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In this episode, I talk to Gaetan Pellerin about how tools used in negotiating are more than relevant while raising our kids. We talk about the role of the ego, why parenting can be so challenging and how powerful mindfulness is when identifying the wants and needs of our kids.
Gaëtan has always been motivated to understand what’s driving each of us: emotions, fears, desires. This passion, combined with his development, lead Gaëtan to write a book: mindful nEGOtiation.
Hunter is the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, host of the Mindful Mama podcast and author of the bestselling book Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids. She helps parents bring more calm and peace into their daily lives. Hunter has over twenty years of experience in meditation practices and has taught mindfulness to thousands worldwide. She is the mother of two active daughters, who challenge her everyday to hone her craft!
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*This is an auto-generated transcript*
Communicate & Negotiate Mindfully – Gaëtan Pellerin 
[00:00:00] Hunter: So I’m so interested in talking about the idea of negotiation when it comes to parenting, because as parents, you know, we come from, there’s a, like a long tradition in the, the United States anyway, of like, You do, as I say, because I say it and that’s the way it is yet things are really changing now.
Things are, you know, parents are realizing like that’s actually can be ineffective that, you know, it leads to a lot of maybe sneaking and lying. mm-hmm of like unpleasant things that we don’t want. Right. But I imagine that when I talk about the idea of negotiation, when it comes to the idea of parenting, it still can bring up some prickly feelings with a lot of listeners.
Is this something that like, that you had to think about in your own parenting, kind of bringing this work that you do with negotiation, did you bring, did you have to like kind of wrestle with this idea of a prickliness around it when it comes to parenting?
[00:01:16] Gaetan Pellerin: That’s a great question. My kids are a bit older and I wish I would’ve done that work when they were younger.
Because I was pretty much like you were saying earlier, I was like, do this, do that. I’m the parent. And that’s it. However you know, and when we say negotiating as parenting and stuff, like negotiating time to go to bed, it’s like, all right. So do you have a chance to win? I have a chance to win. No, it’s more like.
We are teaching our kids the best way we feel it’s the best way for them. But sometime we use the past that fuels emotions, right. We’re impatient, or for example, My, my, my mom will give ice cream to my kids when they were young, just before dinner. I’m like, no, not before dinner , but that doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.
Right. But it was how I was brought up. No, you cannot have your dessert before you finish your food. So I was teaching my kids the way I was brought up and there’s a lot of ego in that perspective, you know, ego, it’s our instinctual reactive structure. So every time we snap every time, you know, we, something is going very fast as a parent.
It’s because ego is taking over and mindfulness and ego are pretty much opposed from a, a reaction or, you know, timing to react perspective. Most of parents will just react on the, on the fly, right. Something happens is like, okay, do this, oh, don’t do that. Or why are you doing this? So that’s the, this is the challenge with, with parenting.
I hope when I was a younger dad, I could have brought mindfulness to my parenting because I’m sure it would’ve changed my do we, I brought up my kids.
[00:03:09] Hunter: So you’re basically describing ego as that sort of autopilot place. Mm-hmm that we get into where we’re not thinking where, you know, it’s that sense of a protective self, right?
You know, keeping it, protecting us, keeping us from threat and that’s that autopilot. Reactive place. And, and yes, I mean, as we talk about a lot in here, like mindfulness is like this sort of like key for helping us step, step away from that. How did you, how did you, you work in teaching people how to negotiate?
How did you What well, what are, what are some of the, what are some of the ways that we, why are we bad at you? Talk about how you have a chapter that I love title that you, I love called everybody sucks at negotiation. yeah. So can you explain to us, like, why we’re so bad at this? Yeah.
[00:04:03] Gaetan Pellerin: First of all, I was arguing with my editor to use that word or not, but the fair person of that title was to generate a.
So from the outside, looking in negotiation seems to be very easy, right? We’re it’s the same as when we observe somebody else on the street. Oh, we’ll never do this. Or we’ll do that very easy when we’re not involved, but you can be really prepared. You can be skill and all of a sudden the negotiation doesn’t go as.
And now we’re not feeling in control and now we’re emotional. We’re afraid to lose a deal. We don’t know what to do next. Somebody’s threatening us. So negotiation it’s really difficult. And most people think they are better than they are in reality, because they don’t have an appreciation about when we negotiate with somebody or emotional.
