Negotiation and "What About the Backlash?"

But what about the Backlash? It’s real.  And, grappling with it is a thing.  When we go to make the bold asks we need to make to reach our goals, sometimes there’s fall out.   

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In this episode with Shermin Kruse, attorney, Tactical Empathy Specialist, TedX Producer and thought leader, we ask the question “What about the backlash?” 

But what about the Backlash? It’s real.  And, grappling with it is a thing.  When we go to make the bold asks we need to make to reach our goals, sometimes there’s fall out.  In this episode with Shermin Kruse, attorney, Tactical Empathy Specialist, TedX Producer and thought leader we ask the question “What about the backlash?”  

But we don’t just talk about the bad backlash.  We also talk about what it’s like to win.  To get what you want and hold your power in that moment.  Shermin says “come to a knife fight, and be ready to deal with what it means when you win.” 

Yep!  This convo isn’t just about what to do when you loose, but also what it means to win.

Meet Shermin Kruse

Follow her on LinkedIn

Watch her TEDx Talk: How to Change the World

Backlash is real and there are studies that show it.  Read the following studies and articles to get smart on the realities of what it means to advocate for ourselves. 

Learn more about Dia Bondi and what she’s been up to.

Follow The Dia Bondi Show on Instagram

Shermin Kruse 00:02

When you show up to a knife fight and you're when I mean be prepared for people to be impacted, intimidated, impacted by by your winning that knife fight I mean hundreds. Yes, no again,


Dia Bondi 00:15

I think that's so bright I mean my in that moment I always get confronted with these questions and my after I took a beat my answer was like we got to flip the script.

Hey everyone welcome to the Dia Bondi show of big huge podcast for your goals. I'm Dia Bondi and so happy to have you here with me and baby a, hey,hey, hey, how are you today? Maybe


Arthur  00:56

good. I'm just I'm swaying a little bit imagining that the music is playing because we record this without the music and I put it in in post but I think it wouldbe fun to do the intro with the music sometime.


Dia Bondi 01:06

You know, we should do that just to like play ourselves in and get it feeling right.


Arthur  01:11

On the live episode. We have the music


Dia Bondi 01:12

we did.That was kind of fun. And I loved how you you opened it. I think that was Episode 10. Every one of you want to listen to it. You were like, welcome,everybody. Like did the whole thing. Like we were like there was a curtain that you were gonna open with. Yeah, it was great. It was super fun. What are youdoing today?


Arthur  01:27

Justhanging out. cat has the day off. So we hung out with a friend of hers earlier.And then we're just a No. Go for a walk or something.


Dia Bondi 01:38

I knew when I called you. I was like, oh, or when I was like, Hey, you want it? You want to jump on and record our next episode? And it was a Friday. I was like,wait, that's cats. No meeting Fridays. I know. You guys usually do stuff.Right. Thanks for thanks for carving it out.


Arthur  01:49

Noproblem. No problem.


Dia Bondi 01:50

MyFriday is gonna be full of shopping for my kids. So we're you know, we're atthe end of COVID. It's been the first week of maskless situation here inCalifornia. I was just coming up the stairs into the office today. And I didnot throw the for the first time did not put a mask on. I'm vaccinated did notput a mask on saw somebody at the top of the stairs. And we will look to eachother like, Is this all right. And then we were like, well, I guess you know,and then yeah, it feels it feels super different. Yeah, super different. Buttoday, we're gonna be spending time in the evening time. It's been all thisyear and COVID. And my kids right now at the time of recording, I have a 10year old, a 14 year old, almost 11 year old and a 14 year old. And you know,everybody's been hanging out this whole year and what my husband would call dayjammies. And so we're going to a bar mitzvah, no, excuse me. We're going to abar mitzvah next week. And I was like my kids have grown over this last year orso. Nobody's pants fit nobody's shirts fit all the dresses are too short. So weget to go shopping


Arthur  02:48

gottaget him some new clothes


Dia Bondi 02:50

we do weget to go shopping for you know something kind of fancy pants, not day jammies.


