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Key Takeaways

  • Emotional intelligence is crucial for effective conflict resolution and negotiation. Understanding and managing emotions can lead to more authentic and productive outcomes in personal and professional interactions.
  • Adopting a compassionate approach in negotiations and decision-making promotes collaboration and long-term, sustainable solutions. Moving away from a solely competitive mindset to one that asks, “What would love do now?” can transform interactions and outcomes.
  • Educating and empowering individuals, especially children and those in vulnerable situations, to recognize and resist emotional manipulation is vital. Raising awareness and fostering self-confidence can help individuals navigate and overcome toxic relationships and environments.
  • Addressing and overcoming fears, particularly those that manipulate emotions or hinder personal growth, are essential steps toward living authentically and courageously. Differentiating between protective and paralyzing fears can lead to significant personal transformation.
  • Success in negotiations and conflict resolution is not measured solely by the outcomes of high-profile cases but by the emotional and personal impact on the lives of individuals involved. Authenticity, emotional connection, and facilitating transformative change are key to meaningful success.
  • Everyday actions and interactions provide opportunities to foster peace and kindness. Being proactive in creating positive changes in small ways can lead to broader societal transformations. Personal change is seen as a catalyst for wider societal change.

Executive Summary:

Hi folks! Welcome back to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Steve Alban Tineo, CEO of Assertive Group and a distinguished figure in negotiation and crisis management. 

In Part A, Steve shared his journey from facing early adversities to becoming a globally recognized negotiator. He discussed pivotal moments, such as his initial foray into finance, mentorship experiences, and high-stakes negotiations that shaped his career. 

Furthermore, Steve emphasized the importance of humility, continuous learning, and authenticity in negotiation, alongside his significant contributions to financial structuring and humanitarian efforts. If you haven’t checked out Part A, we strongly recommend that you do so before checking this one out. 

Now, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Elevating Conflict Management Skills Through Emotional Intelligence And Authentic Interactions

Firstly, Steve discusses his approach to conducting conferences aimed at individuals seeking to improve their conflict management skills from good to great. He emphasizes the importance of emotional awareness and authentic interaction, highlighting that his conferences attract a diverse audience, including senior executives, diplomats, and Formula One drivers. 

Steve’s methodology focuses on self-awareness, understanding human capital, and the significance of emotional intelligence in negotiation and conflict resolution. He shares insights from his experiences, including working with Ukrainian special forces, to illustrate the practical application of these principles. 

Steve argues that real success in negotiations and conflict resolution comes from addressing the underlying emotional aspects and promoting collaboration and authenticity.

Choosing Compassion Over Competition In Decision-Making

Next, Steve responds to Aram’s inquiry about the practical application of emotional intelligence in decision-making and communication, particularly in situations where people’s natural inclination might be to avoid or dismiss emotions. 

He highlights the importance of choosing happiness over being right and introduces the concept of ethical negotiation. He suggests asking oneself, “What would you love to do now?” to foster a more compassionate and collaborative approach to negotiation, moving away from ego-driven desires to be right.

Steve argues for a vision beyond the traditional win-win scenario, advocating for a broader perspective that seeks to preserve human civilization rather than just individual gains. He highlights the need for humility and empathy, especially in conflict resolution, and discusses the importance of understanding underlying fears and interests to address issues more effectively.

Steve also discusses emotional intelligence’s role in fostering an ethical, abundant society, noting studies show women often excel in cooperative and collaborative emotional intelligence aspects.

He concludes by advocating for a balanced approach between capitalism and socialism, emphasizing the potential to create a better society through more compassionate and ethical practices.

The Vision For Peace Initiative’s Holistic Approach To Supporting Children And Vulnerable Populations

Moving on, Nolan asks Steve about the Vision for Peace Initiative, including its objectives and how it plans to support children and vulnerable individuals.

The latter responds by highlighting its commitment to supporting children and vulnerable populations. The initiative originated from a recognition of the widespread issue of harassment and domestic violence, challenges that persist even in affluent societies like Switzerland. 

To address these issues, Steve and his wife, Sonia, created a show aimed at raising awareness and empowering potential victims. The show, featuring Sonia conversing with her consciousness across four different age categories, addresses the journey out of a toxic relationship towards self-awareness, punctuated by 14 songs. This creative approach aims to instill self-confidence in individuals, preparing them to recognize and respond to emotional manipulation and toxicity.