And if we are emotional and the other person is emotional, that’s two people getting emotional together. Even if we try to plan and forecast and rationalize, it’s not enough. And if we’re not able to control our emotion as a negotiator, We have a hard time to think, right? Because when we are emotional, we’re making bad decision.
If you think about people getting through a divorce, it’s nasty and people do think just to hurt the other person, it’s not rational and parenting from me. It’s exactly the same thing. It’s all about emotions, right? We’re triggered, our kids are doing something we’re triggered because we were triggered when we were.
Right. So the way we are as a parent, it’s a good testimony of how it was in our family, in our household up to three years old. So we’re emotional. We’re we’re emotional period. When we negotiate our survival instinct kicks in, we just wanna be right. We want to persuade. We want to be the person who has the right point of view.
And I believe when we are parenting our kids, we’re from a similar angle. We want to be right. We want to do, you know, because we’re the parent, but sometime it’s emotion talking. It’s not the true person.
[00:06:26] Hunter: You said I wanted to pick up on something. You said up to three years old. Why do you say up to three years old?
[00:06:32] Gaetan Pellerin: Because ego is develop. Before two years of age, right? Mm-hmm so how we were with mom, how we were with dad, how was it? Did we have any siblings? Did we have to fight to be, to be seen, to be heard? Mm-hmm that structure of ego. According to psychologists, it’s done almost complete by the age of three.
There, there are some exception obviously, but everything before that is building up, designing the personality. Of who we are today. It’s almost like we wear a mask on our face, on our heart and that mask is becoming part of us. And that’s a challenge with that is ego. If you if you understand a bit of science, hunter or ego is coming from the deepest oldest part of the brain call reptilian.
That part of the brain never evolved. So it’s quick reacting because it’s all about survival. When we’re focusing on mindfulness, it’s our frontal lobe that it’s acting and it’s a slow re it’s a slow structure, looking at events, not judging, not going in the past. And that’s why mediation works so well in negotiation.
If you have a good mediator, they say, I hear you, but now let’s find a way to close that gap together. That’s what my phone time. Yeah. Times. And you are angry. That’s. Acknowledgement, but what else is there other than in the negotiation? We never do that. Right? We don’t have the time. The other side is asking unrealistic demand.
We just got triggered. People sometime want to create a win-win that badly, that they are willing to get everything away. And parenting is no different. I, you know, I saw parents that they give everything the kids is asking. Or very tough prayer parents that are never giving a chance to the kid either way.
It’s a little bit extreme and it’s, it’s all about, you know, managing emotion or being managed by emotion.
[00:08:42] Hunter: So when we’re we’re in this reactive place, the emotions are running the show. What should be the goal of our negotiation? Then if like we know that we suck at it, we know we’re doing it from, you know, the amygdala, the reactive brain, the nervous system, emotional, you know, safety system.
Then. Then, and we want to shift towards a slower, more mindful, more aware approach using the whole brain. What should be, what should be our goals if it’s not to win, if it’s not to, to be the one who’s right.
[00:09:18] Gaetan Pellerin: I’m going to share something with you. I will surprise you. The goal of a negotiation is to create value for both.
And I understand we’re not talking about politics or negotiations between countries or blackmailing. You know, I, no, if I wanna be a good negotiator, I, and I’m involved in a long term relationship, right? So if I buy a car, I can be whatever I want to be. But if I’m in, in sales or I’m procurement, and I’m going to negotiate with the same people for a long period of time, the real objective of a negotiation, a negotiation, it’s a conflict, right?
It’s a different of opinion. I want a better deal. I want a better price. that’s it. We don’t have to go to war. And for our ego negotiation, it feels like a threat mm-hmm . So we’re coming back with our baggage, our emotional reactivity, and we’re just not looking forward. That mindfulness negotiation is really to set the intent of creating value for both sides.
And it start at the preparation, right? A lot of people prepare, but spend zero minute thinking about the other. What do they want? What do they wish to avoid? You know, what’s their objective, what’s their priorities. What keeps them awake at night. And it’s really about changing the mindset to create. I don’t like the win-win situation because people think it’s, you know, half enough, but delivering value for both.
[00:10:52] Hunter: This is interesting because the way I talk about this in mindful parenting is I do talk about win-win conflict resolution and we have teachings on lessons on that. But the idea is that really that both parties get their needs met. You know, like what are the underlying needs? Yes. Both parties should be able to get their needs met.