Arthur  02:55

That'scool. What cat and I have been doing a thing lately, where if we go out to doanything we dress up, right. So we just went to the grocery store yesterday.And we like put on these outfits. And we're like, oh, these are great. So wetook some photos. We did a little photo sad. Yeah. In our summer outfits.Right? And yeah, it's funny. It's good to get dressed. Yeah,


Dia Bondi 03:13

I likeit. Alright, cool. Well, sounds like we are both enjoying putting on actuallike, you know wear out to the wear out and about clothing.


Arthur  03:22

Yeah,outside clothes or regular clothes or something. Although like into the insideclothes have become the regular clothes,


Dia Bondi 03:28

right?The day jammies though that don't need to be like it doesn't need to be thesame four sets a day jammies. So I guess what it is is just like we'rerediscovering our wardrobes.


Arthur  03:39

So we have a review that we'd like to shout out. evangelium, et cetera, writes on anapple podcast review. Dia is a rare combination of savvy and empathetic highly recommended.


Dia Bondi 03:52

so nice, savvy and empathetic. It's you know, I get that. Thanks. Thanks. And are they like, are they opposites? Is it weird to be savvy and empathetic?


Arthur  04:02

No, butI think that sometimes people who are seen as very savvy are like, looked at as narcissistic or like sociopathic. You know,


Dia Bondi 04:16

awesome. Yeah. So of Angela Evangelion, etc. is like she's rare. She's a rare combination of Yeah, yeah. savvy and not narcissistic.


Arthur  04:26

I think that that's what that means.


Dia Bondi 04:27

I think that's a win for me. Yeah, totally. I mean, so thank you, evangelium, et cetera for your lovely review. And sorry


Arthur  04:34

to put no I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. There.


Dia Bondi 04:38

Thank you so much for taking time to read our view. It makes a humongous differenceto the show to for any of you listening, do rate and review the show and forsure. This is usually the part that Arthur does. But look what I just did. Itotally just elbowed him out of the way and now I'm doing it makes a hugedifference to rate and review the podcast wherever you get your podcast, shareit with your friends and if you have a question you want me to address As orwrap out for you, or answer or coach even a synchronously for you. You can callus at the show. Arthur, can you around? Can you remind me of what the numberis?


Arthur  05:10

Yeah, it's 341-333-2997. And you know, it's fitting that you would take that line forme this week, because you did this entire interview that we're about to tee up. Without me,


Dia Bondi 05:23

I did, I took total advantage of it. And first I want to say like I hadn't had an opportunity to capture this conversation, and I just kind of went for it andthen ping you back and said, Hey, I just recorded it. I just recorded aconversation. I want to turn flip into a podcast, and I'm so happy that we havethe chance to do that. I'm going to say I'm going to talk to you all about whothis person is that we have on the show. And then you know why it is I wantedto capture the conversation that we ended up capturing. Cool. Yeah, do it. So we're going to have you're going to listen to a conversation I recorded a few weeksago with sharmeen Cruz, Charmaine Cruz is a consultant and attorney and adjunctlaw professor. She's a TEDx producer, and a thought leader with a super longhistory of civic engagement. She is CEO of my reality cubed. She providesorganizational and management consulting and training for Fortune 500companies, and she's a producer and thought leadership events, including Ted xin the Chicago area, and she is adjunct professor at Northwestern PritzkerSchool of Law. She's a speaker and an author also of a best selling novelbutterfly stitching, which is inspired by the true experiences of herself andother women in her family. Before and after the Iranian Revolution. Super dynamichistory she has, she's featured in a variety of media and was named the 2018woman extraordinary by the International women associates and one of Chicago'smost influential women by the Chicago Business Journal. She is founder of thepast Florida arts and cultural exchange, a director of the ACLU of Illinois,and a director of the International refugee center called refuge she and she'sa founding member of the Chicago Council for the American writers museum. Thiswoman is big, z. Yeah. Wow. Doing things, doing things, moving things,advancing things impacting things across the board.


