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The Resolution

Lesson 2 from: Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

Ted Leonhardt

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Lesson Info

2. The Resolution

Lesson Info

The Resolution

So resolution, what happened? Why did tim bill and sarah give in to their emotions? I've seen this behavior over and over again with clients and students I suffer from myself creatives air simply more vulnerable when they're in stressful situations the result rolling over making decisions impulsively even breaking down and crying are not uncommon resolution use the advantage is that your creative traits to give you so we're sensitive? So what do we sent it to people's reactions so we're looking at the other person we're negotiating with and were interpreting their reactions use your senses to observe how are they feeling? Are they feeling strong? Are they feeling good about what I'm presenting? Do I need to adjust my approach because of what I'm seeing don't just roll up in the feelings used the feelings to guide your instincts about what to do and that's how you use your emotions as a strength, so you're tapped into them. You're tapped into your feelings and you're thinking about what...

I do here, how do I react? And then you change and adjust on the fly. I know that the fundamentals of your expertise is where your power really is, and the final point which we haven't touched on yet is that this is not like dickering at the flea market or over a used car, it never happens if you're if you're being asked to contribute to do photography for someone, or design or illustration or design a building or whatever it is you're already engaged in a professional back and forth they've already chosen you at some level. There may be a group of you they're talking to, but you've already been pre qualified as a professional of some sort. They're not going to dicker with you as though it were a used car lot, and you wouldn't with them either, because you need to have a relationship with this person over a fairly long period of time. When you're buying used car, you'll never see that person again. You don't have to worry about their feelings. They certainly are not going to worry about yours, but when you're negotiating over something creative contract of any kind, they know that they need you to feel good about it, for you and them to go together to work on the project, if indeed you d'oh. So if you run into somebody who is actually negotiating with you as if it were a used car, you know, this assignment is not for you. You just don't want to play, so you just say no, so we just don't dicker. We don't dicker we may adjust and change our approach and change our feet perhaps but it's not dickering as it is because we need to have this long term relationship I want to introduce you to charles wiggins there's a little short video clip that we're going to show and I want you to think about the clip and and make some notes about it and then we'll talk about what charles has to say charles is my good friend and my negotiation coach back in nineteen ninety eight we hired charles and his wife donna to teach our whole class or excuse me our whole office how to negotiate because we found our clients more and more we were running into clients that were trained negotiators as we've worked with larger projects and larger clients and uh we knew charles family connection to charles and his wife donna and he were specialists in alternative dispute resolution and international negotiations uh charles is a lawyer graduated from university of washington, got his law degree at hastings in california and then got his advanced law degree at yale and he's retired now then taught taught at san diego san diego university of san diego for years law and now is a writer and collaborates with me and in fact he's an actor as well and in some of the videos you'll see but this is a little clip of charles and uh oh, I'm not you guys oh here's what I want you to do um his the point he makes is that we can use our culture and our creative culture and our pre conscious creative awareness to advantage so that so we have a little creative culture that we live in our friends our community the people we work with are all creative so we use that culture as a base for how we approach the world and then we use our creative awareness in the moment of dealing with a client and uh charles makes the point that media matters so when we're negotiating media really matters face to face negotiate in face to face negotiations we creatives can use our intuitions to advantage so we're very good at reading the emotions of others and we can use that as advance to advantage so now I want to run that clip and then I want to get your insights from it after the clip. But so one of the things ted that I thought we might talk about is that there's a that all groups form of culture they form a set of shared beliefs they think the same they pass on what their their attributes are to the next generation through mentoring or or childhood or whatever and there's a different source of creativity than for many others um technically trained people for example engineers, physicists, chemists, architects very creative can be very creative, but their creativity comes from a different place in the brain, probably, whereas there's a cognitive function to certain kinds of creativity, there's an emotional, limbic, pre conscious aspect to other forms of creativity that I think artistic creators have in considerable abundance. We should note that this is all of this a stereotypical, but there are tendencies or predictions that you could make about cultural difference that I think get you started in understanding how people communicate with medium effects can be extremely important. Billions of dollars a day are being negotiated one hundred and forty characters at a time. If that's