“Know you have options. We all want to say yes, because with yes comes so much opportunity, but with the power of no comes focus and engagement.” ~Jared Leto, Academy Award-winning actor, entrepreneur, musician

I’m in LA this week supporting an indie film team in a festival. And in LA negotiation often pops up as a topic of discussion. This week’s blog is inspired by some recent discussions and by a conversation I had with an award-winning artist who’s also an entrepreneur: Jared Leto.

3 Ways to Work the Room in a Negotiation

1. Lead with Your A-Game

Read the room. The first 5 minutes of a negotiation often predicts the negotiated outcome.
Focus on conversational engagement, similar emphasis, and vocal mirroring—which basically means you should copy the emotional state of the speaker to help the negotiations end well on your side.

These first minutes are important because the other party is evaluating you most intensely during this time. They are sizing you up and trying to figure out if you actually mean what you say or if you’re merely trying to get more than what you know you’re worth.

Start out likable so that the other person doesn’t shut down on you. If you are able to open him or her up during these first few minutes, they will listen to your arguments throughout the negotiation. If not, odds are good that you’re wasting your time.
And of course: Know. Your. Worth.

2. Practice Non-Attachment
Never fall in love with something you are trying to acquire—at least not initially. Don’t get emotionally attached. The first person to name a number usually loses the negotiation. Let the other person go first and pace your responses to theirs. If they take 24 hours to respond, set your clock for tomorrow at this time. The one who needs the other person the least is in control of the relationship.

I’ve seen this work in buying cars, getting a new investor and in taking trips. I’ve used it to negotiate on the job and when giving a pitch. The trick: First imagine that you do not need the other person or offer. Then, show yourself that you don’t need the other person as badly as they need you. Take a step out and…

3. Give Yourself Options
Read that again. This will change the game. The more options you have, the more you will believe you don’t need the first offer. For example, want to sell a car at the best price? Get multiple offers for it. It will change your negotiating posture and put you in a position of strength.

Entrepreneurs and the film world

I met Jared Leto at his Thirty Seconds to Mars concert and “Artifact” film premiere in Chicago. At the screening he talked about the long road of negotiation and disbelief that is laid out in the Artifact story; Jared Leto’s band Thirty Seconds to Mars was sued for $30 million dollars. He has since been able to balance his film, music, and entrepreneurial projects. It takes time to get in touch with how you feel. And what do you really believe? Sure, his worth went up after winning an Oscar and he leveraged that to promote his work and journey in “Artifact” (check out more of his story: http://www.artifactthefilm.com).

We’re always balancing our current needs, the practical situation and our dream on the horizon.
Write down your top 3 goals and do your homework on what you’re worth (your financial and personal self-worth). You will receive more offers when you know your worth and seek out more than one offer.

Psychology Matters
Perhaps you consider this is too manipulative or scientific.
I don’t think you can ignore the psychology at work during serious negotiations.
And if you are committed to negotiating win-win relationships, as I certainly am, you can still do so using this tips. You’re ensuring that the other party doesn’t win at your expense.

Discipline is a part of the plan

Photo credit: Akasha Garnier
Photo credit: Akasha Garnier

Jared Leto is not just a pretty face, though his looks have helped him get noticed since he starred as an actor in the 90s. He is thoughtful, insightful, and often private despite his regular engagement with some of his 4 million Twitter followers. He’s invested in startups like Nest and Airbnb and Spotify, and he operates his own streaming video-platform, called Vyrt. All this along with touring, recording music, acting, and directing films (Artifact won a People’s Choice award at the Toronto Film Festival). So is he an actor, a musician, an entrepreneur? “I’m a poly-hyphenated whatever,” he says. “I enjoy the stimulation of learning.”

What Jared has embraced is that he can’t engage in all these activities without discipline. “I never wanted to make the most movies, to make the most albums,” he explains. “So I like to employ the power of no. We all want to say yes, because with yes comes so much opportunity, but with the power of no comes focus and engagement.”


Leto doesn’t use the word “mission,” but the filter he applies sounds like one: “I am an artist. I make things and I share things with the world, and hopefully, that adds to the quality of people’s lives.” His decisions as an entrepreneur, he says, “come from the same place. I don’t compartmentalize. You should be passionate about what you’re doing, and if you’re not, then say no.”

Wise words indeed! Now think about what you’re doing now and how it makes you feel. We know that you have options. We want you to believe and balance your options too. (Like in the photo of the rocks balancing on a solid foundation.)

Thank you to our readers and we welcome your comments below.
Have a wonderful week!


Cheers and fair winds,

Akasha Garnier

Akasha Garnier
Author, Brand Expert, Filmmaker
Read more from Future Entrepreneurs
Twitter: @AkashaGarnier
Instagram: @AkashaLin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AkashaGarnier





Similar Articles