You know, we don’t, we don’t have to just stop at solution number one. Right? Like there are many, many different solutions to getting our underlying needs met. Yeah. And what you’re talking about is creating value for both sides. I think that’s brilliant. Right? Like, and that, and parents of course, need to think about this and.
You know, the idea of creating value for both sides is so helpful to think about like with parenting, because, you know, we wanna go into, you’re saying, think about the other side, what do they need? And there’s a couple of instances that brought to mind and. One is no, just in general, thinking about parenting that we have to think about our kids.
Like, what are they needing in this situation? What, what are the, what needs need to be met for them? And for me recently, I recently was approached by the publisher of raising good humans and they wanted another book. And so I, I submitted a book proposal and we negotiated on the like advance and the percentages and things like that.
And. You’re right. Like there’s all this emotional reactivity that comes up, you know, for me, it was like, like they offered me X and you know, and I’m gonna go back and say, I want more than that, you know? And it was hard to do that and scary, you know, it was like very, it’s so interesting, like how much emotion came up, but it was just a simple email.
It was so interesting to see how. Emotional. That was, but, but I love this idea, create value for both sides. And you know, thinking about thinking about the other side is really thinking about like, what are they, what do they need? Right? What, what, what can we, how can, yeah. I mean, you don’t like the word win-win, but how can we create a win for both sides, at least some sort of,
[00:12:54] Gaetan Pellerin: yeah.
Well, and, and reality, we, we need to slow. Because the example you were just providing, right? You didn’t get the advance you wanted, it’s not about the money. It’s about this, your value, right? Your self worth. It’s like I worth, I worth more than that. And in negotiation or parenting, it’s the same thing. We go in with our own prospects and in negotiation, we present data.
And we’re shocked when the other side doesn’t see the same perspective as we see right. Kids don’t see, don’t have our experience. They don’t see the world. As we see it, that doesn’t mean that their, their needs or their perspective cannot teach us anything. Right. So we really need to slow down. We need to be aware that we’re going to be emotional.
When we parent, we need to be aware that we’re going to be emotional when we negoti. That’s the first step. And if we are aware of it, now we can plan the conversation differently. Right. And negotiation. One other thing that’s important is the difference between what they want and what they need. Right.
Mm-hmm so the kid wants something sugary, right. Dessert or something like that. But what’s, what’s the, the real need behind it. Do they want to be rewarded? Do they want to be Feel good. You know, there’s other things. Yeah. And that’s a toughest part in negotiation because we’re very good to figure out what the other party wants, but we never do the testing.
We never, and then we ask question, we don’t even listen to the answer. Right. I’m asking you a question and I’m already in my head. I’m not even listening to your question. I’m planning my next phrase. So that means I’m not present. I’m missing some information and you know, kids, they want to be independent, right.
They want to expand their world. They want to explore, but they want to come back with us to us and be loved and be accepted for who they are. Right. Mm. And as parents, sometimes it’s challenging because the kids are taking their own boundaries. They want to take control of their own life, according to their age, autonomy autonomy.
Right? Exactly. And for us, we wanna protect our kid, but everything we’re doing at our kid, it’s it’s from that emotional perspective, you know, reacting, emotional, we wanna be right. And. It’s it’s challenging because negotiation and parenting are very, very emotion.
[00:15:45] Hunter: And, and we have to be clearheaded is kind of what I’m hearing.
Right? It’s like this, there’s all these emotions involved, you know, and as we know, and, and we really, really wanna be able to be clearheaded, we wanna have awareness around, be able to think clearly. Yes.
[00:16:01] Gaetan Pellerin: And the challenge is maybe not that much. Well maybe yes. During in the pandemic, it’s the work, it’s the kid, it’s the, you know, the daycare, the homework, the, the, you know, stay at homeschool.
There’s a lot of challenges that fuel emotion, right? People are tired of, of COVID people are whirlwind. People are stress, and that increased the level of stress, even if we’re not seeing it. Right. So kids are coming on top of everything else in life, and that’s not their fault. Obviously they’re there, but we’re living in a space where there’s a lot of emotion.
Right. You read the news. It’s like the vaccine, this, or against that, or in favor of that, there’s a lot of emotional that it’s fueling our nervous system. So
[00:16:54] Hunter: do you recommend, sorry to interrupt. Do you recommend like You know, reducing exposure to like all the, the news, like you know, looking at our own, the stressors in our own life.
