Less girl, more geek.

Saw this tweet: “Back from the last Girl Geek Scotland workshop. Happy and sad… it’s the last one! Also just a bit exhausted… Have a fab break everyone!!!” by Girl Geek Scotland and wanted to find something suitable to summarise the spirit that haunts me from these workshops (you know, just in case my last post didn’t quite capture this sentiment).

I tried to find some quotes and have included a few below which moved me in the context of this network. You might find them cheesy, but I’d rather trigger cheese-induced-cringing than fail to communicate my position.

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” C S Lewis

“Heroes don’t panic.” Tanja Pislar

And upon reflection on the weekend I wanted to add:

To a certain extent negotiation gets easier as I get older. Wisdom comes through experience, liberation through a broader view of the world and confidence with feedback. I’m not as polished as I’d like to be, but very slowly… with age… I’m learning to channel my energy into things I can change, rather than get frustrated with things I can’t. This isn’t easy. The hardest part of negotiation is appreciating how hard you have to fight for something and when it’s necessary to just move on. Some fights are more important than others.

However, by the end of the weekend, I was still filled with questions and knowledge gaps.

How I de-sensitise to unsatisfactory outcomes? As an “ENFP” and red sector brain (“D”), I’m primarily motivated by feelings (realise the F word isn’t popular in business). It doesn’t matter how many psychometric tests I do, which books I read, I just somehow can’t seem to change this orientation. Sure self-awareness helps … but this is my personality and I have to admit it’s not always helpful in my job. I sometimes wished I had the resources just to pull down a glass screen between myself and the rest of the world, rather than let these things get to me.

As a planner, I’m quite comfortable with preparation, preparation, preparation. I think I’m pretty good at it. What I didn’t get on this workshop was real challenge. I’ve met some very ambitious people over the years and have been unprepared for negotiations I didn’t anticipate (#ambushnegotiation). I wanted a negotiation workshop that (and to quote Belinda Love) gave me balls and a thicker skin that would prepare me for conversations that have been considerably tougher than this Girl Geeks workshop. Girl Geeks, as a network, exists because we apparently still struggle to carve out an equal space in a territory that men continue to dominate. What I want is guidance on how I can work with high testosterone, without feeling a gender difference, without surrendering my femininity or integrity and how I can build meaningful relationships with ambitious guys. I want the support of Girl Geeks, but aspire to be an “unmarked” geek (ref Tannen’s “Talking 9 to 5”), where personality, knowledge and experience will be recognised before gender.