S7 Ep09: The Art of Negotiation

Lousin Mehrabi

This week on The WarriorU Podcast, Trent and Bram are joined by international negotiation expert, Lousin Mehrabi, to discuss the power of emotional intelligence in business, relationships and self-development. From defining empathy and compassion to better identifying systematic issues in your personality, by the end of the episode you’ll have greater awareness of your ‘human skills’ and how they can be used to negotiate with others and yourself.

A Glimpse of the Guest

Name: Lousin Mehrabi

What she does: Lousin Mehrabi is an International Speaker, Trainer and Advisor who helps CEOs and key decision makers all over the world to achieve peak performance for themselves and their teams. After beginning her career on the busy trading floors of investment banks, Lousin became interested in the world of emotional intelligence and joined a 12-month masterclass in Complex Negotiations, led by world-leading negotiators. Today, she is a Speaker and the Head of Middle East for the ADN Group – an international negotiation agency.

Lousin online: Lousin on LinkedIn

Food for Thought:

[5:58] “I think success, on the one hand, is very good and we are all chasing it. But it can also prevent you from doing what you really love, and prevent you from going into the sector that you’re really attracted to.”

Top Tips from this Episode

What is emotional intelligence (EQ)? Lousin says EQ is something that can be tested, understood and improved. “Emotional intelligence is the entire set of human skills that allow us to know ourselves better, express ourselves, and then make that link to other people – how do we express and behave towards other people; the whole empathy part; how do we connect to other people; how do we build rapport, and how do we build trust? And then, how do we stand in life – meaning agility, flexibility, optimism. All those skills that we all have, when combined together, become emotional intelligence.”

Empathy vs compassion: Whether you’re negotiating with someone else or with yourself, having empathy is your superpower, says Lousin. Empathy allows you to understand a person’s point of view, so you can work out what is important to them and “…solve the right problem.”. However, if your empathy is too high, says Lousin, you move into the danger area that is compassion. “This goes into compassion, where you not only understand someone, but actually feel what they feel.” While compassion may make you an excellent friend, in corporate or negotiating settings, it’s important to respect the distinction.

Be aware of personality ‘complexities’: According to Lousin, over 50 per cent of people have a systematic complexity to their personality – from narcissism to being resistant to change. An important statistic to note when relating to other people – be it dating, meeting new people or in business. What’s more, a person’s personality is not set in stone, and they can be emotionally intelligent without necessarily having empathy (a psychopath). “There are many people – be it through power, be it through money, be it through not listening to their own voice – who can become a psychopath.”

Episode Highlights

Why intellectual intelligence isn’t everything: At [9:00], Lousin talks through the history of EQ research and literature, and the modern-day modelling that allows you to study, test and improve this area of your life. Lousin says there’s a reason that people with high intellectual intelligence aren’t always the right hire for businesses. “You can get the smartest person from a university or business school, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be smart enough with their colleagues, with themselves, or with facing challenges and adapting to change in this ever-changing world.”

Negotiating with life: At [28:47], Lousin talks about her most memorable negotiating moment. She tells the story of how her son was diagnosed with a debilitating disease not long after she became a certified negotiator. To cope, she began negotiating with God – and this is where she discovered her true passion for negotiation. “All of us have a life where one day something is going to hit that is so difficult, you just don’t know how to deal with it. So how do you then negotiate with yourself and how do you negotiate with life?”

Top quotes:

[8:57] “Everything that you can’t solve with intellectual intelligence, that’s what emotional intelligence is.”

[23:42] “Not what they say they need or what that they think they can obtain, but what is there absolute non-negotiable that is always linked to an emotion.”

[27:58] “You can’t negotiate without a relationship…You need to earn the right to influence.”


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