true, then if I need emotional information, if I need if I need, if I need process information as well a substantive information I need not negotiate over twitter because I'm going to lose a vast amount of information that may not be important to the engineer to pick another stereotype but might be critical to me, so that might suggest that when I negotiate, I might want to negotiate mohr face to face, or at least telephonically rather than by email. A opening paragraph and a colon and a hyphen are not the same thing as what I just saw when you smile that right that's yeah, max, uh, it's always better like this is something I do it's like with me is I always meet face to face with my clients and if I can't meet face to face um it's like skype or phone because email yeah, there is that disconnect you don't know you know what the person's feeling on the other side and if I can sit here and talk to someone face to face it's you know, I think there's more of a connection and like you said, you know, we're building a connection report with our clients that you know, we need to have throughout this project so I feel like that's like very important half like that that personal one on one it's huge uh face to face gives you the full range of the other person and you get none of that through text only you're you've been talking about, you know, sharing what we have to offer and I think it's also an opportunity to kind of ask kind of recognizes feel their needs to where over email and even over the phone you can't really feel even what to ask. And so it kind of creates a curiosity that wouldn't be there to add to level the the bullet points of what you're offering in your narrative negotiations as well. Your point that I just picked up was it gives you a clue of what to ask next that's what you were suggesting that the correct yeah yeah, yeah and I think I've found that that is definitely lacking in other forms of communication so we had a guest in the chat room says I find the relationship is one of the main ingredients in closing any deal with a family or with large corporation if we can't sit down and talk my close rate goes down around fifty percent yeah, I'm not surprised not if they're resistant what if they want to take care of a patina? Uh I like to establish conditions and one of my conditions is if I can't meet you at least on skype I can't work with you it just doesn't work because I don't know who you are how about if you've met before but a week later they want to take care of it that afternoon and they want to do it by email um even then it's a course situational but I am highly resistant to negotiating deals through email and uh I have countless examples of negotiations gone awry through email in fact, there was a very famous one just recently that I can tell a little bit about it was all over the internet I can't remember the names naturally dyslexia uh but I can remember the narrative thread so here's the narrative thread woman is accepted for a university position that she always wanted transferring from one university to another she feels like it's just perfect they've offered her the job and she got an email you know saying you've got the job we're thrilled for you to start etcetera, etcetera and and so she fires back a very thoughtful extremely lengthy email with a length of questions of could I have this and could I have that um could I arrange for my sabbatical to start on such and such could we extend the child care to cover this would you be willing to help me with that uh could you help me move here? Could you give me some help with that could my teaching responsibilities beam or in this area rather than that so questions like that logical very politely written well written of course this is a university professor after after all and the university rescinded the offer so they so there was no discussion they sent an email saying what do you got the job? She sent an email back saying thank you very much I'm thrilled and then with her ten points and they said uh I think we're gonna look at another candidate classic classic uh uh email miscommunication then the online chatter about this was all over the nuance of what she wrote so maybe she was a little too harsh in this paragraph maybe she overstated her case in that paragraph perhaps she shouldn't have asked this they seem to miss the point entirely that she should have gotten on the phone at the very least or on skype or flown there better yet? Well, wow, I got this great job. Why don't I fly down to minneapolis wherever it isthe and, uh, let's sit down and talk about it, then she could have said, I have some things I'd like to talk to about. Could we have a conversation about this? And she might have found out that some of them were very workable, some of them not for some reason, and together they would have planned how to get a successful professor to take a a position that needed to be filled, you know? And she had the credentials, but no, she didn't do that. She just fired off a email them get tense at even the second suggestion and not gone for the other eight down on she could have shot him like, okay, she could have adjusted and we would have been talking, and there would've been two or three people in the room, and we have been excited about how to do this and some of them they would have helped her with and some they couldn't for some reason policy. Who knows what? But there was no conversation. It was an e mail ridiculous, ridiculous. We have a couple of questions on this subject. If you don't mind let least a couple of these a day says, what if you don't connect to the person on any level and the communication is very difficult between you? What if the person doesn't make you feel comfortable? Would then email communication? Not be better? Uh, no, because it's no, no, no, love it. And you know, by the way, if if a potential client makes you feel uncomfortable, it's