I'm Not a Unicorn - Reclaiming My Voice

Real talk: I recently went 3 months without a blog post because I felt like I’d lost my voice. My computer crashed in the midst of writing a post, and I treated it as a sign from some benevolent/horrible, technological god that I got a pass on writing…and needed to put a boatload of cash into fixing my laptop.

Do you know there are 2 million blog posts written a day? That. Is. Terrifying. My thinking after the computer crash, was “What the heck do I have to add that's so magical? I’m not a unicorn.” Well, it turns out the growing group of women who've been through my workshops, seen me speak, or just found me on the interwebs seem to wanna hear from me, and I'm excited to share.

How I Got My Mojo Back

As someone who has made a career of supporting women in finding their negotiation voice, it seemed a cruel twist of fate that I was struggling with my own voice.

Turns out, it’s not just me. Once I started talking more about it, I heard from at least a half dozen women dealing with this very challenge. A friend and badass business owner told me that her colleague recently remarked, "We’re so silly and casual at the office, why are we so formal in our blog posts?"

The desire to be seen as a credible expert with important tools to share can make it a challenge to be our playful, dynamic selves. Particularly when our personality has been edited out of our writing in academia, it can be hard to rediscover our writing voice.

The same is true for negotiations. When we’re told that women are bad at negotiations or we’re going to face negative reactions when we do negotiate, it can make it hard to be authentic in the moment.  Some clients tell me they’re concentrating so hard on remembering what to say next that they don’t listen to their counterpart. Or as other clients tell me, “I just feel like I’m gonna puke.”

How do we avoid becoming so scripted that we’re not present for the negotiation? How do we deal with the clammy hands and stomach flips?  Or in my instance, how do I turn off Policy Writing Robot Mode?  Practice. 

So This I Promise You, I’ll be here, in your inbox, more regularly. Future posts may not always come in the form of “5 Things to Make You XYZ”, but they will sound like me and reflect the exciting research I'm reading, the strategies that are working for my clients, and what I'm working through myself.

Thanks for reading and stayin’ with me!

A version of this piece was originally published by Forbes