How I Got Hired

127. Lousin Mehrabi: From a Career in Finance to Becoming one of the most sought after Negotiation Advisors in the World

March 08, 2024
127. Lousin Mehrabi: From a Career in Finance to Becoming one of the most sought after Negotiation Advisors in the World
How I Got Hired
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How I Got Hired
127. Lousin Mehrabi: From a Career in Finance to Becoming one of the most sought after Negotiation Advisors in the World
Mar 08, 2024

My guest today is recognised as one of the most influential negotiation professionals in the world and works closely with CEOs and decision-makers to help them get the best out of themselves and their teams. Lousin Mehrabi is trained and mentored by some of world's best (hostage) negotiators, is a Certified Professional Negotiator, speaks 5 languages, has 4 nationalities and no, she is not a secret agent but she does work closely with them. I have been following Lousin on LinkedIn for close to two years now, including every single post about her son Alex, and I’ve been wanting to have her on, so I was thrilled when she agreed to be on the show.

In this conversation, Lousin emphasizes the importance of self-improvement, empathy, and adaptability in negotiations, and highlights the need for peaceful negotiation with oneself. Lousin's insights shed light on the significance of personal growth and continuous learning in excelling as a negotiator.

Subscribe to Lousin's Youtube Channel:
Follow Lousin on LinkedIn:


Liked this episode? A few things:

1. Share the podcast with three of your closest friends! And please leave a great review on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here (tap on the three-dot menu under the cover art of the podcast) , as it would mean a lot to me and hopefully help others discover it.

 2. You will love my emails called Charge-Up! I send them every few weeks, they're no fluff no spam, where I share my favourite career insights from movies, TV shows, news and my own personal experiences, that I don't share anywhere else. Make sure you sign up here!  

3. Come hang out with me LIVE on LinkedIn and Youtube every Friday at 2 pm CET where I answer your questions and often bring in fab guests:



4. Share your favourite takeaways and tag me on your Instagram and LinkedIn

Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is recognised as one of the most influential negotiation professionals in the world and works closely with CEOs and decision-makers to help them get the best out of themselves and their teams. Lousin Mehrabi is trained and mentored by some of world's best (hostage) negotiators, is a Certified Professional Negotiator, speaks 5 languages, has 4 nationalities and no, she is not a secret agent but she does work closely with them. I have been following Lousin on LinkedIn for close to two years now, including every single post about her son Alex, and I’ve been wanting to have her on, so I was thrilled when she agreed to be on the show.

In this conversation, Lousin emphasizes the importance of self-improvement, empathy, and adaptability in negotiations, and highlights the need for peaceful negotiation with oneself. Lousin's insights shed light on the significance of personal growth and continuous learning in excelling as a negotiator.

Subscribe to Lousin's Youtube Channel:
Follow Lousin on LinkedIn:


Liked this episode? A few things:

1. Share the podcast with three of your closest friends! And please leave a great review on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here (tap on the three-dot menu under the cover art of the podcast) , as it would mean a lot to me and hopefully help others discover it.

 2. You will love my emails called Charge-Up! I send them every few weeks, they're no fluff no spam, where I share my favourite career insights from movies, TV shows, news and my own personal experiences, that I don't share anywhere else. Make sure you sign up here!  

3. Come hang out with me LIVE on LinkedIn and Youtube every Friday at 2 pm CET where I answer your questions and often bring in fab guests:



4. Share your favourite takeaways and tag me on your Instagram and LinkedIn

  Hey there. Welcome back. Welcome back. My guest today is recognized as one of the most influential negotiation professionals in the world and works very closely with CEOs and decision makers to help them get the best out of themselves and their teams. Lousin Mehrabi is trained and mentored by some of the best hostage negotiators.

She is a certified professional negotiator, speaks five languages fluently, has four nationalities, and no, she's not a secret agent. But she does work closely with them. I'm sort of reading out from one of her posts and her LinkedIn profile. I love that.  I have been following Luzine on LinkedIn for almost two years, maybe a little over two years now.

And I follow every single post with all her tips. And she even talks about her family, to be specific, her son, Alex. And we're going to talk about that. And we're going to talk about why this matters today. And I've been wanting to have her on for so long. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when she agreed to be on the podcast.

Lousin, it's such an honor. 

Welcome to the show.  Thank you, Sunal. Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure being here.  

. So we're gonna get right into it. And I want to ask you like this big broad question to begin with, when you started your professional career  over 20 years ago, you know, it was in banking in Paris, you spent so much time in banking,  and other places.

And then over 20 years later, You are a professional negotiator, like this is your full time job among other things, right? Speaker and all of that cool stuff. So what I want to ask you is, did 22 year old Luzine ever think or dream  this is how her career and life would be?  And, you know, part two is, if you could see that young woman today.

What would you say to her?  

Oh, nice. 

Like my whole career was a bit  coincidence. I would say I went where life took me because my career started in 2001 in Rotterdam when I was still a student, I was studying international business and I literally just needed money to pay for my tuition fees and my books. And I was looking for a job, like any job would do.

