Gaëtan Pellerin with Navigates Group, is an experienced sales and marketing executive with over 30 years of global experience in negotiation and sales management, having negotiated multi-million-dollar contracts in Japan, China, Thailand, Europe, and North America.
He spent the last 11 years as a negotiation consultant and executive coach while focusing on his development.
Gaëtan has always been motivated to understand what’s driving each of us: emotions, fears, desires. He loves helping and coaching people and seeing how much they can gain in confidence and the ability to be themselves.
This passion, combined with his development, lead Gaëtan to write a book: Mindful nEGOtiation: becoming more aware in the moment, conquering your ego and getting everyone what they really want.
As per the title, his book explores the relation and impact of mindfulness in negotiation situations where ego can be triggered. Gaëtan says: “By being mindful in negotiation, you can change the outcome for good”.
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Gaëtan lives in Southington, Connecticut, with his wife and stepson. He has two grown-up sons in Montreal. When he’s not busy helping people, he hikes, mountain bikes, or cooks with a good glass of wine. He is fascinated by and always looking for the next book that can teach him something new.
Connect with Gaëtan on LinkedIn and follow his Facebook page.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- The difference between mindful negotiation and nEGOtiation
- A methodology to help negotiators being mindful
- Top 3 tips to be a mindful negotiator
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Coach the Coach radio brought to you by the Business RadioX Ambassador Program, the no cost business development strategy for coaches who want to spend more time serving local business clients and less time selling them. Go to brxambassador.com to learn more. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:35] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Coach the Coach Radio, and this is going to be a fun one today on the show, we have Gaetan Pellerin with Navigates Group. Welcome.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:00:44] Thank you, Lee. Thank you for having me on your show.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:48] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us about Navigates Group. How you serving, folks?
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:00:54] This is a coaching and consulting organization really helping people in the workplace to navigate their career, to move forward, to take the right decision. Sometimes we do things because we think that’s the right thing to do and really helping people to pause and understand what’s the real driver, what’s the motivation, and on really connecting with what people are enjoying and if they are good at.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:24] Now, do you do you find that folks kind of are sleepwalking through life and all of a sudden something happens dramatic and they’re like, Hey, how did I get here? And I have to kind of reassess my priorities?
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:01:36] Yeah, I’m not. I’m not sure about the sleepwalking through life, but you’re right, this is a concept where people are doing things mainly to impress other, to get promotion, to get recognized, bigger salary, bigger work condition, et cetera. But at the end of the day, all of us human people, it’s almost like we need a big event in life to change our priorities and to really focus on what’s important for us. So unfortunately, people are just walking through life and sometimes they do a job they don’t even enjoy, or they are involved in the field where they cannot even have fun and make a contribution.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:18] Now what’s your back story? How did you kind of get in this kind of line of work?
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:02:24] Well, it’s a long story. My my background is, is health care, and I always expected to help people working in the hospital for many, many years. After that, I changed every year to go in sales and ended up as a VP global sale. And it was my dream job, but I hated my job. It’s all about politics and decisions behind closed doors and everything, and I really had the chance to get a very good transition, a career transition coach that really helped me to focus on what I was passionate about, what I was good at, what excites me in my job, and I always been interested and understanding people’s motivation and driver and not the stuff you see every day. I want to promotion because I want to be seen, but really their personal matter. And I at one point I I’ve done it one year of coaching program and I just, you know, pursue that dream from a perspective of helping people.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:33] So then when that kind of light bulb went out for you, was it kind of this kind of an epiphany where you’re like, Hey, I am out of alignment here? I’m not kind of living a life that’s congruent with my true dreams? Was it kind of a big moment like that?
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:03:50] Oh, yeah, totally. I was VP global sales. I got let go because of a reorg, and I got plenty of calls from Headhunter offering me a similar position. And I knew I didn’t want to do that anymore, but I was not sure what to do next. And for me, it was it was a big moment in my life, like hitting a road to make. Is that going to be the comfortable stuff that I know that I’m good at, but I don’t really enjoy? Or am I going to take a pause here and take a risk because it’s not on the highway anymore? It’s a different career. It’s not corporate. So really, yes, a big event came to my life and I it was clear what I do want to do next. But it was not Super Chris. What was my vision to do next? So, yes, big, big moment in my life.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:45] So at that point, you engage with the coach or had you had a coach prior to that?
