Asking - A Mindset

Successful Relating:
Fulfillment through Connection and Community
Alice Vlietstra, Ph.D.  Editor                                                                                                  June - July, 2008

Asking - A Mindset

In this issue:
1. Welcome
2. Asking - A Matter of Perspective
3. Let's Make a Deal
4. The Collaborative Mindset
5. Announcements

1. Welcome

 Welcome to Successful Relating, a free e-newsletter for tips on relationship success. In June, in Saint Louis, we hosted a workshop, "Celebrating Men,
Satisfying Women," led by a great presenter, Pete Farmer.  In this workshop, we, as women, had an opportunity to discover the differences in how men and women think. 

After a day of learning about the differences, a panel of four men came in for an hour to answer our questions. One woman said, "If I had not seen it, I would not have believed it."   Yes, it was really true. The differences were real and it gave
us a whole new view of our relationships with men. Most important, it was one
in which women could ask, and men were glad to provide.

This whole topic has brought up so many juicy issues that I have decided
to put two e-newsletters into one, so this is for June and July.    
      
2. Asking - A Matter of Perspective

In the last e-newsletter we discovered from the work of Babcock and Laschever
(2003) that frequently, women don't ask.  As a consequence, women often feel under appreciated, overburdened, and bring in less income than they would like. Even more, we discovered that not asking can lead to a pattern that is detrimental to our relationships. It is far better to ask, than to become frizzled and frazzled, put ourselves in a stew.

Asking may be a matter of perspective.  The workshop by Pax Programs,
"Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women,"  transforms women's relationships with
men by presenting the differences in point of view.  Pax Programs also has workshops that help men understand women. Instead of being adversaries, accepting the differences leads to trust, collaboration and partnership.

For example, the women discovered that when requests are made to men in a way that is clear, specific and to the point, it is much easier for the men to
understand and respond to what the women want.  In fact, this is something men are glad to provide.  It also reflects relationships of equality.

3.  Let's Make a Deal 

Workshops such as these help us move beyond old patterns of relating that
are governed by roles, to ones that honor the perspectives of individuals as well
as relationship needs.  The partnering orientation that results, is not only important for personal relationships but for business as well. It requires negotiation and the ability to make a deal.   

Perspective-taking is important for successful negotiation. In May, The
Economist reported research looking at the difference between perspective-taking and emotional empathy in working out successful deals. Most people believe t hat appreciating the other is important, but do not distinguish between
perspective-taking and empathy. They are not the same. 

Perspective-taking is the cognitive power to consider the world from someone else's viewpoint.  Empathy is the power to connect with them emotionally. Results showed that even when one negotiator had perspective-taking abilities, it produced a better overall outcome for both sides, than did empathy alone. In fact, a large amount of empathy could even impair people's ability to make a deal.

Author, Dr. Galinsky says "You want to understand what the other person's
interests are, but you do not want to sacrifice your own interests. This is the
essence of equality in partnering.    

4. A Collaborative Mindset 

A critical aspect of asking successfully is a win-win mindset that collaborates on
strengths. Positive emotion broadens our attention and builds upon the past.
When we are happy we are much more likely to share resources to include the needs of others. This is contrasted with adverserial win-lose approaches based on  scarcity and emotions such as anger and fear.

Changing one's mindset is more than gaining new information.  It also helps
in clearing old patterns, preparing for new actions, and overcoming hesitation.
To facilitate this process, I have set up a workshop for women, "Secrets to
Wealth and Wisdom: Asking for What You Want." See the announcement below.

5.  Announcements

 For Women:  Secrets to Wealth and Wisdom: Asking For What You Want.   August 16, 2-5 PM. It will be held at "A Gathering Place," 12131 Dorsett Road, Ste 101, in Maryland Heights, MO. 63043. Email me for a flyer if you have not already received one.

I will be on vacation the next two weeks.  I wish you a happy Fourth of July.

To Your Relationship Success,

Dr. Alice 

Resources:

Babcock, Linda and Laschever, Sara.  Women Don't Ask, Princeton N. J.: 
Princeton University Press, 2003.

Galinsky, Adam  Inside a Deal. The Economist, May, 2008.

Armstrong, Alison: Pax Program Workshops  "Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women," and "Understanding Women."  See www.understandingmen.com.


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© Copyright 2008 Alice Vlietstra.  All rights reserved. The above material is copyrighted but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is added or deleted, including the contact information.  However, you may not copy it to a web site without my permission.

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