And I found a job in banking. So I was working for Robeco back then in Rotterdam. And it was, it was quite cool because there was only 18.  And they offered me 20 hours per week opportunity. So I was working every Friday, every Saturday, and then half a day in the evenings. And that was perfect. I could combine it with my university.

It was perfect. And yeah, that's how I started, but literally it could have been any other sector but it was finance where it started. So that's how it started. And then when I moved to Paris for an exchange program. I  did an exchange program at in a business school in Paris. And then I was, I wanted to stay longer in Paris because I loved the city and I wanted to improve my French.

So then again, because I had already worked in finance in the Netherlands, I found a job in finance and then that went on for another decade. So I rolled into finance a bit by coincidence. It was definitely not my dream job. I didn't necessarily like it or loved it, but it paid the bills and then Before you know it, you know, you're in this career and you grow and you grow and you grow, and there's always this little voice saying, is this really what you want, but yeah, I was, I was growing and, and, and a better salary and a better bonus, you know how that goes.

But that little voice kept becoming louder and louder saying this is not where you belong until I finally had the courage to leave, but it took, it took me a while, like more than a decade. Perfect. Perfect. And, and, you know just reminding a little bit.  Losing, why, why Rotterdam? So is there a Dutch connection in your family 

where you grew up?

Yes. I grew up in the Netherlands. We moved there when I was seven. And I grew up in the Netherlands, studied there, love the country. So yeah, that's where I was studying and that's where I found my first job. And you moved 


when you were seven. So obviously the language children pick up languages like, like love, like sponges.

Right. So when you say you were seven and you moved, you moved there from?  

I was born in Iran that's the, hence the, the languages. So I speak Farsi, but I am Armenian. So we speak Armenian at home. So that's makes them, yeah, Farsi, Armenian, Dutch, and then English and French. Beautiful. 

Beautiful. I love that.

And, and  so you kind of went with the flow,  you know, it took you where it took you.  You went with the flow after a while that, that voice, that nagging voice, it was just too loud. You know, you're saying you couldn't ignore it anymore. And what would you say to that  22 year old after she graduated 

she did her exchange at Paris.

Oh my goodness. Yeah. Well,  although everything  ended up fine, I would not advise her to do as I did. Like, you know, it's, it's this very weird thing, Sonal, where I didn't. Even listen to my own voice. I didn't even know what I wanted. I was literally just being pushed forward. And I think like a lot of people who live on this automatic way of, okay, now I'm going to get graduated and I'm going to get married and I'm going to have a kid, it's all this conditioning and expectations from other people that we take on as our own inner voice.

So I literally didn't even know.  That I have a choice of not doing a job that I don't like. I felt so privileged of having a good job and that  for me, what do you mean you don't like it? What do you mean you have a burnout? What do you mean you're tired? You know, you just march on, you just push forward.

So with that mindset, I literally made myself sick. Like I had a burnout but I wasn't listening to myself. Like I, that, that awareness of you can actually choose to stop and do something else didn't even come up because based on where I came from, I just felt so privileged to have such a good job and career growth that I, I, I didn't even Think about it.

So it took me a while and some pain and some maturity to realize, you know, why am I doing something I don't like? 

Yeah. Yeah. I know. I understand. And I think that's a very important point. And we're going to talk about this in more detail a little bit later in the conversation, because we you talk a lot on, on social media and on your YouTube channel about negotiating with yourself.

And I'm guessing a lot of that comes from. Personal, you know, blood, sweat, and tears. So, all right, fantastic. And then, you know I want to get a little granular here Lousin, because we like getting into details and we, we like getting very tactical, you know, all these jobs that you did in banking, Commerzbank, Citibank, BNP Paribas, and then the European Stock Exchange. 

When you look back in that, you know, on that period. Which of these positions or positions  do you think helped shape who you are today? And tell us, the part two is, how did you get hired 

into that role?  In finance you mean? Mm hmm.  Yes. 

But then internally, I grew to different departments and, and, and that was cool. Then in Paris, when I was looking for a job so that I could extend my stay in Paris I found Commerzbank and there they were looking for somebody who could run the Dutch business, the Benelux business. So there, the main reason I got the job was because I already had experience in finance, but also because I spoke Dutch and I was living in France.

So it was the language thing. That that helped me get in. Then we launched a product on the Dutch market that became a success. And then my boss moved from. And then  I actually did have this moment of saying, okay, I'm done because I was in Citigroup and the financial crisis hit, the subprime crisis, 2007, eight, you remember that one? I was in the middle of the trading floors going through all that. So that voice became louder and louder saying, what am I doing here?

Like, what kind of world is this? I don't want to be part of this. I'm not saying finance is bad. Like I have still many colleagues working there. My husband works in finance. If this is your thing. Wonderful. Do it, love it, you know, get the benefits of it. It wasn't mine. What I did want back then is I, as a kid, I always had this dream job.

I wanted to be an anchor lady. I wanted to present the news. On TV? On TV. Yeah, that was really like my passion and I was watching the news for hours and hours every day, and that's what I wanted. So after the subprime crisis, I finally had the courage of saying, I'm leaving finance.  And I left and I actually did a master's in journalism.