Beyond the focus on individual empowerment, Steve also mentions his ongoing involvement in humanitarian negotiation, offering support to NGOs and other organizations engaged in conflict resolution. He boasts a high success rate in these endeavors, underscoring the value of neutralizing emotions to facilitate resolution. Steve’s work extends to collaborating with lawyers and companies to de-escalate emotionally charged disputes, highlighting the broader applicability of his conflict resolution skills.

He aspires to inspire others to become peacemakers, emphasizing that peace is a personal choice and can be pursued in everyday interactions and conflicts. By educating people on handling conflicts constructively, Steve believes in the potential for creativity and diverse perspectives to emerge from disagreements. His long-term goal is to continue promoting these values and skills, contributing to a more peaceful world.

Confronting Fears And Emotional Manipulation

Steve also discusses the metaphor of “swimming with sharks” to address fear and emotional manipulation, drawing from a powerful personal experience. He recounts a moving conference moment in Paris with 350 kids where a bullied boy’s story inspired him to publicly confront fears by singing onstage with his wife, Sonia.

This act symbolized facing real fear and served as a tribute to those battling their fears daily. Steve explains that sharks underwater are not inherently dangerous to humans unless provoked or if humans display behavior that triggers their predatory instincts. He parallels this with negotiations, where appearing as prey can incite predatory behavior from the other party. 

Steve developed a program called “Theories in Your Mind Only” to help people differentiate between natural, protective fears and mental fears that create paralyzing narratives. He emphasizes the importance of understanding and confronting these fears, as they often are exaggerated by our minds and not reflective of reality.

Additionally, Steve encourages questioning what one would do if all their fears were neutralized, suggesting that many would change their lives dramatically. The aim is to help individuals recognize and overcome the fear that holds them back, whether it’s fear of rejection, not being loved, or failing. By doing so, Steve hopes to empower people to live as their complete, unafraid selves rather than a version constrained by fear or societal expectations. 

Steve’s Journey From Personal Failure To Profound Success In Transforming Lives

Next, Steve reflects on his negotiation experiences, sharing insights from both a failure and success perspective.

#1 Greatest Negotiation Failure:

Steve considers his greatest negotiation failure to be with himself. In his youth, despite being warned by people around him that he was seeking social recognition in the wrong places and ignoring his inner purity, he did not listen. This led him to a dark place where he contemplated ending his life. The failure, he emphasizes, was not in a professional setting but in not negotiating correctly for his own well-being and not heeding the wisdom of those around him.

#2 Negotiation Success:

Contrary to what might be expected of a negotiation success, Steve’s proudest moments do not come from high-profile cases but from emotionally significant interactions, particularly involving children. He recounts instances where he negotiated in situations involving abducted children by a parent, highlighting the emotional connection and gratitude expressed by the children and their families afterward. 

Another profound moment came from a negotiation with a powerful individual who, behind closed doors, expressed vulnerability and a desire to do the right thing despite being surrounded by political maneuvering. The real success for Steve lies in touching lives and facilitating transformative change on a personal level, far beyond the scope of any formal negotiation.

Through sharing these experiences, Steve underscores the profound impact of emotional connection and authenticity in negotiations. The true measure of success, for him, lies in the ability to facilitate change and positively affect others’ lives, emphasizing the human element in all interactions.

Fostering Peace And Kindness Through Everyday Negotiations And Interactions

Towards the end, Steve imparts a powerful message on the concept of karma and its role in negotiations and everyday interactions. He explains that karma, meaning action, emphasizes the importance of being proactive in fostering peace and kindness in all areas of life, not just during significant negotiations or events. 

Additionally, Steve encourages listeners to become peacemakers in their daily lives, whether in their company, community or even in simple acts of kindness toward strangers. This approach to life and negotiation is grounded in the belief that personal change fosters broader societal change, embodying humility, resilience, and strength.

Steve shares personal anecdotes to illustrate his commitment to helping others and the joy it brings him, whether the motivation is purely altruistic or occasionally seeks acknowledgment. He stresses the importance of humility in learning from others, highlighting that seeking wisdom and guidance with genuine humility often leads to valuable lessons and growth.

The discussion concludes with Steve’s invitation to the hosts to attend his conferences, reflecting his engaging and inclusive approach to sharing his insights on negotiation and life philosophy. The overarching theme of the conversation is the transformative power of kindness and the impact of individual actions on creating a more peaceful and collaborative world.

