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Life Lessons: Ryan Beedie

Emotional intelligence is the key to successful negotiations

Ryan Beedie has worked at his family’s business since 1993, when he was in his early 20s. He became president of the company in 2001 at the age of 32. The company is active in residential and commercial real estate development and management in British Columbia and Alberta.

Beedie said that over the course of his career, he has become ever more aware of the importance of being able to empathize with others and see the world through their eyes. It’s a skill, he said, that is particularly important in deal-making and negotiations.

“You have to look at what is the motivation of this person? What are they looking for –  what’s their incentive?” Beedie said.

Learning how to truly listen, and not just wait for your turn to talk, is also a vital skill.

“What are they saying, what are they not saying? Not only what they say, but what’s the motivation behind what they’re saying,” Beedie said. “When someone tells you something, don’t just take them literally. Take a step back. … Peel back the layers of the onion.”

For Beedie, developing emotional intelligence didn’t just happen overnight – “When you’re younger, it’s all about you,” he said – but he believes it’s helped him be more creative in negotiations.

“There have been all sorts of positive things I’ve done in our business in terms of partnering with different groups and really strengthening our connectivity with other organizations,” he said.

The same principles are also important in developing a strong company culture and engaging staff. 

“Get people on board, make them part of that success, part of that objective, create that unified vision, and you’re more likely to get your ultimate goal.”

On learning how to listen 

“Todd Yuen, president of our industrial division, … I learn from him all the time. He has this skill, this knack, and he genuinely cares, whether it’s an employee who comes in with concerns – he feels it. It’s not … dismissive, ‘we don’t have time for it,’ it’s the opposite: everything matters.” 

Next issue: Ravy Mehroke, owner, Bombay Brow Bar. Has a work or life challenge taught you a key career lesson? Contact Jen St. Denis at [email protected].