☆ Time to shape the business rules

I still remember very clearly how, during my time in investment banking at Deutsche Bank, I understood that negotiations are conducted differently by men and women, even on an unconscious level.

That was my first job after graduation and I was the only woman among many men in our meeting room in the Bank Towers in Frankfurt. – During that meeting, there were questions about derivatives trading and some of the “biggest” floor traders were in the room. Definitely a lot of testosterone.

I noticed how the men in the negotiation room clarified their ranking shortly after entering it. This was done through gestures and facial expressions, appearance and literally taking up “space” in the sense of “taking up a lot of physical and mental space”.

I was flabbergasted and had to think how I once witnessed a cockfight in Java, Indonesia, which was organized by the men of a village. The strong stings the weak.

During our meeting in Frankfurt, most of the negotiation was also based on the hierarchical levels established in the first few minutes. In this way, competence, power and status were conveyed.

Two points, however, I took with me at the time:

1) The effect through “space” engaging behavior

2) The meaning of body language.

On the last point, I have learned a lot in the course of my professional years: If I sit at the negotiating table with my legs elegantly crossed and my hands crossed on my lap, I am perceived differently than if I speak with my legs apart and my elbows on the table. A direct eye contact that goes round means strength and power and is a different sign than tilting the head down when speaking. But to go into the room when entering it instead of standing at the doorframe, even to walk or walk towards the person opposite when speaking, if necessary, brings with it a special perception.

I currently have a lot to do with the “younger” generation and appreciate that they can attribute competence, power and status to other factors than the aforementioned, perhaps more “traditional” oriented behavioral patterns.

My experience is that the younger generation is able to attribute competence to women even if they do not heed the above mentioned “tactics” but stand fully in their feminine energy.

And this is exactly what I hope for the future, also for the generation “in the best age”: That we can bring more feminine energy into the German career floors and that we can shape the economic rules of the game even more in that light.

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☆ Where can one find happiness?

I will not reveal the secret people have been seeking for since thousands of years: where can I find true happiness?! But I will give you a little hint!

Imagine you buy a new pair of shoes and feel happy about it. Where is the happiness feeling coming from? It was definitely not built into the pair of shoes by the shoemaker.

Is it possible that you have instead brought the feeling with you?

Imagine now you are terrible in love and when you see your new love, you feel overwhelmed by the butterflies that spread in your stomach area making you feel like being high and as if you could hug the whole world? Maybe you think you have the feeling because your new love is sitting next to you, holding hands with you. But can it be that you are wrongly seeing your partner as being the reason for your emotions? Maybe you are wrong because your feeling will also be there even if your partner is geographically nowhere next to you as e.g. she/ he needed to travel to the other side of the planet. Your love feeling remains the same.

What if you brought also that feeling with you?

Sometimes, we people get addicted to buying new stuff or falling in love because we enjoy the feeling so much. In my case, it was to travel to remote countries with my backpack, to learn to know new culture and have an exchange with new people. I feel excited, adventurous and my sense for curiosity was nourished. I also believed that I needed to have the external trigger, that is to travel as often and as far as I can, to create that feeling. For me it was long time the only mean to sate my adventure impulse.

In the meantime, I know that the secret is not about finding the external triggering points but rather about finding the trigger of the feeling without anyone else or anything else being involved.

No, don’t ask me how!

This one you have to find for yourself.

And yes, it is the one place you would have barely thought about looking – it is inside yourself!