probably not a good sign for the working relationship going forward. I mean, anybody have experience like that they want to share. I had a couple bosses who don't really know what to ask for, and also they, like know little to nothing like about production. So when they actually are asking for things where sometimes like that's not even possible to dio like, you know, with technology now, you know there's only so much and they're like, well, they just kind of, like, sit there for a while and they don't know exactly what they want and I am. More of the creative type of like you know what your inspiration like what do you really feel about this? Probably like how do you want people to feel, right? You know what this video when they have like no, you don't have the slightest idea than I self aware enough for, like even slightly more contests to be ableto I conceptualize that then I kind of hit a wall because that's, what I need in order to create right? And so so then where I would want to go is developed more skills for drawing them out. So how to how the questions mohr questions? I have a list of questions I'm going to go through, uh think it's tomorrow, but questions are the key to understanding and one of the defaults that we fall to what's creative is we typically are kind of glib and and so we tend to talk too much and asking questions is really way more effective in the early stages of a relationship because it gives you a chance to really understand rather than filling in the blanks yourself with our famous intuitions. So we kind of fill up the assignment with what we think rather than you know they're they're perspective, so the key is lots of questions and then lots of follow up questions and, um uh, you know, the classic question is help me understand you've probably heard journalists use that, especially on npr. Help me understand why you view the assignment this way. It's completely neutral. It's not challenging it's not saying you're an idiot, you know it's saying, help me understand what you would like to accomplish with this assignment helped me understand what the parameters are. Help me understand how you established this budget. Help me understand why the deadline is friday and so then they can say, well, there's a show, and we've already purchased the space for the booth or, you know, whatever you helped me understand is a classic line to start a question with let's, do you mind if I take maybe one in two more questions, please? Because this is definitely something that is getting a lot of traction. Um, elwood says as a woman, I find that negotiating, especially with men but with some women to is more challenging. He seemed to expect a gain more from the deal with me. So if they end up with the same outcome with me as they would with a man, they leave negotiation less satisfied and happy. So a are we going to talk about gender differences at all during the workshop and b? Is that a situation in which then not doing it face to face? Would result in better would give better results because you don't have that physical difference well in front of you, women have the advantage and negotiations because they're way more to the situation than men are even in the creative world so she face to face is going to always be her advantage and she needs to guard against her her fears and her doubts about her self worth men are classically what is it? Allison? Ten percent overconfident and women are classically ten percent under confident isn't it what we recently read? Yeah uh so so and yet when the test is done the men and women come out on the average the same so the women are before the test the women are ten percent less confident that they will do well on the test ten percent and the men are ten percent over confident they will do well on the test and when the test is done they will fill in the answers on average they come out the same thief scores come out the same so there's a classic gender difference and it's probably back to our beginnings when men only lasted about five years in manhood because they they were aggressive, they either we're attacking somebody or getting attacked and they got killed off and the women were talking and engaging with each other and trying to keep things together and so on and and so many had to be over confident to protect the tribe and women had to be more reflective because they needed to keep the group feeling good so this is a really, really old gender difference so what's the answer be aware simply be aware men don't always be so damn overconfident you know, I've certainly made that mistake fax so one thing with me and what I d'oh you know, one of the big things is my age difference and I feel like sometimes I need toe go into a meeting and a client meeting a bit more overconfident and like like try and be like, hey, you know, I know what I'm doing here, you know, just ages just because I'm younger than most people that you might be talking to you doesn't mean that I'm I'm lesser I've still had these great experiences I know that I'm still learning but I wanna you know, create something amazing with you but like, you know, my question is is like, is that something that it's more of like realizing my my fears I guess I was like, how could I turn that into, like working that around to making things worse? Well, I think that's a really interesting question, so when I was your age I felt exactly the same way you you felt and now at my age I'm worried about being too old so so I was worried about being too young now I'm worried about being too old what's the difference exactly I'm not quite sure what the difference is uh and we're we're taught to be you know, the guy I mean look at the heroic photos of guys that are used all the time and advertising and stuff in fact, I was looking at somebody's portfolio in this room who maybe I can't think uh, who had these heroic guys photographed, you know? And it was like I