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:04:51] I had a coach prior to that, and she was really amazing, she we became friends and she really helped me to realize that maybe I’m not a good fit with corporate. Maybe my qualities, my contribution, it’s better used elsewhere. And I continue working with a coach after that and I join a personal development group that really helped me to understand the way we behave today. Why is that? Where is it coming from and how I can be a service to people today helping them to make similar choices in their career?
Lee Kantor: [00:05:31] Now, when you’re working with your clients, how does that kind of engagement begin? Are they kind of self-aware enough to say, Hey, I need help? Or are you like, how do they kind of find you in this amidst this? I would imagine a bit of angst and struggle that they’re going through.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:05:50] Yeah. So sometimes it’s their boss or HR that says you need to have some coaching. They might be aware of where they want to be. For example, they want to improve communication skills or ability to make decision or be transparent. But sometimes they are coming without knowing where they want to be, right? So for my part of my job is to bring to the level of consciousness what’s going on in their life. So for me, the first step, it’s almost always an interview. What’s going on or why are we here? Why do you think somebody’s sending you here? And is there a specific area where you feel it will make a difference in your life and your job? And that’s how I start to interview. Get a profile, understand the person motivation, driver interest as well. And after that, I can develop a program for people.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:52] And then you just customize it based on what their outcome they desire.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:06:56] Oh yeah, for sure. There is no cookie cutter in coaching and I can use different models. I can use mindfulness. I can use personality profile. But at the end of the day, my job is to bring to conscious consciousness what my clients don’t see as as each and each client is individual has their own challenges or his own background, his own culture. It’s always tailored. I’m going to use similar practices and exercise, but the coaching program is really tailored for the person and their need in that moment.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:38] Now, as part of your practice, you decided to write a book. Can you share kind of what was the impetus for that adventure? Because that’s a job, you know, that’s a career by itself being an author.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:07:50] Yes, thank you. So I’ve been a negotiation consultant for 11 years and that started a charity match. My own personal growth that I was talking earlier and I have been negotiating for a long time observing people. And you know, you go through a training, you go through a methodology, you go through skills. But I realized that I was missing something. Me personally when I was negotiating, but especially when I was observing people and part of my personal growth work was to work with mindfulness and understand emotions. So people think when they negotiate, it’s all about structure, it’s all about skills, it’s all about logic. But really, what’s coming up in negotiation is emotion, right? We’re afraid to lose the deal. We don’t want to upset the other side with a bad news. Somebody is threatening us to go away. What do we do? So there’s a lot of emotion and people are not good with emotion, right? When we go through a divorce, it’s nothing. But it’s not logic. It’s all about hurting the other person. It’s all about reacting in the moment. And when we’re emotional, we made that decision, generally speaking. So one morning, I just came up with the idea of writing a book as my contribution to the world in business world. Yes, but we spend our days negotiating with ourselves and negotiating with our ego and negotiating with kids, wife, a social environment. We always try to influence and persuade other people. So that’s how the idea of writing a book came up.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:39] And then can you share maybe some information about negotiation? Because in my experience, humans do things that are kind of count? Her intuitive, sometimes as a species like our fear of loss is greater than our joy of of gain. And and the way we feel about risk is usually illogical. So can you share some of the insights you’ve kind of gathered? Because this to me is a I don’t think people like you said earlier about kind of all of a sudden having this new awareness. I think that there’s a lack of awareness when it comes to negotiating, negotiating because people don’t really understand. The impetus behind what they even want, why they want it and what they’re willing to sacrifice or trade in order to get it.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:10:35] Yes, yes, totally. This is a great question. The negotiation. So let let me backtrack a little bit because I want to just touch a little bit about ego. Ego is a unconscious, reactive structure. It’s our survival instinct. So when the first human came to the world having an ego about going to be eating something or be eaten by lions or something like that, that was really powerful. Ego is our survival instinct, and it’s reside in the old brain. The old portion of the brain, the the lizard brain, if you want so didn’t have a chance to evolve. All of us, we have an ego. It means what it means that we are reacting to events from the past to people to things that comes in our lives. So we want to be loved. We want to be like, we want to prove ourselves. We don’t want to upset somebody. You know, it’s all the time. We are in our ego negotiation for our ego. It’s feels like it’s it’s a survival crisis. I want to negotiate. I need to negotiate with somebody when the ego kicks in. I want to win. And if I want to win, it’s likely that it’s going to be the price of the other person. So it’s all about me, right? It’s I’m preparing for myself. I don’t put myself in either party shoes, but I have a hard time to deliver a bad news and people are using soft language that don’t support them.