Steve, Aram, and Nolan discuss more on this episode of the NEGOTIATEx podcast. Write to us at team@negotiatex.com and share your thoughts on this informational podcast episode. Also, if you enjoyed the episode, we’d be thrilled if you could rate us on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us grow and improve.

Thank you for your time!


Nolan Martin : Hey everyone, thanks for joining us on the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Steve Alban Tineo, CEO of Assertive Group. If you haven't already checked out part A of the show, be sure to do that first. Let's jump into the conversation with Steve.

NM : You offer a series of conferences for individuals seeking to go from good to great as they manage conflict. In the past, these conferences have brought together senior executives, diplomats, formula one drivers, and many other leaders. What do your upcoming conferences cover and why should someone consider participating?

From Conflict To Collaboration: The Power Of Emotional Awareness (01:13)

Steve Tineo : Because I'm super charismatic. I'm amazing, and I am super onboard. Look, the conferences I give, I had one this morning, which I really liked. I sat down in front of this group of people, they were all very skilled and talented people and I said, “You know guys, you are all very clever and smart and I don't think that I have anything that I can just bring you like this, that I know better than you.” And I went to the first one, I hit his hand and I say, start with the first question. And we had such a moment of authenticity altogether that was actually very inspiring. That's what people need. They need more space where they can openly be themselves and less where they're just going to learn the theory about life, which, who am I really to tell them how they should do their life.

So in the question you have asked, you say that it's brought together senior executives, diplomats, and everything. It's not exactly the case. I worked in different environments, then I kind of brought them together because I take Formula One drivers to come at conferences and explain their vision of how they handle their own situation. But it's, more what I really like is if I ask you guys, when you tell me, Nolan, you are a negotiator.

Most of the people would say, what are you negotiating? And it's actually a funny question because you don't know. You can negotiate everything. What you're negotiating is the human capital, the human aspect. And so when I do a conference or with what we have is we, know yourself first or we talk about all the kind of, well, sickness, pathologies, manipulation lines. We talk about everything and through the others and about yourself.

It's just what am I actually teaching people, a way back to their own consciousness, a way to their own self, which in society, if you look at the few speakers in the US, you have some amazing speakers that we like it or not, you have a different kind of mentality with the Simon Sinek, Tony Robbins and everything, which we don't have in Europe. We're all smaller groups and these guys are amazing. And when you think about it, just read, they all have one thing in common. They're not exactly telling you what to do. They're telling you how you should start to be yourself and then do the things you're trying to do.

And this is what we've done with that little KYS and in all of these conferences, is normally when people go out of the conferences we give, and I think on the bio I've sent you, I've selected six very specific subjects for this year. Normally they have to be inspired and a little bit challenged to say, oh, I didn't like myself these questions and then we can really enter something.

When you go out of something and you're like, okay, right, I know what is a BATNA, I know what is this kind of, yeah, you don't fail now it's okay. Right in that situation. And I treat them, I had videos, I have things where they fail and they don't fail because I want them to fail. One of the exercise I did with I was in Ukraine training the special forces of the region at the border of war, the front lines. And these people, they have a very specific agenda.

Now, soldiers, Ukrainian, kind soldiers coming from the front lines, they come back into a weekend of retreats, they can calm down, but they have the trauma of war. So they go into bars, they have all of this anger that needs to go out, they take a few drinks and they take their guns and they go creating comfort. So you police officer there, you need to neutralize someone, which is one of your soldier, is on your side. He's a kind guy being wounded. Do you shoot it? It was very, very difficult. So I needed actually to provoke them to actually make them see something different.

The first thing that I did, it's a very specific, very simple exercise. I put them all facing each other and they had to do arm wrestling. And so they started and after 30 seconds I said that the team or the person that would make the more points would win. So they were all fighting each other. And then suddenly at the end I took one and I said, why don't we just work together? Do you want to make points? Okay, let me do. And then we did and we score points.

It's simple. I've learned that in the negotiation program in the US, but they felt really upset because the thing is naturally we don't go into collaboration. The guy who is angry, if you hurt me, I will be angry. I'm communicating with you. You've touched that emotional part. And so what I try to do in these conferences, it's to open them up emotionally and then you bring the rationale. Because if I bring the rationale without you feeling it, then I'm just one guy amongst plenty of other guys. And that's maybe where that work with that emotional intelligence, which is not only, I've studied emotion, expression of emotion. So it's separates to emotional intelligence, but it goes close. But there's a little bit of everything in emotional intelligence. It's actually very important.