wish I was like that, you know, I'm not like them uh, so you know, it's again one of those things we kind of default to the stereotypes that were taught through media through, you know, our exposure to the world we just have to kind of guard against because the asset that you have is the way you solved the problem. The asset that you have is the way you approach the problem they ask that you have is how you're going to help them it's a simple is that you're there to help them, so figuring out what to do to actually help them that's in their best interest is always the key to winning the gig always the key to winning the gig always in their best interests and using the insights that you have because you've spent whatever years from age five or seven up until now improving your expertise you have tremendous insights about what the right way to approach this assignment is you have tremendous insights so use those insights and then draw out from them what the problem is and then apply your insights to how they're describing it so together you and the client kind of make a whole toe what needs to be done they know what they know what they need, you know how to approach it better than they do together you can accomplish something so establishing that mutuality is really critical in that kind of situation and using your sensitivities to read the situation use your sensitivities you know it's like what I say to myself think like the girl part all right, I think we've got one more question on this kind of subject this gentle subject of face to face versus email which distance and all that ideas girl specifically says what about clients who are not low to you people who are international says I'm any of those smaller low budget like just three or five hundred dollars that wouldn't cover a trip? Sure australia yeah, sure uh completely skype facetime thank you technology I love both of those services although they they confound me often, but but I had the sound not work yesterday with a reporter and uh, something I've noticed about skype that I actually think is an advance or face time as well isn't advantage actually over being in the room I had an assignment a while back ooh gosh, not that long of six, eight months ago I was hired to help a young masculine creative director adjust his behavior so that his assistance didn't keep getting fired quitting excuse me they kept quitting so he had assistant after assistant after assist and of course the community was kind of getting to know that this guy and this firm was not so good with young people you know, young women and he the guy was while he was one of those guys in the photograph he like, you know, he looked like you know, he was tall and muscular and he had the perfect shadow beard that you see in the advertising perfect hair great chin you know all the attributes of the perfect modern male and he was intimidating his health and he's a gifted, really, really good creative director and tremendously important to the firm that he works for because he, you know, keeps client happy, does great assignment, gets them awards, gets him attention, knocks it out of the park except in this one area so I was hired to counsel him on his behavior uh and get and clearly had a huge blind spot he just really didn't understand how to behave with these young women that he just destroyed them, you know, and uh so our first skype so it's overseas I'm in the states he's in the he's in europe and uh our first skype and I'll never forget it he was doing this on the skype screen you know, his like head would kind of be off the screen over here would be over there and it was it was the young man nervous thing he was afraid I was going to fire him or something and and his and the way he expressed himself was all this body movement you know, it was just he was just act his physically kind of acting out the way he was feeling he would have never done that in person he would have never done that in person but but the skype revealed himself so I think skype actually you know this so there's this funny thing I have no research on it only at my own observations but I've now seen that actually twice that phone on both with times with men, by the way that's great. All right, let's uh let's keep moving, okay? Keeping moving so there was charles we did questions, comments. Okay. This is an important idea really important idea put the slide up so everybody sees it buying I said this before reinforcing it here buying a used car or decay rate dickering at a flea market is distributive bargaining we creative? Don't do it this is called in the textbooks this is called distributive bargaining I learned this from charles who you just met distributive bargaining assumes a fixed pie that will be distributed it's like claimed value approach we're buying a chevy you want to pay fifteen hundred they're asking too grand it's who's going to get how much of the five hundred dollar difference that's what you're distributing you're distributing that difference? This happens in the marketplace that happens with used cars that happens with departments it happens with buying furniture it happens in many many you've go on a trip to mexico and you're buying a bracelet you dicker you're on the beach in europe somewhere you're dickering over something with a beach vendor dickering is expected never do it when we're doing creative services it reduces us to a commodity it eliminates the value of our expertise I mean the minute you're talking about whether it's you know, five hundred or thousand or you know, five thousand or ten thousand or whatever and you're dickering over that you have there not obviously not interested in you they're only interested in how much money they have to spend and you've already lost so we simply don't do it we just don't do it yeah max avoid lumps songs like don't go for like a like a big one time payment no no, no no it's okay bargaining