I studied a whole year and everybody was saying I was You followed through. You followed through.  Oh, okay. I did. I went back to school, back to a university in Paris and I studied journalism for a year. But during that year they kept telling me, you know, you know, you can't present the news if you have an accent,  you know, because I speak French with an accent.

I speak every language with an accent. Sure. Sure. Sure. So, and, and I was so like devastated, like, what do you mean I can't present the news? So long story short, I almost got a job in the Netherlands for the financial news channel. But that didn't happen either. And so there I was thinking, okay, what am I going to do now?

But at the same, that same year I was pregnant. So I was already married. I was pregnant with my first child. So I had my first child, took care of him for an entire year. I got fully depressed because I wasn't working anymore and I thought, okay, I need to get back to work. Like I have to work.  And that's when a former colleague from Citigroup called me and said, I'm working at the stock exchange.

Why don't you join us here? And I said, no, you know, like I'm done with finance. I'm never, ever going back. So this is a funny story. Like, you know what you don't want, but then he said, no, but Lewis, don't worry about it. This is not like a trading floor. I only have, he said something interesting that, that brought me to the interview.

It's funny. He said, Lewis, I only have two screws. 

Because you're on the trading floor, you have like six screens, three phones, it was madness.  So I said, fine, I'll come for the interview. We'll see. So I went to the interview. It didn't even have a CV ready. They asked me for my CV in English. I didn't even have it, but the interview went well. I met the whole team.

I knew some of them from when I was working in, in at the bank. And that's how I got in again. For the third time, but as a bit of a coincidence in finance, but he was right. It was different. Stock exchange life was very different. It was more strategic. There were more long term reflections and projects, and I was taking care of strategy and product management.

So it was very different than the trading floors. First part of my career there. The second part I didn't because there was a reorganization. The company was being split from the New York stock exchange. I didn't necessarily agree with the new strategy and, and where the company was headed. So that's when, when they offered a free volunteer plan of saying, you know, we have to lay people off.

So if you volunteer to leave, we will give you a, an envelope and then you can go and study something else. So that's what I did. I volunteered left. Took the money and did the executive coaching program at HEC in Paris.  And, and that's when I really, that's what I really loved. Like I've always been passionate about human behavior.

That's what I love most. And I learned so much about, you know, human profiling and executive coaching.  Wow. 

That is. That is super interesting Lizzie, you there? Mm hmm. Okay. I'm going to edit this part out because I lost so much of your oh, 

I feel so bad. Oh, okay, just ask me again and I'll tell you.


yeah. So when you said he, the, he said one of the reasons you went for the interviews, he said there are only two and then I lost you completely. You said two screens? Is that what he said?  

Do you want me to repeat that whole part? 

No, no, no, it's all right, because there was a lot that it happened a lot that, but maybe 

the sound was there. You can have a look. No, 

the sound wasn't there. That's what I mean. If the sound was there, I wouldn't be talking. I wouldn't ask you to repeat that part. I don't know why. Unfortunately, 

when you're freezing the sound, here. So I don't know. Let's see. But tell me. Yeah, yeah. We'll, we'll 


No. Okay, cool. I did not expect this answer to see. This is so interesting. You know, the, the, the very twisty non 

linear, I always say I went in finance by coincidence three times. Yeah. Yeah. 

Yeah. Three times and, and I also love the never say never the thing that you say no to, it keeps coming back because there's something there, right?


something there.  

And what was that in executive coaching? When was that like aha moment for you about?  Negotiation. How did we get 

there?  So negotiation was when I was working at the stock exchange the company invested, 

And after that. 

Sorry, sorry. I missed that completely. The company invested.  It was 

gone. Yeah.  Let's try again. So the company invested a lot in corporate training and they brought into professional negotiators to give like a one hour keynote. It was like a lunch and learn thingy. And I, I was absolutely fascinated by them.

It was so interesting. And then they did a whole year program and, and, and I was,  and you signed up and you signed up to that 

and to name it. And I absolutely loved it. 

And did you.  Did you have that any like weird feeling when you were in these negotiation trainings, like these workshops, did you ever have a feeling like  I could do this? I could be the trainer. Maybe I could even do it better. Could I, maybe I could do it better. Did you have that? Not in an arrogant way, but you could, you could picture yourself.

But you know, I had a very busy calendar traveling all the time between Paris and Amsterdam and Brussels. And, but I made sure that I was never going to miss 

the trainer and thinking. I want to do what you do,  like, not in an arrogant way of, I could do it better. Not at all. Just the interest of saying, could I actually teach negotiation and live from that? Like, I didn't even know you could be a professional negotiator. I didn't even know that job exists. So yes, it did cross my mind, but I didn't do anything with it until years later.

Where I, I joined them as their negotiation trainer in the Middle East and grew until becoming the global head of negotiation training and then built my own negotiation method. But yes, that was the moment where they, they ignited that spark in me. Spark in 

you. Yeah. And, and, and tell me what I I'm guessing there are no substitutes you have to put in the reps.