And I give you one example. Remember last time you had the heart broken because your girlfriend left? You might be a few years ago, but just remember the pain. Your best friend would come and, we tell you, Hey, in French we say, when you've lost one, you get ten back and you try to go to the rationale of people. But if someone would tell you that when you have the pain, you cannot receive it, actually it creates anger and say don't minimize my pain. But it's the same in a divorce, it's the same in a war, it's the same in everything. We all have an interest behind which is an emotional interest and especially in conflict resolution, or even a narcissistic.

He has an interest behind, he has something emotional that was broken because the non-recognition of his father of whatever. And if you don't go and find that emotional interest, then you might actually miss completely the situation. Because if I'm angry against you, it might not be because of the rational thing you say, it might be because of something else, the emotionality. And so many times we have a lot of negotiators, they come out of negotiation day one and they're like, I don't know, something is wrong.

I don't feel good. It was not a good day. It was not a good negotiation, because their interest because something was too easy because they feel they've been manipulated, something emotional it's not aligned. And that's what I try to cover in these conferences. It's more about this emotionality you say it in English, this emotional intelligence around everything we do. So that's the reason why you should absolutely come and see how it happens.

Aram Donigian : So Steve, you were just mentioning the importance of an emotional intelligence on our decision-making communication skills. I can imagine that is really tough to do in practice when the natural inclination for someone might be to avoid those emotions or dismiss them altogether. So what is your advice, coaching and training to actually get people to lean into emotions?

Negotiation As Collaboration, Not War (08:39)

ST : Yes. See, I hope you have the next two hours because that's going to be a long answer. Now let me try, go step by step. Sonia, my wife, she wrote a wonderful sentence in the book we wrote together, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” She got that from an American book, which I think in French is called [inaudible]. I don't know the name in English. So whenever you go into a complex negotiation, there's really your ego wanting to be right and then there's the rest.

So do I really want to be right is one of the first question I ask. Then the second question, if there's a conflict or if it's important, I ask a second question. Say, what would love do now? So Imagine that I can crush you, I can manipulate you. I see that you're less whatever or that you're toxic and that I can do something. Being an ethical negotiator, this is how we call assertive. It's actually to really try to put things into perspective.

The logo of vision for peace, it's W3 today we cannot do win-win anymore. If you win, I win and one of us is starving. It doesn't make sense anymore. We have to save, not the world. The world would by definition to state itself, but we need to save the human race or civilization.

So when I approach all of these subjects, I just try to look at how is the person in front and I say something which I might be wrong, but the most emotional intelligence of the person in a conflict for example, should be the most humble of the two. If I know that you're really wounded and I see that during a depressive state, do I want to poke you where it hurts or do I want to take the intelligence to calm everything down? So this is key to what we do in conflict resolution because war it's about wanting to be right. And I'm not going to go into the subject of war, but if you look how the European Union have behaved towards Russia, you understand why Russia closed all the discussions and collaboration and went into war. And it's not the only reason, it's just that there's always much more than just a good and a bad. There's always many different aspects.

We say that a misunderstanding, it's a misspoken and a misheard and it's quite important to say just to understand the situation with a little more than emotional intelligence. If someone you see is bargaining and trying to, what is this stake behind what is this interest? Is it because it didn't make his numbers because he's afraid of being fired? Because there's always other questions. What is the fear behind the fear? What is the argument behind the argument? And when you start becoming emotional intelligence, which we all have that emotional intelligence, we would say that some people are maybe more empathetic than others, but we should always consider the other ones.

And honestly, if I would win at the detriment of someone, then my feeling would not be good. I would feel like it maybe a little bit as a crook. It doesn't mean that I would not take it, but I would not go and hurt the person because they didn't see or because of his background didn't learn something.

So this is actually key when you see how the world has to be changed. MIT came out with a wonderful, the Union College. They came out with a wonderful study. They studied that women have two more emotional intelligence than men, which is cooperation and collaboration and it's proven. They gave difficult task to be handled by a group of women only. They would always succeed faster and better than women and men and than men. And it exists, emotional intelligence as Goldstein developed it, but there's plenty of subjects about this. That kind of emotion exists. The World Economy Forum, put it in the top 10 skills that we have to have for the future is actually emotional intelligence.