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:12:17] They’re afraid to upset the relationship. They’re afraid that the other party will walk away. We’re constantly facing emotions reaction as we go through the entire negotiation process. And when we’re done, we’re not learning, we’re not sitting down to learn about what happened here and how can they be better next time. So when we present our self with another negotiation opportunity, we do the same thing. We think we get it so we don’t spend any minute preparing. Oh, I know the person in front of me. I’ve been negotiating with the same person for 10 years, but we’re making a lot of assumptions that we never had the chance to really uncover or discover. And as we go through the negotiation process and it doesn’t go as planned, we’re getting stressed. We don’t know what to do. We don’t have clarity to see other options. And when we are emotional in your personal life or professional life, we don’t want to be told what to do. And we have a hard time to see the other person’s point of view as equal to our so we’re in constant battle. Lee about reacting to emotions.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:37] So how does a person kind of. Step back and kind of look at things without any of their bias or assumptions, like, is that even possible? Or does it take a third party kind of mediator to help kind of really ascertain what it is each party wants?
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:13:56] Yes. So it’s a great point. Having a third party, it’s always helpful, right? And that’s why mediation is so powerful. Do you have a mediator? You have two parties in the room. They bring their emotion. They are upset. They angry at the other person. The first thing the mediator says is, OK, so let’s hear your emotion here. And after that, let’s put those emotions behind and to get clarity. So having somebody external that it’s not emotionally involved or attached to the negotiation is helpful. I don’t know how many times I help my customer to deliver bad news, but practicing with me first. So they got the gist of picking the right tone and the right wording without connecting with the fear of whatever can happen in that moment with their customer. In my book, I discover when I did discover, I came up with a very simple but innovative methodology of using mindfulness in the moment to just take a pause and just breathe and connect with what’s happening in our body. So, for example, I’m afraid to deliver bad news. All right, let’s connect with that fear. Where is it showing up? My chest is tight, my joy tight, and my shoulders are all leaning forward. I don’t have an out of room to breathe. Ok, great. This next step is to understand, is that true that the other side can walk? Is that true? That if I deliver bad news, the other side won’t like me anymore or will be upset? And where is that coming from? That fear? Is there somewhere else in my life that, you know, I don’t want to deliver bad news or this is where or how I was brought up in the fourth step of the mindfulness approach is to understand, is there another way I can behave? Because a tough conversation or a difficult conversation, most of the time it’s difficult because we make it difficult, right? The other side is there, the other side is going to be reacting the way they have their own emotion.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:16:14] So it’s a really helping people to pause and to to be curious about what’s going on in their body, their sensation, their emotion and giving them a chance to behave from a different perspective. You know, people feel that they don’t have power. Well, what if the other side also feel they don’t have power? How would it change for you? So having somebody to help you with those questions is helpful. But what I did in my book is I gave the readers several questions to allow them to do their own growth or their own motivation. If you want for change,
Lee Kantor: [00:16:54] So then that way they it’s like having a third party. They’re kind of whispering in their ear. It’s helping them kind of maybe practice some of the the feelings that they’re going to feel or the emotions or even the physical feelings that they might have ahead of time so that when it happens, it’s not the first time. And they’re not just kind of instinctively reacting. They have that awareness that, hey, this is we knew this was going to happen. I knew I would feel this way I can pause. I have the power to kind of, you know, change how I’m feeling in the moment.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:17:27] Yeah, you’re totally stole my punch line because I wanted my book to be like a personal coach whispering in your hair, you’re totally right. It’s like we start with the preparation. We plan what can come up and we plan how we’re going to react. We show up at a meeting, somebody is yelling at us if we never plan for it. That’s going to be hard to predict how we’re going to react in the moment. But if we just breathe and understand, OK, that person is angry, that has nothing to do with me personally. It’s maybe because my company did something wrong. I miss a delivery or whatever. It’s not personal. So, yes, the book is going to help plan the emotion ahead of time. Plan the curveball, but also in the moment to give people some tools and some freedom to just slow down the time and understand that it’s not personal. I’m there as a person. Nobody’s going to hurt me. It’s OK. So really helping people to be detached, you know, observing and emotion, that’s the best way to handle it. Because when you observe an emotion, you’re not part of it. So that’s the beauty of that process to be able to detach yourself from that emotional grip
