All of life is a negotiation. I say this often. I typically quip that the art of negotiation is about getting what you want ‘from the boardroom to the bedroom’. In fact, my newly released book has that as its tagline … Art of Feminine Negotiation: How to Get What You Want from the Boardroom to the Bedroom. And that’s true. Negotiation can enhance your personal and professional outcomes. But recently, I’ve expanded my appreciation of the breadth of this skill to recognize its inherent value on the global scene. It just may hold the key to world peace.
This point was really driven home when I was asked to keynote a Peace Pulse event for Ollin Women’s International recently. In preparing for the event, the more I read about Ollin, the more I recognized how connected our work was. They are dedicated to fostering world peace. Their peace pledge is to make peace a part of our everyday life. In exploring their member’s personal definitions of peace, it warmed my heart to see references to letting go of ego, and acknowledgements that peace can be big and small, and that before we can bring peace on the outside we need to start on the inside.
This deeply resonated with me as I’ve been on a mission to redefine and reframe conflict, success, power, and negotiation. Many of my clients ask, “Why do you call what you do negotiation training or programs? Doesn’t that push away a lot of people? What you do is so much more than that.”
I choose to focus on negotiation (notwithstanding the pushback) because I seek to raise awareness that life is a negotiation, from the micro to the macro level. Mastering this skill may be the single most important learning of your life.
We negotiate every day in a myriad of ways. Our first and most important negotiation is with ourselves … negotiating our own mindset. From there, we negotiate our relationships (with our kids, intimate partner, co-workers, service providers, or multi-million-dollar transactions). We also negotiate on the global scene (whether peace in the middle east or conflicts such as the current Russia/Ukraine debacle). The principles are the same. When you uncover how to negotiate on the micro level for your personal impact, you are equipping yourself to negotiate with much broader potential impact.
Most of my clients come to me for the professional development i.e. how to up-level their ability to get more professionally. And we do that … in spades. But the thing that most surprises them is the profound impact our work has on their personal relationships and life. And the thing I find most interesting is the extent to which many of them go on to negotiate even bigger stakes with profound ripple effects for the world (sometimes without them even realizing it).
My reframes focus on leaning in to the feminine. After much research and work on this mission, I came to believe that the solution to much of the world’s ills starts with that simple shift.
In 2020 I did a TEDx talk: Rise of the Feminine Voice as the Key to Our Future. The idea was that the world is out of balance because we’ve lost touch with our feminine. This was not a new concept but interestingly, it was still being treated as novel.
That’s surprising given that the Dalai Lama has been talking about this for at least a decade and a half. Every year, in multiple talks since at least 2007, the Dalai Lama has said:
To promote greater compassion, we must pay special attention to the role of women. … the time has come for women to take more active roles in all domains of human society, in an age in which education and the capacities of the mind, not physical strength, define leadership. This could help create a more equitable and compassionate society.
It only took a decade and a half and a global pandemic for the message to be received. COVID appears to have opened the world to a new way of thinking and new way of being. I started talking about the importance of the rise of the feminine voice many years ago. I believe the time is now.
There’s a new appreciation for the value of feminine energy … in business, in politics, and beyond. I’ve been asked to speak about the Art of Feminine Negotiation™ at business schools, law symposiums, corporate events, trade union conferences, and a few weeks ago in Greece on feminine wisdom. People are suggesting that countries with female leaders fared better during COVID. This may or may not be true, but the discussion is important because at very least, the value of feminine stock went up. Feminine traits are being recognized as key leadership skills for the first time in a long time.
To clarify a possible sticking point, when I speak of feminine, I’m not talking about gender. There’s no one way to be a woman, a man, or any of the spaces in between. We all have masculine and feminine energy. The problem is that for too long we’ve been under-valuing our ‘feminine’.
This is key as the world had shifted out of balance as both men and women eschewed their ‘feminine’ in favour of a competitive, masculine model of success. Hopefully now, we’ll see both men and women lean in to their feminine, bringing empathy to the table, seeking to build stronger relationships, not coming from a place of competition, not looking just to meet our needs, but also to understand and meet the needs of others, valuing and respecting our differences and stepping into the best of our humanity.
Imagine a world where we all negotiate life from that place of powerful feminine persuasion. Studies confirm that people who show up and invoke these so-called feminine skills in negotiating their lives get better outcomes, more creative solutions, better buy-in, less conflict, longer lasting agreements, better relationships, and more positive impact – both personally and professionally. Imagine the power of those results on the global scene.
Are you looking to up level your negotiation skills?
How to Get What You Want from the Boardroom to the Bedroom
Negotiation skills are a woman’s secret weapon.
Art of Feminine Negotiation debunks myths and multi-generational gender conditioning that have stopped women from fully stepping into their power. Uncover the unconscious biases that have limited women from becoming the biggest and best versions of themselves.
Learn the key skillsets that mark superior negotiators, explore how women already possess these skills in spades, and master how to start invoking these essential skills with intention in everyday life.