I mean, cuz that’s true. Like all of those stressors, they add to the nervous system load and if your nervous system is like, You know, at, you know, at your, at here, I’m like holding my hand up to my nose folks or listening and, and you know, it doesn’t take much to like, have it go over, you know? Yeah. And, and to, to not then be able to think with your whole brain.
So are you recommending that, you know, Sort of simplifying as best we can reducing those inputs.
[00:17:39] Gaetan Pellerin: It’s, it’s hard. It’s hard to insert hunter because everybody’s different, right? So people watch videos on YouTube for what, because they need a brain dump. They need a break, but is that fueling their, their, their Recharging their batteries, or just fueling their awareness that there is emotion around the world.
Mm-hmm , I, I, I don’t have a right answer for that. Everybody has to choose what feels correct for them, but a lot of people are doing things just to numb themselves. Right. Mm-hmm I wanna watch whatever, right? The video of cats dancing, I have no interest. But people that do this, there there’s a, there’s an objective behind it, right?
It’s maybe to release attention or they read the news or reality TV. It’s you know how many millions people are watching reality TV, because it’s fun. We’re watching other people’s drama, but if we’re not aware of our own state or emotional state, it’s fun to see other people’s emotion.
[00:18:51] Hunter: But it could be, it could be adding like, so you’re saying your listener, like it pay attention.
Is this adding to your stress? Is this actually, you know, relaxing you and, and making you feel more at ease or is it doing just the opposite? I mean, that’s the same could be said for. Are like to do list, honestly, you know, a lot of parents, a lot of moms get busy. Right. They do all the different things they do do do do do there’s we’re never gonna run out stuff to do.
It’s never all gonna be done. Sadly. yeah. Much to my husband’s dismay. Like he’s never gonna tidy the house and it’s gonna stay exactly the way it’s. Yeah. He thinks he wants to start a religion against. Entropy, which is so hilarious, but anyway, you know, it’s like that, but that doing it could also be like, it could be something that is relieving your stress, or it could be something that you’re numbing and you’re just pushing it, kicking the can down the road, right?
Yeah. So we have to pay attention to these things and what
[00:19:52] Gaetan Pellerin: you just said, hunter, it’s all about using mindfulness to understand. What’s going on. Why am I doing this? What’s my need underneath that action. You know, what’s the need under need the to-do list, right? There’s a sense of being in control and being in control.
There’s a sense of accomplishing something, right? So there’s nothing wrong with that, but is it healthy for me? Who said to do this? Where is that coming from? Mom said to tidy your room before you come down for breakfast. Is that a big deal? If my ability is not done, it is, it could be. Yeah, because it is what it is, but actually mindfulness is useful.
Every time we react to somebody else or an event. Is that helping me? Is it not helping me? How I, why am I snapping in my kid? Because they’re, they’re not listening to me. There’s something deeper than that. There’s a trigger. And maybe that has nothing to do with the kid that has to do with how it was when it were, we were a kid.
So the way you describe it hunter, it’s exactly using mindfulness to understand. Am I trying to numb myself? If, yes. Why, why is that? Mm, maybe it’s too painful, maybe. Well, whatever the reason, right. And parenting, it’s the same thing. Why am I so strict? Or why am I giving them rules or why I’m not open to their point of view, especially when they’re getting 10, other than 12, they have a view on the world that we don’t have, but we feel a threaten.
When our kids bring a different perspective, it’s like a reflex, right? And they have their own perspective. They have a limited amount of knowledge. They have a limited amount of maturity, but they have a perspective for an 80 year old for a 12 year old for a 15 year old. Right. That doesn’t mean that if they have a right approach that we are wrong.
No, but now we can talk to each other hunter because we’re not emotional about it. But when we are in the topic it’s challenging.
[00:22:16] Hunter: So step one, I’m hearing from you. Okay. Talent is slow down. Yes. Right? Build that capacity for awareness. Mm-hmm reduce the stress. Slow down. Build the capacity for awareness.
Try to be understanding what’s going on. Ask, ask yourself the questions about. Why et cetera. So maybe that’s, this is all the work we’re doing kind of before we go into the tricky conversation about cell phones or whatever it’s right. Yeah. With that might be a negotiation with our kids. I mean, when my.
When my daughter, my second daughter turns 13. She’s expecting that she’s gonna get a cell phone, cuz her sister did at 13, but like this is gonna be a negotiation because I wanna know what are her needs and she needs to know what our needs are and we need to talk about all those issues. Yeah.