Arthur  07:24

Amazing.Well, let's listen to your conversation. So


Dia Bondi 07:26

I'll letme tee it up for you guys. So here's the thing, the conversation that she and Ihad was the second conversation that we'd ever had. But I had to just record itfor all of you. We met through a platform called the juggle, you can look it upon line, I think it's JUG gL. And we ended up going in this conversation wherewe wanted but the conversation started with with this, I wanted to talk throughthe problem of women getting punished for advocating and negotiating forthemselves. her point of view, I wanted to get her point of view and what shethinks we can do about that, you know, I've spent the last couple of years thisproject as like an auctioneer launched, listening to women say I want to askfor more, but I'm afraid of the backlash. And I it's an ongoing question, whatabout the backlash? So this is something that shows up a lot in conversation.And there is in fact research that she shared with me, which will link in theshow notes that women are in fact punished for going to the mat for themselves.This research is a little bit old when you find it, but it's worth looking at.I think so. That's kind of that's kind of it for the tee up. We I hope so muchyou enjoy this conversation. And thank you so much, Arthur for making it allwork for us. No problem. Yeah, hi, as tea. Yeah, I can hear you. I think that'sgonna sound a little sound a little better. Yep. Okay.


Shermin  08:51

Okay.Cool. So when I first immigrated to Canada, I didn't speak any English,obviously. But I also didn't speak any French and it's a bilingual country. SoI was trained in both languages simultaneously, but my French is just so awful,because I really abandoned it after a few years. So I speak just enough Frenchto pretend like I speak French and sound cool. That's cool. So yeah, so I wasthinking, you know, why not just try to pick up French? Even a little bit evenjust, you know, how hard could it be? I mean, I'm not trying to be a fluentFrench speaker. But if you learn like 100 words a year, yeah, three years youhave as many words as a as a three year old or is


Dia Bondi 09:34

itworking? Are you getting it?


Shermin  09:37

The French? Yeah. I guess I'm not like super dedicated. Yeah. Want to be like the 5000 things.


Dia Bondi 09:49

how it goes? Totally, totally. Well, listen, I'm so stoked to have you inconversation with me today because when we met last we met like five secondsago. We met last week. On the conversation with the juggle, we were a secondconversation. I know so great. We were like to end and you know, when we whenwe were having conversation, we were just like, barely chipping in the tip ofthis iceberg that makes me crazy around women asking for more and trying to getit and then the friggin backlash conversation and how, you know, we getpunished for it and, and like what are we supposed to do about that, um, and Ihad a feeling you would have a point of view about that cuz you did cite someresearch that is real, like backlash is real, you know, getting punished foradvocating for ourselves is real. And I think I have an unpopular approach toit. But I was super curious, like, what is it? So when when, when women go toadvocate for themselves trimming, like, at how there's this rock and a hardplace thing we're facing? How do we unstick that?


Shermin  11:00

Yeah, I just think it's such a difficult, difficult question to answer because in someways, it's so context dependent. So I'll just, you know, I would love to hearyour unpopular opinions, I think a lot of it has to do with what industryyou're in, how senior you are, makes a really, really big difference that Imean, if you're just a kid, you know, Junior, you have a lot less power, andtherefore a lot, a lot fewer capabilities. And if you're more senior you can,you can take a bigger hit for yourself and for others, and then you know, whatcompany culture is, etc.


Dia Bondi 11:35

Andyou're talking and you're in, you're referencing, um, you know, asking for moreand getting it advocating for self in an organization. There's also a wholeBank of, you know, women and entrepreneurship self employed folks, you know,experts like me, who are don't work inside of that system, but we're not freeof a system. You know,


Shermin  11:53

I thinkthat's right. I still think it's sector dependent. And, and experiencedependent, right. So I mean, if Sheryl Sandberg is out there raising VC funds,it's going to be really different than a 25 year old, you know, minority femaleraising funds. I was just actually talking to a friend of mine the other day,who's an entrepreneur. And she was saying that there's there's two questionsthat she gets asked, she advises a lot of young women on entrepreneurship andVC funding. And she was saying, there's two questions to get to ask most morethan any other questions. Question number one is, how do you raise money? Andquestion number two? is how do you hide your baby bump? She's pregnant with herfifth. And, you know, and, and it's real, these are real, real questions. Andthey're, you know, people aren't young women aren't asking them because they'redefeatist, they're asking them because they know they're not going to get themoney, or they're significantly less likely to get the money, if they'reshowing a baby bump, because then the VC is going to think, well, you're gonnabe gone in a few months, and, you know, naturally assume their priorities willrealign once the baby comes. And so they just want fun. So these are very, veryrealistic, these are real things, they're not made up in their head. You know,I love talking about picking a seat at the table and putting yourself outthere, etc, etc. But we have to do that. But we also have to acknowledge thatthe system is, is rigged against us. And when we do that, we're going to have adifferent experience than we wouldn't if we were met, super interested


