'm going to show like my dominance right up you got right in his face and like sat constantly I don't care what like it's like he hit it like hard fast and if you don't take it now if you yeah and how did charles handle it? Uh think it was a little you know he was taken back obviously you little intimate it was not expecting that at all. Um and I think he stumbled a little bit until the end when he realized that he was losing it losing his deal. I just loved how charles was like he had that like what? The whole moment like what's going on here like this is kind of coming out of left field and like there's baseball coming back coming down and and I think you know, he did a really good job, you know? He went through like he threaten it like he explained why he needs him he threatened him then yeah been threatened he he straight up threatened him he's like I'm gonna make sure like, hey, I'm going to make a press conference that it's it's done like you're done I'm putting a target on your back pretty little target yeah and yes or no right now these are my terms and I think he was really smart of saying this is the contract I'm putting it right here, I'm writing it now you're signing it so there's no question that we come back to this two days later and argue some more it was oppressive about the numbers because it wasn't just like how much money they make it was also like time investment this is going to take a really long time I'm charles was also talking about god and it was like well that would take forever and he was like nope now in the moment my daughter is going to you know, work here for five years you know, like you've sent so many people to our office it was like this grand scale of things made the company seem a lot bigger so very interesting reaction very different from what's happening right here because a lot of reaction is that is not a person I'd want to be speaking about I forget the name in the red shirt ben ben saying unpleasant is not the word I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror in the morning so a lot of really strong reaction to him and to his behaviour yeah what you think about that he's a jerk I will be nailed it yeah he's a jury got it right? Yeah he's a jerk he's what is he doing to charles pulling me um he's bludgeoning him? Yeah and I think I think what he also like ben like he might not be like this like all the time but I think he also took like threat for himself one charles said people lot of people around teo his business did like check it out and like okay like this isn't cool you know, maybe I'm not like this but I need to be like this like it's time like this is taking too long and I need to make something happen yeah, that that's the impression we got wasn't it yeah yeah he also became, like extremely casual as soon as like the deal went through so I'm keeping my patting them on the back and was like, oh, how much would it be taken like? But his whole tone of voice changed so he was like a lot softer now let's talk about that pat on the back what was that pattern on the back of that we like human touch anyway? It's just like that's the way you bring people like closer to, you know, like make field like really was making him feel now well, now we're being this week, what was he doing? What was right in the back like a like, you know what I want this I want I want I just letting, you know even like the whole blank you him standing up and like standing over him that whole masculine touch on the face was yes riel example of dominance wasn't it absolutely that was even more in some ways more visceral than the style I have to agree an interesting note from texas girl is that the client actually started it with passive aggressive tactics if you notice what what he said it to me, charles, she started it because, uh I think the other guy's name thank you, charles. Then the first thing that he says when he sits down is you've been sending people to my company to investigate me, right? Like you've been doing basically espionage to figure out how I do my business accusing him, accusing him of that? So if that's true, then I think that ben's response and particular attitude is ah lot more justified, not necessarily inappropriate, not that they're not necessarily inappropriate now, however, the three of you how did you feel when the video was first shut down and I came over to look at you shot? I definitely have a feeling that made you feel uncomfortable. Yeah, I wouldn't want to be a part of that, but you guys actually felt it didn't you? And I would say that I haven't seen the chat rooms this like active yet in the cores like this listen it's a very strong response yeah, this we feel this don't weigh no, charles felt this was charles shaken? Oh yeah, he was shaken, wasn't it? Yeah, so an interesting question, who do you think one in this scenario I'm not going to tell okay I filmed this I wrote this I directed this so I'll shift this over teo folks here in the room then who do you guys think one in this scenario one uh that's that's a tough one because charles came back at the end when saying I would have gone its highest thirty five you know but I think ben in the longer and I think ben truly was the one who who won because not only did he secured his own future he secured the future of his daughter with a five year solid contract that and t got what uh he would've gone as low as twenty five so we got six million war when thirty five like in the new probably in the negotiations before it's like at thirty two he probably wanted gotten if he didn't do this tactic but what did he say before he said twenty five you said he lied about it it's a city line it would've gone twenty five but he was he said twenty eight years twenty so which I think kind of made charles feel like he won but then he quickly like was like I lied it would have gone twenty five so which brought it back down again and feel like you just kept knocking charles down a level and ben could have been lying about that twenty five number you know? Do we think ben was capable of lying absolutely one hundred percent hundred ten percent there. We think ben came to this meeting intending to behave this way. Was this a planned aggression? Yes. This was not a just a natural emotional outburst. Oh, I think you practice that in the mirror a few times. Did he seem like he might have practiced it in the mirror a few times I go back to the red shirt red shirt is aggressive and dominant very planned. Yeah, very clearly want it where? Redshirt way don't normally wear red shirts and the creative business do we know we usually wear black shirts? Red it's very unusual. Now now for a businessman, we wear blue shirts, which is what? Charles forswearing yes uh huh. Interesting question about using this sort of tactics and this sort of really aggressive thing elwood says don't you want people coming out of a negotiation with a positive feeling about each other, especially if there is a long term relationship that follows the deal. And just before you answer a note from rebecca houghton who says this reminds me kind of like a sports event the teams want to kill each other during the game but then high five each other afterward for the good effort is that what you think is