[00:23:08] Gaetan Pellerin: You know, it’s interesting.
The first, the, the first two action you just named, this is my methodology. I came up for the C four, you in my book, mm-hmm the first C is just to connect with yourself. So just take a breath. Just shut down the external noise, just, just focus, focus on what’s happening inside of us. And most of us who don’t do a good reading of what’s happening in our body tension, feeling emotion, but this is where it’s almost the starting point.
You know what we feel in our body. It’s almost telling us our state of mind, my jaw sting, my breathing is shallow. It gives me. It’s a source of information, right? Mm-hmm . And the second step, like you said, is asking, why am I triggered? Why am I doing that? What’s the purpose behind it? What am I trying to accomplish?
Right. If I teach my, my kids to do something, what’s my purpose behind it. Do I want to be right? Do I want to be the person with authority that I don’t want any pushback on me? Well, why. What pushback means to you. And as we peel the onion, as we say, we connect with some deeper element. And only when we reach that level of understanding, we change, we can change our behavior because the purpose of being mindful is to understand why am I reacting that we are react today?
And is there another way for me to.
[00:24:43] Hunter: and what Gaetan is describing here is can be like, it can be mindfulness as a daily practice, right. Where we start to, we sit still and we pay attention to our, our breath. And then our mind gets pulled in a million different directions. We pull it back, but it also can be awareness built in other ways.
Like it could be awareness built. And I firmly believe as you, you know, dear listeners you’ve been around for a while. I’m a firm advocate of a daily mindfulness practice, but it also can be maybe a journaling, right? Mm-hmm what asking these questions to yourself. Seeing what’s come up or a conversation with a therapist or a good friend, right.
To start to understand and have some clarity shed on what’s happening, make those UN unseen things make, bring them to the surface. So you can actually know what you’re dealing with rather than just the surface level reactivity.
[00:25:34] Gaetan Pellerin: Yes, you’re totally right with that. Just wanna give you an example when I was a kid, I could never talk back to not anger was never will come in my house.
So I learned to fear my own anger. Why? Because I was afraid to act upon anger, right? And up to a point where I was working with an executive coach and she says, you are an angry person. I’m like, no, I’m not . And she was like, you are just the way you talk the way are a hard time to express yourself. You have a lot of anger.
And she said, what if, if anger was a sign of information for. A sign that there’s something missing. You’re not getting what you want. Mm-hmm and that was a big moment for me, because I never saw anger as a friend, cuz I was so afraid of it. Right. Yeah. But now she introduced me the same concept from a totally different mindfulness perspective.
What can you learn from. Anger and it’s okay to be angry. Doesn’t mean I’m going to act upon it, but it’s okay to be angry. Yeah. And that was very, very freeing for me because I understood that when I was a kid being angry means meant for me that I didn’t, I wasn’t seen. You know, I couldn’t express myself and I transported that belief because a lot of what we do today based on belief and as a parent, sometime I was angry at my kid and I didn’t understand.
And I was blaming them. Oh, they do this to me. No, the kids aren’t doing anything. It’s our own baggage. So that’s the, the power of mindfulness. And as you said earlier, hunter working with somebody, a coach, a group, friends that you trust, it’s really helpful because sometime they can see things in us that we have a hard time to seeing ourselves.
[00:27:38] Hunter: Now, what if the one were negotiating with like our child whatever age they may be? What if we can see some of. Roots or some of the causes or some of the needs in them that they may be in denial. about like what happens when that happens in a negotiation.
[00:27:59] Gaetan Pellerin: Well people don’t want to disclose their account cuz there’s a sense of being vulnerable.
Right. Mm-hmm and if I’m vulnerable, I don’t have a lot of power. So there’s, there’s a lot of links. Yeah. But the negotiation for me, I want to ask question. So what’s your objective hunter today, what’s your priority? And if you give me general answer, I can go deeper and say, how can I help you? Look.
Is there a way I can promote you? Is there a way, or are you afraid to lose face? And when people are in denial, it’s an emotion. Hmm. And if I’m very comfortable in my skin, I can say probably not to a kid, but to ane negotiators sounds like you’re upset with me. Why is
[00:28:46] Hunter: that? I think we could say that to a kid though.
I’m not sure I could say why is that? But I could say sounds like you’re upset with me. Yeah. You know, I mean, that might be really just acknowledging, you know, saying the, you know, the elephant in the room there, if there yeah. If
[00:28:59] Gaetan Pellerin: true, true. And it it’s all about being mindful in that moment. Right.
