Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dare to Ask...

"It is a man's world...I just play in it..."

As a young child I was brought up in a traditional Indian home setting where the man got up every morning and went to earn the living and the woman stayed at home taking care of the hearth and little ones. I was accepting of the fact that one day eventually I would end up following my mother's foot steps...yet I don't know when the roads forked and I became this intensely career-focused person. Even though we talk of an emancipated society, what happens in reality (even today) is that a woman  has two roles to play - the nurturing one who takes care of the hearth and also the strong willed career person. Especially for the immigrant working mother who has her upbringing rooted in watching her traditional mother spend her entire life devoted to her home and children and her new life that she has built around a career and then family...the balancing act is even trickier....there is a constant tug of war between family and career.

Fact of the matter is most women abhor conflict and  do not aggressively pursue what is rightfully theirs...they become stuck in a complacent place, they call "career"...don't get me wrong, there is a time in our lives where that very complacency is like "comfort food"...However, as I picked up and read the first few chapters of this book "Dare to Ask..." what I realized is the following - women seldom ask, and they are not comfortable negotiating with the traditional methods outlined in the traditional negotiating books (Fisher &  Ury comes to mind)...however when negotiation becomes a "collaborative conversation" that builds on the strengths that are second nature to most women—being social, empathetic, good listeners, team players, creative problem solvers...Negotiating or Daring to Ask does not really become that Ominous or threatening.

Don't know if I will finish this book, I have definitely started reading it and it has the thinking juices running...SO, LADIES....will you Dare to Ask?

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