Lee Kantor: [00:18:47] And that and that type of mindfulness. It sounds like that’s the heart of your practice, not just in negotiation, but that comes into play in other areas as well.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:18:58] Totally, totally. It’s negotiation. It’s because this is what I do. But I said earlier, we’re negotiating with ourselves 10 12 times a day. What am I wearing today? Am I going to the gym? Should I call mom? Should I do this? Where are we going for vacation? There is a lot of business application, for example, offering and receiving feedback. One of the toughest thing in life is to receive him back and not be destroyed by it. Right? Sitting with your boss, finding your role and your role performance appraisal. When we take things personal, preparing a presentation, speaking up in public and on a personal side, it’s like, you know, starting a diet, going to the gym. Why am I doing that? Having an argument with a loved one? You know, we we don’t want to be told what to do when we’re emotional. We cannot even hear the other person. And there is a lot of situation where we do things for others. We wait for their approval. We wait for them to tell us we’re good. We don’t want to upset them. So we do things that we don’t really want to do. So there is a lot of situation where mindfulness can be really impactful and leave. You just take this summer in the Olympic game when Simone Biles withdraw herself. People were upset, you know, sponsors and TV channel. But really what she did was totally amazing. She got an awareness that she didn’t feel safe and the pressure was preventing her to perform at the maximum she could. So mindfulness can be applied to many, many aspects of our lives personal and professional.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:45] Now, part of the reason we do this show is to help coaches learn from each other. Can you share with our listeners how you got your last client? How did that come about?
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:21:00] Well, this is an executive that came to me and that was referred by H.R., OK, and that executive sat with me and says, I don’t know why I’m here. Ok, great. That’s totally safe. That’s totally correct, right? And there are two things for me that are really important when I coach a customer. First of all, we need to have chemistry together, right? Because if there is, no chemistry is going to be very hard to coach. And the coach he has to has to trust me implicitly because we’re going to do things. We’re going to I’m going to challenge a person. I’m going to put a mirror in his face or her face that they might not like. So when I sat down with that executive, I said, Why do you think you’re here? I understand you don’t want to be here. You don’t know why you’re here. But is there anything that can tell you that you’re here? And it was folding. I leave for the first 15 20 minutes, and I was just helping him to see from a different perspective, you know, and his own perception was totally different from his surroundings. You know, we talk about the 360 evaluation and how there was a disconnect between the way he thought he behaved and the way. His boss, colleagues, employees perceive him, and that was the start of amazing conversation because, yes, he knew about the 360, but he didn’t believe in those results. We kind of discounted the result by itself, and that was a great start for me to just understand what’s going on and how does he feel when that person or he feels like he’s clear in communication and everybody else has, he’s not clear. And that was a first step to just put the mirror in front of him by asking, Good question. And this is how I started to have trust building trust together.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:12] While that was a great story. Now, if somebody wants to learn more about your practice about your book, is there a website they can go to to learn more about what you got going on?
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:23:24] Yeah, totally. The website is never gay groups and people can find a book and find me as a consultant coach. And that’s the best place to reach me. I’m on LinkedIn as well, but the website is really the best place to connect with me.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:42] And that’s Navy IG S.A.T.s Group.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:23:48] Correct.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:49] Well, thank you so much for sharing your story today. You’re doing such important work and we appreciate you.
Gaetan Pellerin: [00:23:55] Yeah, my pleasure. I really enjoy being on the show today.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:58] All right, this is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you next time on Coach the Coach radio.