Mm-hmm so you wanna come from a good place from a place of compassion? I can say the same in negoti. Sounds like you’re upset or am I upsetting you if I, if you are upset, I’m sorry. That was not my intent. So this is a language of communication. This is a language of building win-win whatever want call that mm-hmm but VA creating value for both sides.
What I’m telling you, hunter, if I talk to you like that, even if I say it sounds like you’re upset with me, it’s very respectful. But it also tells you that I’m here and I’m here and I see you and I hear you. And sometime our kids, that’s what you want to hear. Right? I see your, you, you’re having a challenge to keep control of your emotion.
I see that you’re angry at your sister. I see that. It’s okay. We have a hard time in north America to acknowledge emotion because it feels like, oh, if somebody says you are angry, no, I’m not. I’m going to denial cuz there’s no room. There’s no space to explore that. Right. And we am in negotiation.
Somebody’s in denial. I, I can challenge that and I, I can just. I’m just trying to understand that’s what I’m going to share that I’m trying to understand your perspective so I can give you a proposal that makes sense to you. And very few negotiators have that ability to be in the moment. And for me, it’s about going off script.
and just be there in that moment. And in my language, I call it dancing with the, the other sign. So whatever the rhythm I’m trying to match the rhythm, not on the bullying side of it. Mm-hmm , but I’m trying to dance with them. I don’t, you know, I’m preparing I’m fully prepared. Mm-hmm but in the moment I dance with the other.
[00:31:03] Hunter: it’s a balance between preparation and then flexibility and really being present. Then you’re talking about really mindfully listening. You’re observing, you know, the body language, the listening to the tone, you’re listening for. What’s being said, you’re listening for what’s being not said, and you’re really you then you’re sounds like there’s some guessing as to like, okay, so this is kind of what I’m seeing, right?
[00:31:30] Gaetan Pellerin: Or just be curious, you know? Yeah.
[00:31:32] Hunter: I’m just verbalizing. I’m just saying it. Maybe just being curious, it
[00:31:35] Gaetan Pellerin: sounds like you’re like that. It’s not a, it’s not, you know, threatening. And it’s a good preparation. Allow you to go off script what people don’t do. They don’t prepare. And they have a hard time to go off script because now they’re all scared, scattered and you know, nervous.
But when somebody comes and say, I don’t want to talk to X because I’m afraid they’re going to react this way. Now in our mind, we’re planning to have a conv a difficult conversation, but ultimately on a difficult conversation it’s because we make it D. We plan to have the other side to yell at us. So we are not looking forward to tell our kids, we’re not going to Disney world this summer.
We make it a tough conversation because of us, but when we are emotional, we cannot be present. And if we’re not present, we’re missing a lot of subtleties. We’re missing a lot. Depth in the conversation because we just take for face value what we see and that’s a
[00:32:51] Hunter: challenge. It’s so interesting. And it makes me think about sort of the conversations we have with our kids and how these, the, the things you’re describing, really being present, mindfully, listening, knowing what.
Knowing ahead of time, what your intentions are and what your needs are, right? Like, and, and thinking ahead of time about what the other’s intentions and needs are. But then really being present, I think a lot of the, and then what, the way you describe dancing with your, the person. I mean, that really, to me, that really resonates with.
What we talk about in what I call win-win problem solving in, in mindful parenting, which is this idea of like, when we’re in this conversation, you know, our goal is to, we know our needs. We wanna know what our kids’ needs are. And then the conversation is a dance we’re meeting them where they are. If there’s, if we encounter some upsetness and resistance, it’s it’s to like, say.
To see that, to hear that, to understand it and to kind of go back and forth with it. And it strikes me also that these things can be practiced with things that are not so hard or not so difficult. Right. Like we can negotiate positive problems. Like mm-hmm mm-hmm where are we gonna go on vacation? And.
And what are we gonna do this weekend and different things like that. And we can, and those can be layers where we practice it, where the, it feels not so loaded and heavy emotionally. Do you, do you advocate for that, that kind of like positive practice? Yeah.
[00:34:27] Gaetan Pellerin: For positive practice mindfulness. Absolutely.
We talk to our kid in mostly negative terms. Don’t do this or this, or why are you upset? The challenge and, you know, I, I had no clue when I was a young dad, the way we teach our kids is going to help them or not manage their life when they are adults. So if we never welcome our kids to be emotional, they will have a hard time to express the.