When you sit in front of someone and you realize that the person might be dysfunctional or might be hurt or might be sad or might be depressive or might be whatever or might be actually narcissistic or maybe you are the one dysfunctional, you can handle the situation differently and honestly with the quality of life that you can have when you start becoming very ethical, abundance doesn't mean taking away from someone. There's equation when you can respect the person and you can still be abundant. And I tell you, I'm absolutely not on the socialist side, I have a little capitalistic world. We make money with the money we do, we reinvest with my wife, especially in stunt programs or we'll speak about this in a minute, but it doesn't mean that we don't get, I'm absolutely not.

It's just that getting to the point where you feel you're crushing the other ones and really stealing out of the poor and that's maybe old way of doing it when we didn't have that many information about the world. Now we see a little bit, the balance. We see the poor people, we see everything. Come on with our heart, we can contribute a little more.

There's a difference between where we are now, extreme capitalism and whatever, socialism. Come on, we're all clever and intelligent. There's many ways in the middle, we can study to create a better society. I don't say it's easy, I really said it. It's possible.

NM : Absolutely. Could you tell us a bit about Vision for Peace Initiative and how you seek to support children and the vulnerable through its efforts?

The Shark Effect: How To Avoid Emotional Manipulation (14:25)

ST : Yes. So, Vision for Peace was a little bit of a bigger initiative, which I had to swallow a little bit my pride and realize that if you want to change the world, it takes a lot more than dreams and trying to convince politicians by knocking on the door and said, look, we have the equation for peace. Sonia, my wife as an author, as a singer, and she was quite famous, especially amongst youngsters because she was doing big not comedies, musicals. And so with hundred children dancing on stage and she's flying, it's really cool, not flying, but there's a cable.

So we started, she wrote a show where she speaks with her consciousness. So she's a lady or a woman. There's four different age category and she falls in love with the toxic guy and she has to go back and study herself to go out of that toxic relationship into consciousness and there's 14 songs.

So we did that really against harassment and domestic violence because in Switzerland, we are a rich country. Everything is heated, but we have the same numbers of everywhere in the world. It looks slightly better. We're seeing less homeless in the streets because it's more regulated, but it is exactly the same problem, same number of pedophiles, same number of domestic violence, same number of arrest. So here we hide these subjects, we don't want to talk about it. So we took as a responsibility to try to plant a seed of self-confidence within the possible victim. You never know when you're going to be a victim, but you know that the toxic person, is going to be exactly like diving with sharks. Maybe we'll talk about it in a minute, but you create the shark, you create the animal by your behavior.

If the narcissistic pervert comes to you, your behavior will actually make him stay and try with you or go away and you cannot really change the executioner, but you can change the vulnerable, the possible victim to just realize that there are a lot of sharks out there and they will try. We cannot stop them. Someone is going to try to rob you, someone is going to try to jump you. Someone is going to try to insult you and minimize you to make fun in front of everybody. And it's the same in the adults.

So what we try to do and talk openly about it to just realize that first her and me, we were in that category, me more for a family reason. Then her at the relationship she had with the husband and the different tricks to get into the reality just to see that there's something that is wrong, how do you correct it? And then what do you do and how you can behave and how do you rebuild yourself? And so that's the number one.

Then the second is I'm still doing a lot of humanitarian negotiation and this is my heart. Every time we can help an NGO or we can help any kind of organization around the world for a conflict, then I would immediately jump in and normally even if it would not be paid, that's the part of the contribution. I really try to have different causes and it works. If you look at a number of resolution we have, we're close to 85%.

So there's real value in neutralizing emotions and even we work with lawyers now, lawyers don't have, it's not in their job description to really go to a resolution. It might be actually to make one side win, but we have a lot of discussion with lawyers that when they see that the fight is really too emotional and that it's going to go on for two years, it might be good for the time sheet, but sometimes they would actually call us and then we would turn down the emotional aspect of it. And so I do a lot of that within companies, within partners or within, I don't do civil mediation, but just actually calming it down and then I work with mediators that would come and do the official civil one.

So that's our little participation. I would really hope that with some of the conferences that I have, I can inspire people to become peacemaker because peace is a personal choice. A lot of people ask me, I worked with, I was lucky enough, but to work with a few presidents of countries and to have one or two very high skin stuff and they all asked me, oh, how is it actually, how can I get there? And I just tell them, I did over 800 missions the past 20 years and I did all level it all kind of stuff.