going on here? Is that what you guys think is going on here or are they really is this was this a show of aggression? Was this a like a competition that they've fought and then afterwards they'll respect each other or are they really contentious and it'll be hard work together do we think these guys are gonna have a good relationship going forward? No because professional relationship I think but he's leaving in six months he knows he can't he can't do this and I'm done you'll never see me again but I think there's still that professional relationship there or he wouldn't have signed a contract for his daughter to work there I feel like during your family to the wolves is are these two men going to be friends? I don't think so I think it's just gonna be civil at work and then that's it they're not gonna be friends no no no maybe that's their friendship so and a lot of people are kind of questioning william o says they've never heard reald dialogue in real life that went anything like this the older gentleman would just shut down ended the meeting without yielding. So my question to you is someone who did write this and has a lot of years of experience have you seen things like I've seen this exact thing happened? Yes it happened to me I was charles and did you react his childhood? I would I was life calm down here yes I was astounded trusting so that in your situation who do you felt like one? I think charles one well and if if in this particular set situation ben's assessment was correct that child's had lost a certain amount of their business, they needed teo to make it up and his company was the way to do it he didn't need it and so he got it for a price that was less than he was willing to pay he was bludgeoning that was not what he needed a beating, but he ultimately won in the end and so I think that's an interesting observation and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it is how much? Sometimes the process of negotiation is not going to leave you feeling good, right? You know, sometimes you will feel beat up or you'll feel you'll have to do things that you don't feel comfortable doing or whatever, how much trying figure out how to phrase is, how much do you think it's more important to focus on the end result than the process that gets you there? Well, I'd like to actually turn us back to underlying in uh uh underlying interests do we think that ben was merely irritated because a lot of people had visited his office? He said, lots I forgive that I forget what I wrote now tell you the truth but it's been a while but but he basically says um you've been sending a lot of people to my office for you trying to do scope it out so you could create it on your own accusing him of espionage in effect yeah do we think that was enough of it of motivation for him to behave that way? I I personally don't think so I think there's he probably had underlying things let you know the six months he probably wanted toa retire he wanted to help his daughter move up and and move on was there an air of desperation here? Yeah I don't think so did we notice that the bludgeoning itself changes our perspective so the very fact that bludgeoning was going on we believed that simply having people come to the office was irritating when we get bludgeoned we begin to follow the thought process of the other person that's one of the things that happens we begin to believe the things that they're saying it's it's a visceral reaction someone tells you you're not measuring up and it sticks with you forever the criticism when we were seven that we were not reading upto up to grade level or whatever the heck it is that we struggled with when we were seven sticks with us for the rest of our lives we know that that's why we have mental health professionals who help us kind of sculpt these things out so the bludgeoning the bludgeoning causes us to fall in line with the blood jenner's point of view one more kind of big subject that's been discussing here? Our girl brought it up specifically here do you think there are differences in the male female dynamic? Yes this were a man and a woman women uh can you just talk a little bit about gender dynamics when you're talking about an aggressive strategy? Well, men are much more likely to behave like this than women are. Women are much more likely teo to have a conversation and really talk about talk through the issues where the men are much more willing to kind of puff up as these two men both did both charles responded by puffing up himself in his own way um and uh that's just appears to be a gent a fundamental gender dish difference but I could see a woman in fact I have seen women who uh planned on having an aggressive outburst in the meeting and pull it off and but but again it's it's not it's a this this is a manipulative tactic by someone who is really planning this and there's there's must be some underlying issues here just having people visit your office is era that hurting so we have to stop and think when we're being bludgeoned we have to stop and think about what's going on here why would he be so pushy? Why why right now is this reasonable we're talking about somewhere between what the low number the lowest number mentioned was twenty five and the highest number mentioned was thirty five that's a lot of money for a person to get an individual we're not talking about a corporation here we're talking about small business that's a lot of money to get why why would it be so now desperation yeah I mean something's going on something he yeah he needs this there's clues here that suggest we don't know because we don't know this is all we have to work with but there's clues here so what I want you to do the lesson the takeaway is what are the underlying always look there is because all human behavior is predictable there's always a reason that we behave the way we behave it does not come out of nowhere there's always a reason and these these two men both had reasons for behaving the way they behave. We heard bend described what he thought were charles reasons but we never heard ben's reasons yes still continuing on with the gender discussion I would be curious to hear from kamata and britt if you guys have any thoughts on negotiating have you had these sort of interactions where you felt like more bullied and do you have any reaction airways teo combat that and ted, I definitely love to hear your thoughts as well right I mean, granted the client that I work with working with are such, you know, on a small business scale and, you know, I am I'm a very like, neutral person and not if if it by any means ever got to that point, I think I would be the first person to either one common situation down and try to rap, like, rationalize with them or two had been like this. You and I are not meant to work together because I am not that individual and that's just an immediate red flag that you're the type of client that I don't want, you know, I don't want my life, we heard that a lot in the chat room as well. Is that a soon as he started doing that if they were in charles is shoes, they would have just said, okay, I'm not interested in working with you, thanks for walking away. Thank you, yeah, um, I usually try to build a report enough to see