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11 tips for negotiating and building rapport - with Jenna Hyde

23rd May 2022
Brought to you by
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Award winning CRM & practice management software

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Jenna Hyde launched her own media business at 22 with help from the Prince’s Trust. Today, she runs House of Hyde Group, which offers career and mindfulness training to companies and the education sector.

We asked Jenna to run a webinar for us – but she had so many ideas, she’s doing two instead. Here are just a few highlights from the first webinar, on negotiation. Look out for number two on imposter syndrome coming soon.


It all starts with raising your self worth

“Negotiation is not a wrestling match,” begins Jenna. “Despite what we might see on Dragon’s Den. Instead, it's about good rapport building. Really, the best negotiations ensure that both parties feel satisfied.”

“We’ll be talking first about our mindset going into a negotiation – so ensuring that we raise our own worth. This is super, super important.”

1. Identify your self-limiting beliefs and money blocks

“A self-limiting belief is when we set ourselves a goal and initially we feel excited, but then we get this voice in our mind: "I'll get criticised," "I couldn’t charge that price because I don't have the experience," "It has to be perfect, otherwise it's not good enough," … And we get stuck in the mud of perfectionism.”

“There’s a form of self-limiting beliefs called money blocks: ‘I'm so greedy for charging this price.’ We might feel like I can never have enough money. Or we might have been told, ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ We've got that negative connotation around money.”

“If money blocks resonate with you, I suggest looking into Denise Duffield-Thomas, who is a self-worth expert. She's got some amazing books and an amazing podcast.”

2. Write it down (it helps cement it into your conscious mind)

“Once we see them on paper, we can begin to rationalise them. And if you can notice any of these self-limiting beliefs that may be sat in your subconscious mind, by bringing them to your conscious mind, they have a little bit less power in controlling our behaviour.” 

3. Say positive things to yourself

“The power of our language in terms of what we tell ourselves is very important. If we're saying, ‘I never seem to have enough,’ ‘I don't deserve this,’ ‘I'm greedy,’ our brains have a confirmation bias so will find cues in the environment that fits this narrative.”

You can’t criticise yourself into a better version of yourself, so we want to look at rewiring our subconscious and conscious beliefs.” 

“Instead of negative statements, we could tell ourselves: ‘It's safe for me to earn this,’ ‘I could do so much good with this money.’ Tell yourself a better narrative and train your brain so it doesn't default to that negative thought pattern.”

4. Control your own body language

“We have to consciously tap into the stuff that we would do naturally if we weren't feeling so nervous or uncomfortable.”

  • Use your hands

“When we feel nervous, we might go still and put our hands under the table. Studies show that we appear more trustworthy when people can see us talking with our hands.” 

  • Uncross your arms

“When we're feeling uncomfortable, we make ourselves smaller – arms folded, legs folded, our shoulders in. To convey confidence, subtly take up more room. An arm on the side of the chair or elongating the legs a little bit.”

  • Point your feet towards the other person

“This creates rapport because it communicates that our focus is totally on them.”

  • Put your phone away

“Your phone on the table is saying: "There's something that might come up on this phone that's more important than what you've got to say." So remove that barrier.”

5. Repeat the other person’s point

“Before you express your point, make sure that the other person feels really heard. Repeating the other person's point first means a few things: we understand that person's point, it makes the other person feel heard and helps them understand what their point sounds like.”

6. Read the other person’s body language

“If people are feeling uncomfortable we can notice certain body language cues. Look out for people rubbing the tops of their thighs or the back of the neck, or the collar bones. That's usually a sign of discomfort or a need to change gears a little bit.”

“If people's feet are pointed towards the door and not pointed towards you, that might suggest they want to leave the situation.”

7. Think about how you talk

  • Use a warm tone of voice

“Communicate understanding, kindness and support with warmth in your voice and smiling – when appropriate.”

  • Slow down 

“When we think about somebody that’s confident, they're not afraid of taking up more space with their speech. Leave pauses and take your time.”

  • Talk from your chest

“Rather than talking from your throat, aim to ‘centre’ your voice. Practice this by putting 

your hand over your chest and try to increase the vibrations that you feel.” 

  • Avoid a questioning tone

“When we’re nervous, there's a tendency to go up at the end of a sentence, which 

makes the sentence sound like a question. We're inviting somebody to doubt or confirm 

it. So go down at the end of the sentence to make it more of a statement.”

8. Don't be afraid to ask questions (or hear 'no')

“Asking questions like ‘how’ or ‘what’ is another way of showing that we’re listening.” 

“Don't be scared of getting a ‘no’ from a question. It will give you clues on how you can manoeuvre your offering – or the conversation – so we’re more likely to get a result where both negotiators feel satisfied.”

9. Establish reciprocity

“Reciprocity is a focus on fairness – returning the favour. An example of this was somebody called Beth. I used to do lots of videography and Beth wanted me to do a video CV, but I didn’t really want to.”

“Beth sat down, got her notepad out and said, ‘How's business?’ The focus was immediately on me, ‘What can I do to help your business?’ – and she was quite high up in the company. I felt like, "Wow, she's really helping me out here." So when she asked me to return the favour, it felt like, to get back on that level playing field, I should probably do the video.”

“It was probably a strategic communication tactic by Beth, but was authentic because she followed through with some valuable connections for me – and she got her video.”

10. Think about your word choice

  • Use positive words

“I get emails from people talking about ‘pressure, stress and deadlines’ – and it puts me in a certain state. If we’re talking to somebody within a negotiation setting and we use words such as ‘efficient, together, goal, team’ that puts you both in a much nicer mood and sets up a much nicer framework for the conversation.”

  • Change ‘sorry’ to ‘thank you’

“I hear lots of people say, ‘I'm so sorry. I've rambled there.’ Change that to: ‘Thank you so much for listening to me,’ We put ourselves on the back foot by apologising for things, so change that up to a more empowered language choice.

11. Use mirroring to create rapport

“Mirroring is where we match somebody's tone of voice to stop any alienation or disconnect. Say I'm doing a program and I come in super high energy to a group that’s a bit more grounded. Immediately I’m causing a gap between myself and the other person.”

“It's not about changing who we are, it's just about matching the tone of voice or body language a little bit.”

Which type of negotiator are you?

Jenna ends by explaining the three types of negotiator. Knowing which one (or blend) you are – and your counterpart is – can help you shift your approach and achieve the best results.

The accommodator: “They’re very focused on building a good relationship. They appease people and hope that people will do the same. They may be great at rapport building but we want to try to translate that into decision making. Make the negotiation a safe place for the accommodator to ask questions.”

Assertive: “Time is money. They're extremely productive. Any decision is better than no decision. If we're dealing with an assertive style of negotiator, great techniques are mirroring, reciprocity, making them feel heard and making sure you’re both satisfied from the negotiation.”

Data analyst: “Very detail oriented and mistake avoidant. They might be a little slower in their decisions. They like reciprocity so things feel nice and even – and they like facts. If you’re dealing with a data analyst, try and focus on facts and understand that silence is okay for them.”

Get more Jenna in your life

If you’re interested in hearing more from Jenna, tune into her next webinar for AM, register here. You can get in touch with her at House_of_Hyde on Instagram.

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