Right. Where do we go for vacation? I wanna go this. Okay, great. So now this is your position. Your sister might have a different position. I have a different view. Dad might have a different view. How do we resolve a conflict? And if we do that the right way, maybe our kid will be upset in that moment, but it’s a great teaching.
Everybody has the right to say what they want to say. And it’s a. It’s not a bad conflict. It’s a fun conflict. So now we go to this trip this year, next year we’ll go to Disneyland or, or, or whatever. I think that perspective is helping our kids to be better prepared to live their life. Because life it’s not easy life it’s full of deception life.
It’s full of people that are. Not, you know, wired the same way. We want a promotion because we feel we deserve it now. It doesn’t work like that. Right. People don’t always see us for the value we bring to the table. Our kids. I think they’re not prepared for that because as parents, we don’t have those conversations with them,
[00:36:15] Hunter: right?
Yeah. Like they need this practice, right? Like it’s, it’s not bad to negotiate with your kids and ask them about their needs and explain what your needs are and hold boundaries around your needs because they gotta practice this stuff somewhere. I was like,
[00:36:28] Gaetan Pellerin: absolutely. And we have to adapt the conversation to the level.
Where the kids are, obviously mm-hmm . But if I say to my kid, I don’t want you to go to cross the street running. I need to explain why. Yeah. It’s a safety issue and I want you to be safe because I love you. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t. Now the kids can say, well, It doesn’t matter. There’s no car on my street. I understand.
But one day there might be one car. You might not hear it because it’s electric electric car. You need to develop your muscle of being safe. So your concern hunter is being safe. The kid’s concern is I want to go to the park as soon as possible. I I’m with you. That’s not negotiable, but that doesn’t mean that we have to.
Tell them what to do without explaining. Right? Mm-hmm so really mindfulness parenting is about listening to the other person as they were adults. Hm mm-hmm and express ourself. Like they were adults. And now from there, so this is a conflict it’s okay. You can, you can express yourself. And I’m not going to be upset.
Now we need to make a. And if we tell our kid don’t do this, and now we come like, well, there are some consequences to your, your acting or your, you don’t, you don’t listen. Or you do things that we didn’t agree. That’s a consequence and negotiating with our kids doesn’t mean that we have to bend backward to give them everything they want.
No. Yeah, but it’s to it’s to have a conversation like the are level adults and in their world. They have a different perspective, right? So at this certain age, kids or babies are say, no, no, no, no. And no way you can have them say anything else then no. Right. Give grandma a hug because she gave you a Christmas gift.
Now I wanna give her a hug. Okay. But, so those are step in life. They don’t want to be told what to do. We have to be able to hear.
[00:38:42] Hunter: Yeah, yeah. Listening, even from that young age and respecting the, their words makes them more able to listen to you. Ultimately, I think Gaetan, this is you mentioned that your kids are adults and I’m curious about your.
This has been fascinating. I mean, I think this is so, so helpful, but I’m curious about your own story. You said you came to this later in your, in your career. What brought you to mindfulness and, and how has it, how has it shown up or blossomed in your life? I mean, obviously in your negotiation, but.
[00:39:20] Gaetan Pellerin: That’s a great question.
First of all, when I was at school, I, my career was based on helping people. So that always been present for me, helping people. I went to healthcare. I wanted to help people. And after that, I I’m a hard worker and I got promotion after promotion, after promotion. And honestly, some days I was like, this is never going to.
it’s never enough. Right? And it’s, it’s more and more and more, more money, you know, better suits, car, house, name it,
[00:39:59] Hunter: more responsibility.
[00:40:00] Gaetan Pellerin: more responsibilities. And, you know, I was working all the time, you know, a hundred hours per week and I got one day, my dream job, VP global sale. My dream job, I thought.
Because in reality, I hated that job. There was so much politics and behind the same decision and I, I didn’t enjoy it. So at one point I was working with an executive coach and we really have a lot of conversation about why do you do that? Well, because you don’t understand it’s my image, da da. Yes. Okay.
What else? And she brought me to a personal growth group with mindfulness. So I’ve done my own work for 10 years and five before I started to write that book. And at the same time I started my work on. I became a negotiation consultant. So I observe people every day. I negotiate, I watch, I give feedback and we do training about a company where I work.