And if there's a fight in the street, I'm going to go and I'm going to calm it down and this is going to be a mandate in my heart for free. But because this is what we do, if you're negotiator, mediator, you handle this kind of situation. You don't wait to make peace because you talk to with the president of Russia, that's almost impossible. But if there's a conflict in your team, there's a conflict in your family and you know how to handle it and you don't listen to your ego and you don't try to take over the person and win the argument and you really try to bend something out of respect, well you've won. You're a peacemaker. And we try to instill that in a lot of little hearts because we see a lot of very good people out there and most of the people are afraid of conflict because they don't know how to handle it because we didn't teach them how to handle it.

So we try to tell them that there's huge value within conflicts, creativity, different way of seeing the world, and we try really to inspire people that way. So I think that we have a lot of work to do. So we're good for the next 40 years.

NM : I think so. So Steve, we teased this a couple times, swimming with sharks, what's all this about?

Sharks, Bullies, And Inner Critics: Conquering Your Fears To Thrive (20:07)

ST : Actually, this is funny because I don't know exactly how it started, but there's something inside of me that was completely neutralized with fear. All of these big things I would not be afraid at all. And so one day, and I'll come back to the shark, one day we were at the conference with Sonia that was around 350 kids in Paris and she was singing and I was speaking and I was talking about diving with sharks. And so suddenly this 10 years old boys stand up, speaks in front of everybody, crying, say that he's been bullied for the past four years, that he asked help at school and in the family and nobody's helping him and that he's ready to commit suicide.

And this guy broke my heart and at the end he came to me and he said, so Steve, you actually dive with sharks, you walk with lions, so you're not afraid of everything. And I looked at the stage and I looked at Sonia, and I say, singing with Sonia would be the scariest thing I can do. By respect for you and all of us that have to fight our parents, our colleagues, our brothers, the bully at school. This is fear, this is real fear.

So I actually went on stage and now I'm singing all the shows with Sonia because by respect of all of that, because I remember when I was a broken kid, some small stuff would be so huge in my heart. So when you realize that when you go diving with sharks, sharks under water are not dangerous if you behave properly.

So if you behave like a prey, they will behave like predator. That's what we try to teach people. And in negotiation is the same, if you behave like prey, they behave like predator. Make a mistake with sharks, they bite you not because they want to eat you. A shark underwater is not interested in eating you unless it's a dysfunctional shark. So there's almost never shark attacks underwater unless you behave properly.

So I created this program called theories in your mind only taking people on the fence. So they actually see where is the reptilian fear that you have, which is a very natural one, the protection one, and where is the mental fear? The mental fear, which is creating that story of analyzing all the pros and cons and possibilities and making a mess in your mind, trying, making you think that you're going to die and everything. And so I was lucky enough to train with one group of the special forces in Europe to really see how your fear is impacting you.

And I try to bring it to people so they understand that the little voice they're hearing in their mind, I am not good enough. I'm never going to make it blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. This kind is better than me, especially with social media, with all of that, this judgments is actually not reality. There's plenty of things we have in our mind that we believe is reality, but it's not.

And fear is a big one. And I always ask them the question, what would you do today if you would neutralize all your fear? And people would say, I would change my life in an instant. And it's like, let's go. Because the world needs you as a pure complete human being and not just a scared version of yourself when you become a lawyer because your parents wanted you to be a lawyer and you're afraid to disappoint them. And it's okay if you do it, no judgment.

But behind the fear with the almost ‘Sapiens Sapiens’ there's the double what is the fear behind the fear? And it's the fear of rejection, fear of not being loved, fear of dying, plenty of fears, that these ones are reptilious. Let's just neutralize the first one. And you can be underwater with sharks and you just realize that these guys are not interested in you. They are not. You just need to behave properly. Like in any corporation, if you're toxic underwater and you move too fast or you call you back, yeah, the shark is going to change his behavior. This is the same in a corporation. This is the same in a negotiation. If I jump on you in a negotiation trying to show that I'm better than you, then you might hurt me or you might want to hurt me.

And it's exactly the same. That's just this type of humility that I had to learn because I was the first one and I'm not lecturing anybody. I was the first one to, I always say in my conferences that I never do,the same mistake twice. I normally do it 12 or 13 times just to make sure. So that's the kind of mistakes that I've done and I've tried to learn out of all of this with all this great people, Formula One, diplomats and just to package it into something to say, “look, there's a little something in your attitude that works if you look at the mirror that way.” So that's pretty much all of what I do.

