What can anyone wanting to negotiate effectively learn from Taylor Swift?
Here is one of the world’s most popular singers, not to mention one of the most powerful people in the entertainment business, who has stared down Apple Inc and with the same massive successshe achieves with her music.
The spat was over Apple’s new music streaming service which arose over Apple’s refusal to pay for music during a three month trial period and Swift, wealthy enough to buy pretty well anything, countered the tech giant on the basis that new artists would be denied revenues they should receive.
How did she do it?
She handled it by doing something anyone can do when handed difficult discussions.
Here is the ‘take’ from legal analyst and best selling author Mel Robbins, who was also named as
the outstanding news talk-radio host by the Gracie Awards.
1. Acknowledge The Good Stuff
To change someone’s mind, from a tough client to a stubborn child, you need to acknowledge thegood stuff. “Did you notice how Swift found more good stuff to say about Apple than bad,”
writes Mel. It was more love letter than rant.
Mostly we avoid confrontation and conflict, but by wrapping critical feedback with “good stuff” de-escalates the tension and makes the other side open to the negative feedback.
Take her opening paragraph:
“I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, ‘1989,’ from the new streaming service, Apple Music. I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.”
2. Show Respect
Taylor Swift’s communication uses the word “respect” frequently, putting herself on Apple’s side and making the company more receptive to her persuasion. Ranting can easily be dismissed, but by supporting and respecting you are making it harder to be ignored.
3. Make it About Them, Not You
She also made the issue about Apple’s values rather than her own. She spoke about their “historically progressive and generous” brand and garnered their support in the process.
She framed the behaviour change in their values rather than her own. The result was that Apple was not shamed, but inspired to change its policy.
Ultimately, Apple wasn’t shamed into changing its policy — it was inspired to do it. Apple has higher aspirations of being “the platform that gets it right” — Swift just reminded it of who it is.
Remember Apple’s old tag line, “Think Different,” or its legendary commercial from 1997, “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”? The monologue Steve Jobs reads during the commercial says it all:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Source: CNN & LawFuel
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