if they would even, like, jump to that situation and trying to make myself seem the least understanding enough where they don't have to, like, yell in order to get their point across or what they want, so if they, like, want more money or if they want to, like, pay less money or whatever, it's as long as they have a solid reason, I'm just not going to work with them if they would do that like there's gonna look somewhere else let's hear your thoughts on ways that, uh, presented with this because as you said, it is more of a stereo, typically male tactic. Do you have any suggestions for women who are not comfortable with this art girl said specifically, how can I be authentic and react to that when that aggression is not part of my personality? Uh, step away from the table. I'm sorry this isn't working for me just step away from the table just don't play have to fight fire with fire. You kind of show more character through being the peacemaker in the situation of being able to be, like calm and level headed and go to the process. Yeah, the classic way to deal with aggression is to move to a process so let's, talk about how we're going to arrive at a result here. Um, maybe we should let's maybe we should make a list together of what you're looking for and we can talk about that. But yes, go ahead, I think. Circling back, teo, you stating you know, there's always. A cord of reason why we do the things that we dio and anytime anybody's acting irrational like that I usually try to step back been like what's really going on right now let's talk about the real issue and then this is a surface thing and that usually comes a situation down because they realize it's that thing right, theo interest well, how much? Just reaction this whole topic and this video particular god right? It shows how important it is to us and how viscerally we respond to that you go whoa! All the other all the other filmed examples were very reasonable, reasonable to boring almost I mean, discussion alfa group designed uh uh better world design I mean it's like on and on come on, come on, let's, get on with it. You know, can we just, like, arrive somewhere? Well, we saw exactly the opposite here and it made us just feel like we immediately feel it. That's one of the things I find really interesting about this particular little scenario. So this is a really story and it really happened and we did make an arbitrary deal very quickly like that and it fell apart in, like, six weeks and I think that it's interesting to note that, as you said, like the other videos so far have been kind of very very intellectual and very calm and then this one was the exact extreme opposite and most negotiations will be somewhere in the middle. Most will be kind of a little bit more passionate than the ones that we've seen previously to this and we'll be less passionate than this one. Oh, I know I would say the call miss the norm yet to call miss the norm yeah, yeah and occasionally somebody raises their voice but calm is normal so he had serious issues he was desperate to sell desperate excuse me, desperate to get his business purchased desperate I mean that's what this showed and and uh it's interesting that no one picked up on that. No one said you may have picked up on it, but no one said he was desperate to sell his business. Why was he so desperate to sell if he's making what was it six million bucks a year? I mean, what kind of car would you be driving on six million bucks a year? What kind of boat would you have more down here in lake union if you were earning six million dollars a year something's not adding up here something's not adding up here, but it worked. It worked in the short term it worked and that's the most to me the most interesting part off the bludgeoning phenomena and there was no likelihood that these two men in you know over the next few months anyway that they would ever have any relationship other than the most distant business like sort of relationship are they going to go have a glass of wine and talk about their families? I don't think so I don't think so I don't think so they're not going to be friends there they're going to be barely uh you know they they will simply be polite because they need to be to be in polite society so look for the underlying interests look for the endline interests because you because behavior is always always predictable anything else from the online I just want to say thank you to everybody out there you guys were awesome like really jumping in there sharing thoughts merely engaging each other in that conversation and I think that's when the strong things that we have here created lives that ability to actually engage in that social classroom and share those thoughts and absolutely in the classroom with each other so if you haven't been in the chat room give it a try okay anything else you want to say about that knocked the wind out of you didn't I love that I could just see you guys like melting down that was great that was great everybody have shown that video too does that okay so as lana by the way manners matter is the chapter head for one of you for one of the chapters in lana's new book that isn't quite done yet she's writing it with writing partner manners matter remember they'll never forget how you made this how you made them feel and these two guys believe me they never forgot they never forgot because I was one of them uh and the only reason to negotiate is to get as much as you can. We all know that the on ly reason to negotiate but we have to balance that with planting the seeds for a successful long term relationship and that and that's so it's nothing wrong with having the goal of getting as much as you can and not giving any leaving any money on the table oh, by the way charles was willing to pay thirty five million dollars for that business and if ben had not been in such a hurry he might have asked for slightly more than thirty five million he might have been able to have a conversation with charles about that beauty business and how he could help him get that business back with hiss successful uru ex work he might have been able to join ben might have been able to join with charles and map out a strategy that made the business bigger and better with the two of them that it would have ever been on its own if he had if he had approached it from a long term relationship standpoint but instead, he settled for thirty one, and he probably lied when he said what he would really accept and, by the way, never do that never tell someone what's, your bottom line is because what is that design to do hurt them? What was the pat on the back designed to do hurt them? Yeah, wounded stabbing right now, so he wanted to. He wanted to beat up on charles. That was his only goal. So it's, a very short term upside there get as much as we can bounce it with with a, uh, with a d for a long term relationship. Ted tips. Principal planning is key to understanding when you're planning focus on the now and the wine now be careful with aggressive negotiation techniques. They will remember how you made them feel. They will remember how they felt, just like you guys will probably never forget that video clip and a red shirt way had to send out for the red shirt.