Dia Bondi 13:21

even in so I was teaching a workshop. It's probably like two years ago, early on earlydays of project class, like an auctioneer, and I use a class called your mostpowerful ask live and one woman raised her hand and she was like, okay, so itwas such a convoluted question. It was something like, how do you deal with theoutcome of getting what you want? And I was like, I'm sorry, what? Like how,like, what are we talking about? She was in a situation where she was outsideof a tech company, got recruited in negotiated hard for herself, did a greatjob. And yes, pat yourself on the back when she showed up, folks knew about it.They knew that she had advocated for herself in that way. And they were justmicro aggression in her right and left about it. Oh, well, you know, we heardyou're a really tough cookie. And we heard you're, like, kind of doing thesesort of weird digs at her. She was like, Okay, how do I live with this now thatI got what I wanted, I won. And now there's this and it wasn't even like, itwasn't even backlash or anything that was that was like actually going to hurther materially in a in a really like, you know, visible way but it was likehurting her confidence. It would just destabilizing for her. And I'm so andthat was just coming from peers, too. So what did you What did you tell hersuck it up? Buttercup? No, no, my my jam when


Shermin  14:44

I hearabout this unpopular opinion. I want to know what it is. I'm very curious. Iwill say to some extent it's you know, it's certainly not the advice I wouldgive suck it up Buttercup. I was getting obviously, but having said that, Youknow, when you when you show up to a knife fight and you win, I mean, beprepared for people to be impacted, intimidated impacted by by your winningthat knife fight I mean


Dia Bondi 15:10

hundreds.So I guess I think that's so right. I mean my in that moment I always getconfronted with these questions that I'm like I want women to advocate and thenthey have this thing they have to deal with. And I always have to be like, Okay,do I answer this in integrity with what you know what the impact that I'mtrying to have in the world? And my after I took a beat, my answer was like, wegot to flip the script. So instead of instead of apologizing, because she Ithink she felt a temptation to apologize for it, or to minimize it or to belike, Oh, no, it wasn't that big of a deal, or Haha, blow it like to make itsmall. And I was like, What if we flipped the script? To your point? So much ofthis is so contextual, right? Like, there are studies and then there's yourindividual situation that has to take into context, the relationship and youknow, all the things that are at play in your ballpark. And I was like, let'sflip the script. Instead of apologizing and making it small. What if you madeit big in an asset to say, You're right? I did. And I like, I'm pretty good atnegotiating. So if you need any help, she was a lawyer, by the way, in aninternal legal on an internal legal team. She was like, and if you need anyhelp crafting any negotiations, you have upcoming, please, please feel free totap me, I'd happy to partner with you. So my one of my strategies, and all ofthis stuff is to go like, Okay, if we were to flip the script and put powerinto something that isn't about putting power on someone or dominating to shutthem up, but to actually use that as momentum, and to turn something that lookslike an liability into an asset, not just for you, but for the people that youcan help support and work with around you. Is there a path for that? So thatwas my answer?


Shermin  16:49

Yeah. SoI mean, I love that I think that that can that can work. And certainly, it'sprobably their best bet. Some people aren't comfortable, though. I mean,because they might have done a great job in that negotiation and advocated forthemselves. But that's not necessarily how they view themselves. And it's nothow they want others to view themselves. And it's one thing to be aggressiveand that one off now you're part of that organization. And now you have toactually interface and interact and build relationships with these people forfor the long term. And you feel like you've come in with the, you know, withthe deck sort of stacked against you. Do you mind if you walk with me to thedoor to get my lunch? No, awesome. I'm gonna walk. Just everybody knows who'swatching this. This was not a planned podcast, I was just gonna do the Deobandishow is audio only. So you are deep. You are super protected. Oh, awesome. Allright, great day, even better. So but for those who can't see the weatheroutside is delightful in Chicago, correct? Yes. In Chicago, it's a beautifulrainy day, the trees are brighter than they would ordinarily be. So yeah, butyeah, I mean, it's so that's the issue, right? I mean, yes, 100%. And it is,and by the way, that's not a play, like it actually is an asset, this womanactually did negotiate very, very well. And she is she is very good at it. Andshe they should utilize those skills. Now, having said that, it doesn't changethe fact that most likely her experience was negative coming into theorganization, because she's coming to you likely days, if not months, maybeeven years after that event took place, and still asking you how to deal withit. If we didn't go,