AD : You just said that you have made a mistake once or twice. You have such a wealth of experiences. Would you mind sharing what you consider maybe to be your greatest or one of your greatest negotiation failures and what you learned from that? And then we'll let you redeem yourself by maybe sharing a negotiation success and what was key to achieving it? So a failure and then a success.

Negotiating With Heart: When Tears Lead To Triumph (25:08)

ST : So you would be very surprised with the failure. I had a few very good people around me and they all told me when I was young that I was going in the wrong direction, that I was looking at the wrong place, that I was searching for social recognition outside and I didn't trust them. So the worst negotiation I had with myself, I never wanted to believe something that was actually purest, a little more pure inside of me, and I didn't negotiate correctly for me. And that led me on the top of that cliff to want to die. And that's the number one mistake I made. It's not listening with wisdom a little bit of the others around.

Now, honestly, the best negotiation I don't have. I'm very proud about a few things. Normally it's not the big things, is the very emotional things.

So I did many things, but it would be sometimes when it was involving children being abducted by your parents and that I would have to talk and with the parent that would've abducted it. And the relationship with the kids and how they hug you and how they send you photos after I didn't, I don't do big hostage stuff. I do strategical work with some of the international organization, but I'm not police forces. I'm not military. I do more of the relationship.

So it's mainly the small things where you've been touched by someone. I remember a few, one actually, it was a very powerful man in the country and the way when he closed the door when he took me these arms and when he cried and he say, I'm trying to do the right thing, but I'm badly surrounded. All of these people think only about politics and I don't know how to behave, and it cried in my arms. And these kind of things are very touching and they would be the best negotiation that I have done. It's actually when you know that you touch someone and you have a trigger and you change something for the wrong run and the person is back into his shoes and say, okay, I'm going to do the right thing because it feels good.

AD : I really appreciate that. And I was going to say earlier as you were talking about Vision for Peace, I just appreciate your heart so much in the work that you do. And I would say that my greatest successes too are when there's true transformative effects or change, and you get to see that and especially how kind when somebody brings you the flowers, when they let you know that you really made an impact. Thanks for sharing that.

NM : Well at NEGOTIATEx, we're focused on elevating one's ability to influence through purposeful negotiations as we wrap up with final insights, which you offer to our listeners on how they can become more effective in their daily negotiations.

Karma In Action: How Everyday Kindness Creates Change (27:42)

ST : Right, there's one word that I'm going to mention is the word karma. Karma means action. Do, you will say, don't wait for the big deal or the big negotiation or the big peace process to become a peacemaker. Be a peacemaker at every level in your company, with someone staying in your building. Just take time, study the human, help them negotiate, mediate, whatever they are, facilitate kindness. Peace is a personal choice. We change people by changing ourselves and to bringing that humility, resilience and strength. And that's very important.

My wife, she knows sometimes in the car she's like, oh, he's doing it again. If someone crash with a bike, I jump out of the car and I run and she's like, oh God, he's doing it again. This is who I am. I like helping. I like making a difference, and I like sometimes getting a compliment, but I don't mind, but sometimes I need it. So sometimes you do it for the right reason. Sometimes you do it for the wrong reason. Sometimes I want to be a superhero, sometimes I don't, and this is okay, this is okay to be imperfect, but do, try, crash, restart, urge yourself to talk.

The humility is ask questions. And I don't know any senior in my life that if I went to that person with humility and say, “Hey, would you just teach me something?” The person is proud. They would teach you something. Get from all of this, and this is the most important Karma means action, do to become whatever you want to be, but do it.

NM : Well, thanks for sharing, Steve. And Steve, thanks for joining us on the podcast. I'll turn it over to Aram for final wrap up.

AD : Yeah, there's so much here. Thank you. This last piece about change others by really focusing on myself first, I think that flows throughout the entire discussion we've had. Thank you for the humility as well.

ST : Absolutely.

AD : Hey, thanks Steve. Really appreciate you being with us

ST : Just a question, are you coming to see the conferences or did I completely discourage you?

NM : Definitely got to figure out how to get there.

ST : Okay, good. You guys are great. Thank you very much. Thank you.

NM : Well, that's it for us on today's podcast. If you haven't already, please rate review and subscribe to NEGOTIATEx podcast and we'll see you in the next episode.

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