Class Description

Core negotiation skills are essential for creative professionals, but negotiating can be fraught with fear, anxiety, and uncertainties. Join Ted Leonhardt to uncover the negotiating tactics that allow you to build the power and respect that lead to financial and creative freedom.

Throughout this course, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the common anxieties and vulnerabilities around negotiation and build the skills you need to keep those fears from holding you back. You’ll explore negotiation not as a bargaining session but as a collaboration in which you guide those you are negotiating with. You’ll also learn how to use time and context to define opportunities, create contracts instead of proposals, and align people with your vision. Because dealing with difficult personalities can be a challenging aspect of negotiation, you’ll build strategies for coping with and disarming bullies and naysayers. You’ll develop a negotiating style that doesn’t neglect the importance of kindness and good manners, but that also allows you to know and assert what your unique offering is worth.

Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or you’re a longtime creative professional, this course will equip you to know your worth and confidently ask for the opportunities and compensation you deserve.



While I walked away with some amazing knowledge and skills to apply to negotiation, more than anything, I appreciated the authenticity and humility with which Ted crafted and delivered all of the materials in this class. As a fellow creative, every word spoken in this course resonated with me on a deep level, and led me to retain and integrate the materials far better than I expected. A most sincere thank you to Ted for sharing these pieces of his inner life with us.

Kal Sayid

Love Ted. His desire to help creatives shines through. Lots of great nuggets as well as strategies for both the newbie creative and the veteran.

a Creativelive Student

Another terrific course from CreativeLive. I would and did recommend it for anyone, creative or otherwise. Most negotiation courses leave one with a "bad taste"-not this one. I vastly prefer this approach. My life would be very different right now if I had this information available when I first graduated from college with a BFA in Graphic Design. Oh, and an unmentioned bonus-a design agency soap opera is included. Ted is a marvelous teacher.