thiss it's this uh you know, five hundred to two thousand it's the it's the bargaining back and forth that we don't deal so you hold firm no, no, we just we were we're going to talk about what needs to be accomplished we're going to talk about what are the liver bols we're going to talk about how much time is involved in the assignment we're going to talk about what needs to be what we need to do um where they want to go with it all those things are what we're going to talk about we're not going to talk about you know, because what we're gonna do is we're going to set a budget based on what's needed to be done and then have a conversation with the client about what is the appropriate thing to do but dickering in the manner of the marketplace is not what we do, we simply don't do it, and if it starts to happen, you realize that you're of no value to them see that's the problem it it means that they've got ten other people they know can do the job and you're just one of ten so just to keep it simple for a moment our work is personal we do it ourselves naturally ourself work it worth is tied to our work, but best of all so is the value the value of the work it's personal our self worth is tied to it so is the value so we pour ourselves into our work that's why it's worth it that's why it's worth it? We pour ourselves into the work that's why it's worth it next? How expertise levels the playing field that's what we'll talk about in the next segment uh before that I'm going to give you a few tips we're calling this ted tips ted tips okay plan planning reduces anxiety so there's a bunch of reasons to plan you know it gives you an understanding of the assignment it helps you, you know, gather your wits around the situation it shows you're interested or your client gets gets it that you're interested because you're doing plant planning and you're asking a bunch of questions and so on. But the thing that's really most important about planning from my perspective is this emotional effect and that is that it reduced the mohr well planned you feel you are the less your anxieties so planning reduces anxiety number two know the range it's easy to find out the range you can talk to friends you could talk to colleagues you can go online there's tons of books there's tons of articles media rich world it's easy to find out the range behave like an expert okay, we're all talking about expertise here and your behavior reinforces the message that you have to the other person about what kind of an expert you are the moment you meet a client a client has asked you to come talk to them about an assignment is the high point of their esteem for you it's a little bit like dating I think I mean when you meet that other perfect person that you think is the perfect person for you that's kind of the high point and then you find out that they have all these flaws like you do you know and it's the same thing and when you're negotiating so when you first meet you actually have the most power in the situation because they're pouring into you all the things that they think they need they think they think you can do this and do that and do that so you haven't disappointed them yet so at the beginning when you're at the beginning of the relationship if you don't maintain your behavior like an expert it their esteem for you begins to drop so you have to remember to kind of continue to behave in the expert manner that they expect you to never accept the initial offer so let's say they mentioned a price first five thousand dollars we have five thousand dollars to do this assignment never accepted always assume there's more money it's just automatic if somebody offers you a fee always assumed that there's more money so you have to come up with a legitimate reason you can't just said, oh, could you make it five fifty? No, you need to be able to explain why you would ask for more than what they threw out on the table, but if you do not ask for mme or you give up some respect, so don't accept their initial offer, ask questions, listen to the answers. The keys are all in the answers, so you have to be very careful that you catch what they're really saying and ask good follow up questions and never give them anything for free never, ever give them anything for free, because it if you give them something for free it's of no value. Sadly, we live in a world where everything has a monetary value, and if you give them something for free, there is no value in it. So next segment, how are expertise levels? The playing field. I love it. This was all. So we've got, I think one general question, okay, that I want to get before we go toe break. Okay, so johnny wants to know. Oh, and there's, a little bit of discussion going on the chat room over the idea of what the pros and cons of labeling ourselves as creatives, what do you think are the the implications that come with calling yourself a creative are there kong's to it. What are the pros to it? Let's? Just talk about the label for a second. In the past, I would have been uncomfortable calling myself for creative, because I I thought that I needed to wear a suit and behave like a business man to be successful. And I have learned and in fact, in my interviews, planning for this training with various creatives over and over again, the subject of how they discovered the power of using their creativity and their their self descriptions of being creatives to advantage, uh, is it's, it's it's. So I would say, today, we're creative and it's powerful, and people want us for that. And the last thing they want us to hire a businessman.

Class Materials

bonus material

Ted Leonhardt - 13 Negotiating Tips.pdf
Ted Leonhardt - Core Principles.pdf
Ted Leonhardt - Nail It.pdf
Ted Leonhardt - References.pdf
Ted Leonhardt - Session Keynote

Ratings and Reviews


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.

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