You have to put in the hard work. You don't just. You know, stand in front of people and teach them negotiation. You don't come up with frameworks overnight. So I'm guessing you did that. And at what point did you say to yourself, you know what Lousin screw it. I'm ready for this. I'm going to do this full time and I'm going to leave the so called, I'm putting this in air quotes, safety and security of employed life  and start my own, you know, Lousin Mehrabi LLC.

So talk to us about what that journey, first of all, that, That big leap that you took, a proverbial big leap. And then how did you start attracting clients?  

So that happened for me in 2015 when the company was going to a restructuration and they offered 

to learn. I was like, okay, I'm going to go back to being a student again. I've never been afraid to learn and to go back and relearn because I love learning. So I wasn't afraid. I had some savings and I said, okay, I'm going to take one year just to learn. So I did the executive coaching. I did MBTI training.

I did emotional intelligence training, like until the certification. I did parental coaching. Anything I could learn that I, I was just interested in, in that moment for me, it was like, One of the best years of my life. I was just full time learning and loved it. And then at the end, when I graduated from HEC. 

I launched my company in February 17  and there I finally felt, okay, I'm never going to do a job I don't like. I'm just going to be, you know, working for myself and be my own boss. And I'm going to do this executive coaching and I'm going to help leaders. And I didn't even think about the negotiation thing back then.

It was just one of the skills I had, but I didn't see myself doing that full time. I saw myself as becoming just an executive coach and trainer in companies.  But then, so now everything changed. So here I am feeling on top of the world, like I finally found my career path launched my company February 17.

One month later, one month,  we find out that my son is sick, like severely sick, but without knowing what it was. They just said, there's a big problem and we're going to have to do a lot of analysis to understand what's happening. And how old was he at the time? Five,  five years old only. And that's when we went through the. 

The worst three, four months of my life of analysis and biopsy and all kinds of things. And I wasn't sleeping and spending my life on Google and learning what's happening  until June 17. We finally got the diagnosis that he has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.  It's a muscle disease that is breaking down his muscles.

There's no cure and life expectancy is limited to about 20, 25 years old.  Boom.  So what do you do then? Right. Right. Yeah.  And where, where does your career come in? For me, it was very clear. It didn't matter at all anymore. I was like, okay,  I'm going to have to give him the best life possible no matter how long we have.

And in order to do that, I had this idea, this wild idea of let's move to Dubai. So we were in Paris  and my husband and everybody else was like, are you out of your mind? Like, what do you mean move to Dubai? What are you crazy? Healthcare in France is excellent. But I said, listen, they're telling us there's nothing they can do.

There's no cure. And the neurologist told me what would really benefit him is physiotherapy, water, you know, being in the water, swimming and the sun, sunshine, sunshine for his bones. 

Vitamin D. My  idea was very limited, like just for a short period of time, just enjoy life, take him to Legoland and all kinds of fun stuff for a young boy. And then when he can't walk anymore, because that was going to happen very fast, he was still six, he could walk, run, everything. But they said by the age he's 10, 12, he's not going to walk anymore. 

So my idea was, let's just have a few fantastic years and then. When we, when you can't walk anymore or when you don't have money anymore, then we'll just come back and, and live in France or the Netherlands, wherever  that was the initial idea. So that's how we came to Dubai, like immediately in September 17, we were living here.

Wow. My career was zero priority for me. I was just.  Yeah. Because it changes perspectives. Right. I mean. Totally. You prioritize what's important. It just didn't matter. Yes. I understand. And I couldn't think straight. Like you're still in shock, right? Like you're, wow. One day you think your kid is healthy and one day boom.

Yeah. So  we came to Dubai, put him in a fantastic school. Bought the best things I could have with the budget that we had.  And then I was one, one day at the alumni event of one of my business schools. They have this little group here. We came together and the organizer said, so what do you do? I said, you know, I'm a coach.

And he said, Oh, I would love to be coached in French.  So I said, okay, let's do it.  No, he was my first client. And here again, you see for the second time in my career, I got something because of the language. Language. You're, you're a polyglot. Your polyglot ness has helped you. Yes. Amazing. Amazing. 

So you start coaching him. 

And you know, I did a lot of one to ones and then I posted something on LinkedIn one day. That's why I love that platform so much. Yes. And my former trainers, the negotiators, remember who taught me in 2014,  they reached out and said, wow, you're in Dubai. Why don't you join us? Become our negotiation trainer there. 

And I said, bingo, let's do it. 'cause I love their method. I love them. And that's how I became, well, not immediately, of course, I had to do a whole training, go back to Paris, be trained by them, and put through a lot of difficulties to see if I could handle it. And then they, they yeah, they selected me to become one of their trainers.

And I started providing these trainings here in the Middle East and then internationally. So that's how I became a professional negotiator, like  unexpected again, but yeah, that's where I am today. So today I help companies with their complex negotiation. It's either I'm behind the scenes. Nobody knows I'm helping them and we prepare the strategy they negotiate  or. 

I train the teams and I leave, they negotiate or I negotiate with them on the negotiation table. We go together until we have a deal or I negotiate for them or advisory. So anything that has to do with complex negotiations and human behavior and becoming better and  personal growth, that's where I help my, my clients with and, and, and it's a great.

