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Using Negotiation Skills to Navigate Adversity with Lousin Mehrabi, Ep #339

Lousin Mehrabi navigating adversity

Everyone has faced adversity at some point in their life, especially in recent years with the Covid pandemic. But we all handle adversity differently. Lousin Mehrabi found herself faced with unimaginable adversity: Her six-year-old son was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

DMD is an incurable genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and is life-limiting. Lousin was faced with a choice: How was she going to face this news? In this episode of Negotiations Ninja, Lousin talks about how you use your negotiation skills to face adversity.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:53] Learn more about Lousin Mehrabi
  • [2:52] How to negotiate with yourself
  • [5:07] Get clear on your “why” to remove limiting thoughts
  • [6:00] You can unconsciously derail a negotiation
  • [7:29] Diagnose the problem before you try to solve it
  • [12:14] You have to understand the language of your counterpart
  • [16:15] Using negotiation skills to face adversity

How do you face unbearable news?

How can you utilize negotiation skills to deal with personal adversity?

Five years ago, when he was just six, Lousin’s son was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It’s a disease that breaks down the muscles, eventually leading to loss of function and early death. There’s no cure. His doctor told her to enjoy the time she had left with him. Their world was turned upside down.

Lousin started negotiating with God. She prayed, “Can you just change this to another disease for which there’s a cure?” If you’re facing adversity, you’re facing the negotiation that’s going on in your head. The most important question becomes: How do you decide to face that adversity?

Some people crumble under the pressure. Others barely survive. Others thrive through the same hardship. How you respond determines everything.

Every decision you make is a negotiation

Lousin knew immediately that they couldn’t stay in France or her son would be confined to a wheelchair. So they moved to Dubai to increase the quality of his life. When they got to Dubai, she got her son into a school and negotiated everything he needed to be included. She got him the right medical care.

That’s when she realized we all negotiate every single day. When you face adversity, you negotiate with everyone involved—including yourself. You can be down and depressed, but you can’t stay there.

If you aren’t used to adversity and are hit with something unexpected, it can be devastating. How do you face it? How do you keep it from destroying your joy in life?

Everyone must choose how they’ll face adversity

Lousin’s son’s neurologist shared some stunning figures with her. When they inform parents that their child has an incurable disease, after the first year, more than 80% of the parents are diagnosed with depression. It’s completely understandable. However, the real problem is that 20–25% of those parents can’t overcome their depression. They feel like their life is over. Sadly, that will negatively impact their child. Many of those parents refused to bring their children to the doctor because the disease was incurable.

No one should face adversity alone

Lousin emphasizes that this is a problem no one speaks about enough. Everyone is facing adversity of some kind. We are just scratching the surface of what’s happening. This subject needs to become less taboo. People need to learn how to use their negotiation skills to navigate adversity and get through it.

That’s why Lousin launched her podcast, “Life Negotiations.” She asks negotiators about adversity that they’ve faced and how their negotiation skills helped them negotiate with themselves.

If you’re facing adversity, look up Lousin’s work online, including her posts on LinkedIn. Check out where she’s speaking next and learn from her. And listen to this whole episode to learn more about negotiating with yourself.

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