It's what happens after the 'aha moment' that matters

When we taught our first online course nearly four years ago, we had no idea that the experience would be transformational for the women who attended. Victoria and I were running our own separate businesses and we thought we'd combine our expertise and offer a class or two and go our separate ways.

After the first session of our first online course, we hung up from the call and got right back on the phone to download what just happened. I remember saying something like, "Holy !@#! this is powerful."

Women were waking up and having AHA moments that changed everything in their personal and professional lives. We had no choice but to launch She Negotiates.

But what happens after AHA? 

Practice. How many times have you attended a personal or professional development workshop that lit your hair on fire in a good way, only to return to life as usual? You run on the steam of your AHA for a few days or weeks and then it recedes into the background and gets trampled by the chatter of busyness.

Knowing this, we handpicked a small group of our students and formed a mastermind group. Every week for three months they practiced, and made themselves accountable for applying the learning in their everyday lives. To this day, Cali Yost,Whitney Johnson, Chrysula Winegar and Judy Martin are rocking their careers with the tools they learned. They've negotiated book deals, refined their businesses, and to a woman, the transformation was made real by consistent practice.

That initial experience also informed how we train inside organizations and businesses -- we insist that the learning be followed up with small practice groups. 

Just the other day, mediator Linda Gryczan, a student in one of our subsequent masterminds, emailed us and affirmed what practicing can yield:

Today I negotiated almost $1,000 off on a fancy new mountain bike.  

In an industry with low markups, where prices areusually not negotiable, the shop owner agreed to upgrade some parts at wholesale prices, take $90 off if I paid by check, and extend end of season warehouse savings.   

It was a fun conversation for both of us.   

Yesterday, I had a mediation client who was very angry with me about my rates. We had a reasonable discussion about why I charge what I do & the work that goes into a mediation.  I acknowledged that she felt taken, & at the end she recommended paying $5 less than she owed to make it easy to split the charge with the other party. I handled this very differently that I would have in the past.   

I am so appreciating what i learned from the two of you.

Curiously, when men negotiate, it's a transaction. When women negotiate, it's transformation--we make choices that change history. We bring our natural creative capacities to mend fences, knock down walls, and bridge moats. We teach, heal, feed, mend, fix, and nurture. We create, design, empower and transform.

Gratitude, all.