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Mastering Mindful Negotiation with Gaetan Pellerin, Ep #266

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Gaetan Pellerin is the author of a new book all about mindful negotiation. We often talk about planning, preparation, strategy, and tactics, right? But the success of many a negotiation often hinges on mindfulness—not many people talk about that. So what is mindful negotiation? Why should you care? What methodology can you use to be more mindful? Learn more in this episode of Negotiations Ninja!


Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] Learn more about Gaetan Pellerin
  • [3:33] The concept of mindful negotiation
  • [12:24] Gaetan’s 4 Pillars of mindfulness
  • [18:14] How to deal with bias entering a negotiation
  • [20:12] Managing unexpected emotions in others
  • [22:35] How to connect with Gaetan Pellerin

Gaetan’s fascination with human behavior

Gaetan is fascinated with studying human drive and why we behave the way we do. Emotion? Fear? Desires? He loves helping people get better at what they do and to be more confident. His passion for negotiation led him to write his book, “Mindful NEGOtiation: Becoming More Aware in the Moment, Conquering Your Ego and Getting Everyone What They Really Want.” It’s about understanding the relationship between mindfulness and negotiation situations where your ego can be triggered.

The influence of ego on your actions and reactions

Since Gaetan was young, he recognized that he wanted to be seen, recognized, and appreciated. He wanted to be better than others. After five promotions in three years, he finally got his dream job. But he felt impatient and unhappy in that job. He was let go in 2010 as part of a company reorganization. So he took the time to ask himself why he wasn’t satisfied when he had gotten everything he wanted.

So he started a one-year executive coaching program and became a negotiation consultant. He began to observe people’s actions and reactions while they were negotiating. He had also joined a personal mindfulness group focused on helping him understand why he behaved the way he did. The ego is an unconscious structure that instinctively reacts to external events.

Ego was useful when men hunted animals, and human existence was based on survival instincts. It’s the voice in your head that makes you feel like you need to prove yourself, always be better, and always be liked. The ego is heavily influenced by family, community, the church, etc. Whenever you do something today, your ego pulls from your past experiences to formulate a quick response.

Ego allows emotion to take over

Negotiation is about skill and structure, but one key element is often missing: managing emotion. Your emotions will come out of hiding. You may be afraid of losing a deal or don’t want to be intimidated by the other person. You may be insecure about your competency. You need help but are afraid to ask for it. You want to win.

The language of ego is emotion, and when you are emotional, you demonstrate poor judgment. You lack clarity and may be afraid to speak up for your needs. When you negotiate with other people, they are also emotional. It’s all about managing the emotions of both sides in real-time. The minute a negotiation doesn’t go as planned, you lose the ability to have clarity. When you try to drive a negotiation from a rational and logical perspective, it doesn’t work well. Your survival instinct is already triggered.

Mindful negotiation is the best way to manage emotion

Mindfulness is the best way to manage emotion before it triggers you. Mindfulness is focusing your attention in a compassionate and non-judgmental way toward what’s happening inside yourself. Emotions are always present. Your blood pressure is through the roof, your chest is tightening, etc. but most people aren’t aware of those emotions manifesting.

Mindfulness requires slowing down, cultivating awareness, and being curious. Why are you angry? Why are you scared? Do you feel like you have no power? It’s your ego that tells you that you should be scared. You must focus your attention on your inner world. Ego is a fast-reacting unconscious structure.

But mindfulness helps you slow down and ask, “Is this true?” It takes the situation for what it is. Observing how you’re feeling brings clarity when you’re under stress. It allows you to think more rationally while experiencing emotion in the moment. When you are in the moment, it allows you to pivot and block your external world to be a better negotiator.

People often embrace a misconception of what mindfulness is. It’s simply about focusing on what’s going on inside of you. Gaetan developed a simple yet innovative model that helps negotiators apply mindfulness to themselves—and their counterparts. Learn all about this helpful methodology in the rest of the episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Gaetan Pellerin

Connect With Mark

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