But every year, every time I was observing people is like, there’s missing something here. People are going straight to their limit because they’re afraid and they’re happy. I’m like, Wow. We give so much Mon we live so much money on the table. What’s going on. And at one point after I started to do work on myself, it came back, came up to me and say, we’re not dealing with emotion.
People are afraid in negotiation. People are stressed, people are nervous and they’re making the wrong decision because they just wanna get rid of that negotiation. They just want to move to the next. and one morning it came out to me, the idea of writing a book to help people not become better negotiator.
That’s part of it. Yes. But helping them to understand why do they behave the way they behave today? And I chose negotiation because obviously I, I kind of Bri bring in expertise in that field. But as I wrote the book, I realized that mindfulness can be applicable to so many things in life, right.
Parenting, giving feedback, or deciding to go to the gym, starting a new diet, it’s all over in a place. And I just, just came up with that idea of writing a book as my purpose. Just helping people.
[00:42:39] Hunter: What does your own mindfulness practice look like?
[00:42:43] Gaetan Pellerin: It varies. Yeah, it’s not, and I, I’m not a monk. I don’t mind be mindful of six hour a day.
I can tell you that when I meditate, I have a better clarity in my head. Right. If I don’t meditate, I have a tendency to go more in my. So mindfulness for me, it’s not like I’m sitting in a morning. It’s more every day, every minute when I teach negotiation. And if I’m not mindful, maybe I’m pushing too much because I want you to go home with some learning.
That’s my ego. Right. But as a teacher, if I’m offering new. That’s it. That’s my role. So sometime my mindfulness practice is just to be aware in that moment. Am I pushing. Do I want to look good. Do I allow, do I want to look credible? So yes, it’s a, it’s a morning practice I journal, but it’s also every minute and knowing the trigger, I think that’s, that’s part of understanding what could be my trigger.
And why is that? It’s every day.
[00:43:56] Hunter: Has all this work you’ve done improved your relationships with your children who are now older?
[00:44:03] Gaetan Pellerin: Yes and no. I think they, they always be my kids. Right. But now I can have conversation with them about them being in their ego. Right. So at one point my son’s girlfriend says, oh, my aunt just died and I have to go to the funeral, but I never saw.
I don’t wanna go. And I just said, why do you, why do you want to go? And she said, well, because my mom wants me to go. And I said, what if, if you don’t go, what would happen? And that was a big shift for her because she felt she has no choice. Hmm. And I said, okay, so you don’t want to go because you don’t have a relationship with that aunt.
Don’t go. Well, you don’t understand. Okay. So why don’t I understand my mom is not going to love me anymore. I’m pretty sure she’s going to still love you. Yes, not really true, but I, what I just did, hon, that’s the kind of conversation I can have with my kids about their life. You know, helping them. None of my kids have kids eventually that will be another layer, but it’s not about me and them.
It’s about me being in different relationship with them in terms of not pushing back on what they’re doing or judging them or telling them it’s wrong, or you should do my way. No, it’s more inviting them to see what if, if you do. My son was afraid to say no to do overtime on Saturday, because he was afraid that his boss will be upset.
I said, you don’t wanna work with on weekends because you wanna be with your, your girlfriend. There’s nothing wrong with that. And if your boss is not capable of receiving that, I think you might need to change job or, you know, do some search because this is your need. You need to respect. That was not easy for him to say that.
And when he said it to his boss, I bet he was shaking inside but the, the result was his boss says, okay, I don’t necessarily agree with you, but I respect your position. And thank you for sharing that. So now we went from two situation where fear was in control and really helping them to unlock their own rhythm.
What if you express yourself, what’s, what’s, what’s happening. What’s the worst case. And that’s how mindfulness can help us to unlock the, the, the, the tightness of emotions on, on our behavior.
[00:46:57] Hunter: Gaan. Thank you so much for taking the time to come and talk to us today at the mindful mama podcast. I really appreciate it.
It’s been such a pleasure. GA’s book is mindful negotiation with the E G O in negotiation. Where can people find out more about what you’re doing?
[00:47:20] Gaetan Pellerin: Well, I have a website it’s called navigate. group.com. And my methodology explained we can look at different perspective. It’s not only on negotiation and the book is available at any bookstore.
And if people wants to have a signed, personalized copy, they can order a book through my website as well.
[00:47:42] Hunter: That’s so cool. Well, thank you so much and I, I wish you a lovely afternoon Gaetan in in lovely Connecticut. .
[00:47:51] Gaetan Pellerin: Yes. Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure to be on your show.