I travel internationally, worked in many countries, absolutely loved it. All sectors it changes all the time. So I love that. You're living 

and you're living in your purpose. I can hear it. I can, I mean, we, we see it on, in, in all the social media that you're on. So I love that. And  Lousin, talk to us about how Alex is doing today. 

Ah, thanks for asking. Well, he's now 12. He cannot walk, he's full time in a wheelchair, he cannot even stand.  But Sunal, I would say, I think, I see him happy, I think he's a happy kid. He goes to a great school, still the same school, so his friends, you know, know him from when he could still walk, so they just see him as Alex.

He's like many 12 year olds, passionate about football, that's what brings him joy. Yes, yes.  

No, I totally understand. And I think that and he's such a sweet, such a sweet, you, you, you post pictures and such a beautiful, sweet boy always smiling, always smiling. And I remember you had posted something where you would like a fitness challenge, like one month, because you had to lift him a lot and you're like, I need to be strong.

I followed it, you know, I kind of broke in the middle, but then I came back to it. It wasn't easy. So this is so. Relatable, because, you know, at some point or the other,  we are either caregivers or we will be caregivers, whether it's to our children, whether it's to our parents, and in your case, a very, a much more, you know, stretched, a much more challenge where mobility is, is restricted with Alex, and I respect so much that you share this, because parents and caregivers, we feel seen, we feel heard, right?

And your  authenticity, Your empathy, when you talk about living with people talk about living with challenges, but yours is coming from reality. It's not coming from theory. I want to stay here just for a minute, Lousin, because one thing you talk to us a lot about.  I've seen this on your YouTube channel, on your podcast.

You talk about peaceful negotiation with ourselves.  And I have a feeling, the strong feeling, that if people were to practice this advice that you're going to, you're about to give us right now, and I know you're going to blow our mind, I think there would be less conflict  in the world.  But let's start with ourselves.

Let's talk to us about how, what, what is peaceful negotiation with yourself. And how do you actually practice this in your daily life?  

Well, as a negotiator, obviously I read a lot about international diplomatic negotiations and peace negotiations, humanitarian negotiations.  And but it was really the moment I'll never forget when we got the diagnosis.

So for three months it was unsure what it was, right? Like Duchenne muscular dystrophy was the worst case scenario, but there were also two other diseases that maybe it was that. So I remember I was literally, literally on my knees.  Praying, begging, and negotiating with God,  like whether you're religious or not, that's what I was doing.


You know, so I said, I remember once I said, give me any other disease,  even cancer, something for which they have a cure.  And I promise you, I will work for the NGO rest of my life for free.  So I put that on the table. But Unfortunately, it was still Duchenne.  So then I thought, okay, what am I going to do?

Like if I go and let my emotions take over, I'm going to be depressed  for the rest of my life because here I am,  life telling me your son is going to deteriorate in front of your eyes and there's nothing you can do and there is no cure and good luck with it. And I thought I simply didn't have the shoulders to carry that.

Like it was too heavy. I couldn't do it. So. So.  There was another story where I realized that, okay,  I actually do have a choice because I can either say, okay, I can't do this. And I'm going to go and literally just leave life, kill myself done. I'm not dealing with this.  That's a choice, right? Yes. Or I can say, I'm leaving the family, which a lot of parents do, by the way, it's crazy, but it happens all the time.

So I'm leaving you guys, you deal with it and I'm going to go and, you know, live in a a  monastery or something.  Exactly. My gosh.  That's another choice.  Or, you know, I don't know, whatever, just leave the family, go and live my life. Many parents do that. It's nuts, but it's, it happens out of pain, out of despair. 

And the third choice was, no, I'm going to stay and take care of this child the best I can  and, and, and do that. But in order to do that, I need to become  more calm.  and peaceful because if I keep this anger that I have towards God and towards life and it's so unfair and why my child, that anger is going to kill the energy of the house and impact the children and my husband.

So that's when it started of this saying, you know, we have all these peace negotiations between countries, but what about internal peace negotiations? What about peace negotiations with myself? And that's what I. What I talk about of saying, okay, what is it that I need to accept? What is it that I need to change?

What are my needs? And what are the different parts of needs? Because when you look at negotiation, we always think there are several parties, but if you look internally, there are a million parties.  Because even you, Sonal, there is the part of you that is angry. There's the part of you that is sad.

There's a part of you that is ambitious. There's the part of you that is lazy. And these are all intercommunicating  constantly. And then there is one that wins. You know, and, and, and to explain to people, I say, we all have at least one goal,  one thing that we want to achieve, and we know exactly. 

It can be go have more energy, whatever. And we know exactly what we have to do. And if we don't, we can easily find that on YouTube. So we don't need anybody else  to help us.  And we have to go and we really want it and we don't do it.  Why is that? Yeah. Well, that's because there's another part of you sometimes unconscious that doesn't want it. 

So that then becomes an internal negotiations.  So when you become aware of these things, and you become aware that internally you're constantly negotiating, that's when you can choose, okay, what do I want the outcome to be? And then I 

listening to empathy, to understanding, to understanding the need and the reasons that it's not happening, et cetera, I apply the same things internally to reach the goal with myself, to give a very funny example.  One day, so sometimes I do ice baths  and I my ice bath record was like two minutes, three minutes, you know, standard.

And one day I was going again and I said, today I want to break my record and I want to do five minutes. Okay.  So I sit in the ice bath and as usual, a part of me says, get out, get out, get out. This is horrible. Normal reaction. And the other part that says, I'm safe, I'm safe. I'm staying in and I'm breaking my record. 

Now some, 

I noticed that I became the observer of these two.  Not one, not the other, but the observer looking at that conversation,  so it becomes like a meta version of yourself.  When that happened, so now I had this peace  come over me, like this extreme calmness  where I was just sitting there observing these two. 

One point they started even making jokes with each other and I was just observing  and that day I stayed in the ice bath for 20 minutes. No. Well, so much respect.  Oh my gosh. I, I, I, I understand what you said about that meta thing. Cause I talked sometimes with my clients and also with myself, you know, the OB, I call it my OBE outer body experience. 

And she's looking  like, what's going on here? This is humorous. Like explain to me. I, and you're like, I can't explain it. But the, the way you're explaining, you know, the way you're describing it, it's like, we are so many selves.  within ourself, right? And, and which one is going to win? You have a choice. Yes. 

The listeners, if there's one thing they walk away with, you have a choice. Like at every single moment of your life, you get to choose which part of me, 

which part of me is going to exist now and live now and take over. And just because you've been doing a certain thing or a certain career for a long period of time, it doesn't mean you're stuck there. Like, you know, it's not that we have roots and we're stuck. We can move. You can move. You can do things differently.

You can leave places that don't serve your country's relationships. You name it. Yes. Yes. You can move and you can reinvent yourself and you can change. And this doesn't have to be a massive metamorphosis, but you can just say from now on, I'm going to look at this situation. This way, or from now on, this part of me is going to get a bit more attention and time to exist.

Yes, but I, I respect that 

so much because you're talking from,  you know, you're talking the day to day. It's, it's, it's everything we, we see someone on, on social media, then we get on with our life, but you're living that on a daily basis. So.  

I have to Coming from 

you. Yes. Coming from you. Because someone listening today who's, who's, you don't have a choice.

If you have a child or a a relative, a loved one, diagnosed with something very bad and very serious. We didn't control that. But we know people say you don't control that. You control your response. But how many people actually practice controlling that response and you're living that day in and day out. 

It's super powerful and, and, and I love my job where I help 

that they have intrinsically. Yeah. I understand that.  Anything to show them that they have it, they just need this awareness and maybe in their lifetime, just one time. Yes. One time, this experience where you become a meta version of you, because when you have that, that's pure consciousness, right? You're just looking at your life with no judgment, no goals, no nothing, just inner peace.

Yes, observing it all. And that's where you take your power back of saying, Oh, okay, I've done things this way.  Based on past traumas, beliefs, education, you name it. Yeah, exactly. I love that. Now I'm going to change it. Yeah.  Yeah. Yeah. Beautiful. Beautiful. So let's, let's go deeper here. Cause you talked about, this is my job.

This is what I love to do. Let's talk about your job, the word negotiation, and you've been involved in hundreds. Thousands of negotiation scenarios, high stakes, low stakes, medium stakes. This is so,  so juicy. I have two greedy questions because one wasn't enough. You know, the first one is related to that quote by Mike Tyson, which I love, and I'm, I'm sure you you've experienced it in your daily life.

You have a plan.  Everyone has a plan till they are punched in the mouth.  So talk to us about a one time, because I know your stuff is very discreet and confidential. You know, you can skip the names or not. If you are allowed to talk about it, we love learning. Talk to us about a time when a negotiation completely went topsy turvy, completely belly up. 

Tell us about what you learned when you went back home and you were getting ready to go to bed and you were remembering, oh my gosh, this lesson from today.  And I still remember this 

lesson.  Yeah.  Oh, there, there, there have been many. Let me share one. Okay. So this was, I was working at the stock exchange and it was a moment in time where the regulations were changing and competitors were allowed to enter the market without being a regulated market.

So without going into too much details, bottom line,  I was. Running a business that if this competitor were to enter the business, we would lose market share massively. Like the P& L would like a snowball completely go away.  So we thought about, okay, how can we find a solution? How can we collaborate with this party?

And we thought about it a lot and discussed it internally. And I had conversations with my CFO saying, okay, what can we do? And I negotiated internally first, a budget and a strategy of saying, okay, we're going to collaborate with them. This is what we're going to offer them. And it was this whole beautiful proposition of saying, let's join forces instead of compete so that everybody benefits, including the end investor. 

So we prepare all this and then I discussed it with the CEO in Amsterdam and I said, you know, can I use your office to propose? Can you come with me? Can we do this together so that we really show that we value the client, et cetera.  So he says, yes, sure. So 

he leaves  and there I am  offering this beautiful deal that we've worked on for months and you're like, this is fantastic. Nobody's going to refuse this.  And I noticed that he's barely listening. It's just looking around. Looking at the ceiling, looking at the beautiful building,  and then he says, yeah, sure.

Okay. Thank you. I'll discuss it internally.  All right. Did you understand what I'm offering you? Like this is fantastic. Once in a lifetime opportunity.  And he was barely listening. So he left and I was like, okay, and then we, we hardly heard anything from him. Like,  so until today, I still don't know why he came to that meeting.

Oh  man, oh man. He knew he wasn't going to do it anyway. But then. And I realized based on his body language and the way he was not paying attention that he was not interested at all. So immediately I, I called the head of the business and I said, guys, change of strategy. This is not going to work. And this is what we're going to do.

And then long story short we shifted a lot of things and, and, and, and found a solution. But this was a, this was a humbling lesson of, yes. Don't stay so focused on what you think is the right solution, on what you think is a beautiful opportunity, until you have understood what the other person is saying. 

But the other party 

wants, yeah, don't be too attached. We need to practice a little bit of detachment. 

It is constantly in sales and stuff, right? People are so focused on their own product or their own service. And they, in love, in love, 

in love, my, my solution, I'm in love. And, and don't tell me that it's not beautiful because I made it.

So.  Exactly. So this was a beautiful lesson for me of saying, I'm not going to waste time at all in preparing a solution until I have truly understood the need of the other party. So the need is not what they say they want.  The need is what they don't tell you, but what they actually need.  

The need is what they don't say.

It's between the lines. Yeah. Yeah. So important. So important. I feel like it kind of partly answers the part B of my question, which 


the  People, you know, everyone asks you, you go to parties, you go to cocktails, I'm sure you get, you know, it's like a doctor, you go to a doctor, go somewhere. He's always asked, Hey, you know, my elbow.

Can I 

just show you this?  

So with you, when people are saying, how can I improve my negotiation skills? What is that one piece of advice that you see yourself losing? You are giving it over and over, but People don't like hearing it.  

Yeah. I said it even this morning in a keynote. I said, it's not about me teaching you how to negotiate better. 

It's all about you becoming a better negotiator.  Switch the question. Don't ask how do I negotiate better? If that's your question, I'll tell. 

Is how do I become a better negotiator? How do I incarnate all the skills needed to be a good negotiator and become that version so that it's not just a plug and play in a certain situation. It's not just sales negotiation or procurement or whatever it is that you're doing, you become a better negotiator.

And that's why you negotiate better in every single circumstance with anybody. With your children, with your spouse, with your doctor, with your neighbor, with anybody you're negotiating with, because we all negotiate constantly every single day. When you do it better, that means you have the skills.

That's how you become a better negotiator. And here is the bonus, Sanal.  When you become a better negotiator, you become a better human being.  Why is that? Say it louder. Because look at all the skills. Look at all the skills that you need to become an excellent negotiator.  Things like empathy knowing how to come to agreement.

So having that Sorry, I'm going to start over,  so this will need to be edited as well. Okay.  So  why do I say that? Because look at all the skills that we need to be great negotiators. Things like empathy,  knowing how to understand what somebody else needs, even if they're Yeah.  Yeah.  Active listening is a big one as well. 

And what does this other party say, need, ask from me, reading in between the lines, profiling, understanding who am I dealing with? You cannot negotiate the same way with somebody who is extremely empathetic or with somebody who is a narcissist.  Yeah. We need to adapt to who we are negotiating with. And all these other million skills that you need to be a good negotiator.

When you master these, you automatically become a better human being because you're better in tuned with your own needs, you're better tuned with other needs, and your goal is to come to an agreement. 

From a disagreement to an agreement, it's not the goal itself. You don't negotiate for the sake of negotiating, you negotiate for the sake of coming to an agreement or ethically deciding you don't want an agreement because a non agreement in this situation is better for you than an agreement.  So negotiation is the tool to resolve conflict. 

And once you understand that and you realize that we all have conflicts constantly, you know, like lit from little disagreements to, to, to big world wars, yes, yes. When we know how to resolve conflict, yes, the world becomes more peaceful. We become more peaceful internally. Like, I don't think I've ever been as calm  from the inside. 

I lost you there. I, I have, I don't think I've ever been as calm as  I don't think I've ever been as calm  as now, you know, they, they, I shared this on LinkedIn the other day. They talk about midlife crisis. I call it midlife calmness. I love that. I quoted it to a client yesterday and I sent her your, I sent her your post because I was like, why does it have to be a bad thing?

Why does it have to be a crisis? Why? Why can't it be a more aha, right? Like I get it. I didn't get it in my twenties and thirties. I get it now. And it's never too late. Right. So I love that. But there's a reason, right? They call it midlife. It takes some years of life experience. It takes some knocking your head against heartaches to learn.

Kissing a few frogs. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that this part is so important. So if you're. As a listener, you're driving, you're exercising, you're folding your laundry, whatever you're doing, just pause this part and rewind and listen to it again. Because what,  Luzine, what you said was so important.

A  better negotiator is a better human being. It's just automatic. It's a beautiful consequence of, of, of that. And you don't have to be, pardon my French, but You don't have to be an asshole to negotiate and to be on top and to show that you're successful. You can just do it by being a nice person. 

Beautiful. Luzine, this conversation has absolutely flown and I've loved every single minute of it and I'm kind of heartbroken that we've come close to the end.  And I have this one question I have. I ask every guest when you look back on your career,  is there one standout  defining moment that supercharged your career? 

And helped you to inch a little closer to your 

current success.  Yes, I would say it was the moment where I realized that I don't have to  do things that I don't want to do.  The track, follow the track.  Yeah. How did that realization 

happen? Lousin, was it automatic? Like 

you, you know, did you get slapped?

Yeah, exactly. It was just, you know, being stubborn enough to go on and on and on and on while I didn't want to, and just not listening to myself until finally realizing, wait a second, I do have a choice, you know, and I'm not saying that if you're not happy with your job, leave, you know, that's, that's such easy nonsense social media advice.

Irresponsible. It's irresponsible sometimes, I would say. It's nonsense, but. If you're doing a job  that you don't like,  what you can immediately do is already change the way you look at it. Because there is a reason why you're doing the job. It might be to feed your family. It might be because you're working towards something else.

It might be because right now 

for what it is and take the benefits of the job that it's giving you. So when you shift the way you look at it, you will already be able to live with it better. So that mindset shift can be one change, or you do have the courage of saying enough is enough.  I am going to do something else and you don't have to be dramatic about it.

You can start a side hustle. You can start by updating your LinkedIn. You can start by making your CV better, something, but that will get you in motion of saying whichever situation I'm in right now is temporary  because I'm working towards this new. Situation and then you can live with it longer and better because you know, your goal is somewhere else.

And with that new perspective, that will give you energy to, to sit it out as beautiful, beautiful. I love that. And speaking of, you know, do something CV, Linton, I'll definitely make sure I link. Your LinkedIn profile, your YouTube channel. You have a newsletter as well. 

Luzine that goes out. No, I don't do anything online.

I just share stuff on LinkedIn and LinkedIn 

and YouTube. And I love that when you have 

a website, 

you don't have a website, but I love that. When you said side hustle starts for, you know, you're kind of practicing it. You're not making it complicated because there are people who will, you know, you're starting something.

People will tell you hire a web designer. It'll cost you 10, 000 euros. Go make a website. You don't need all of that stuff and look where you are today. And you've done that without. I've 

never had a website. I've never had a website. All my clients.  Yeah. 

No, I love that. I think it's overrated. And I have a simple website that is literally homemade you know, stitched 

together with glue.

No, I don't have a website. Nothing. You don't need a website. You need to know yourself and you need to know  what it is that you're after and it doesn't even have to be precise and know that you can change it every single moment. Every single day. If you don't like it anymore, you change, you know, you make changes.

Whatever, like, you know, I've been doing so many negotiation trainings and I realized that when I give a keynote, which is just like 45 minutes, one hour, I love that so much. You know, when there's a big audience and we can connect all everybody's brains and make an interactive session. I love that so much that this year I've decided, okay, I'm going to go more in on the keynotes. 

Yes. Yes. 

Full in with the small group. Which is also fine, but I want more  diversity in that. So, you know, you keep changing because you don't know what you don't know. And you only know by doing it, by feeling it, by making mistakes, by failing. And that's the beauty of life. Like, I think we take life, and this is an advice I would give my younger self, I was taking life way too seriously.

Like, guys, it's not that, that complicated. It's not that complex. Like, we make it complex. Like, get rid of all those. It's All those thoughts of what other people wanted you to be, how you think you should be, all those limiting beliefs about where you're supposed to be, how you're supposed to be, how you're supposed to dress, how you're supposed to talk, like, forget about all that.

Strip all that away. Who is left? Who are you really? And what is your soul craving? Like, what do you, what do you need? Yeah. Focus on your needs. And that's the number one thing in a negotiation. Before you go into any negotiation, ask yourself, what do I need? Why am I negotiating? Why am I even? Why? You know, making all this effort.

What is it that you need? And then satisfy that need in the most simple way. Simple way. Don't overdo it. That will get the traction you need. Like, just step by step, chill. Like, I'm literally talking to myself right now.  No, I love that. Sweat the small stuff. I feel like I ask you one thing and I get these bonus answers back.

So this is perfect. This is perfect for the greedy podcaster that I am. So You always sign your LinkedIn posts with love and motivation. And I feel like today you literally  practiced it with us. You literally left us. I'm feeling  coming from my computer screen. I'm feeling this love and motivation.

So, Lousin, I will make sure I, I, I link all, you know, your YouTube, your LinkedIn  into the show notes. Thanks. And. All of us collectively listening today wish you continued success. You're doing such amazing work and you and I were chatting offline just before we started. You know, just before we pressed record.

We need more voices in this space. We need more women in this space and we need people who look. all shades, right? And not one type of person who looks like they are successful in this personal professional development space. And I'm so happy that you're here and I'm so happy that we had this conversation and wish you continued success.