Dia Bondi 18:31

it wasactually really it was actually recent. And she it wasn't like it was it wasone of these things where there's these, like light little stings that she wasgetting. And she had been on the team. I feel like only a couple of not thatlong, a couple of months maybe. And I mean, to be fair, like the, you know, wehave to look at, you know, my strategy around flipping the script, it's alwaysgot to be like, what's the pathway? And it is it actually aligned to who youare, like, Is it true for you, you know, if she, if she, you know, in live, wewas pre COVID. So we were live in the room, if she was like, giving me a funnyface when I was hearing that it was like, Okay, so what is true for you? How doyou use this in a way that is aligned to the impact you want to have in theworld, the I'm gonna say the word reputation that you want to have in yourorganization and your goals and plans for where you want to go when you'rethere. So it all has to work in alignment. It can't be an artificial, it can'tbe an artificial script flipping but I just have the approach to me around whenwomen hit backlash, or they have a little bumper they have to your point likethey have to deal with the repercussions of winning the knife fight. Like howdo we make how do we turn that into power and not just try to make it likedisappear? I like that's my first approach at it. And then if we can't find apath, there's, you know, find something else.


Shermin  19:45

I lovethat. I mean, what that implies, though, what it requires is for the femaleherself, to actually identify with that characterization of herself. Beautiful.


Dia Bondi 19:57



Shermin  19:59

Yeah. Doyou feel comfortable being a hard ass? Do you feel coming? Maybe it sounds goodon paper. But now that you're in an organizational environment, does it botheryou that people view you that way? And what do you think that means? Why is ita bad thing? Why does it bother you? To what extent is it conflicts with theway in which you see yourself? And so yes, so I mean, for those who can't seeyour day is not ignite right now. So I really, I'm gonna shoot it over to herand see what it is trying to say. With me, man, you can't get a word inedgewise. You've got to jump in. I love it.


Dia Bondi 20:32

I loveit. I think that this, this thing about identity and identifying thesecharacteristics, seeing ourselves as powerful in ways or having a power, youknow, in ways that we haven't seen or taken on before? is an interestingquestion. Um, as we as we go advocate for ourselves, as we try and ask for moreand get it as we, you know, stand in a new room or sit at a new table. Thatlike when we can see ourselves as such, does that change what we do? Does thatimpact what we say yes to, as we level up or ingest, the ingest the thingswe're getting, because we're sitting at that table standing in that roomadvocating for ourselves, like integrating that new frontier that we've createdfor ourselves into who we are,


Shermin  21:35

andbeing and liking that person. And so the reality is, this is what they sayabout gender bias being ingrained. And, and it being an all of us, includingourselves, we don't we also don't like that image of ourselves. So why shouldwe expect others to like that image of ourselves? So interesting? It's Yes.Right. And it's, you know, it's implicit. And it's implicit in all of us, it'simplicit in women and men, visibly other women, other men, and also inourselves. And so I think a lot of it is just being comfortable owning that youweren't a knife fight. You know, you played with you played in the big leagues,and you won. So good for you. That's who you are. And it's not all that youare. Right. You're also i'm sure, very kind, very compassionate. I'm sureyou're great leader. You're great when it's time.


Dia Bondi 22:27

But whenit's time to have a knife fight.


Shermin  22:29

Right.Right. So I mean, this particular challenge about that particular situation isthat she was sort of an opponent, previously, but now she's on their same team.Right. Beautiful.


Dia Bondi 22:41




That'sso good.


Shermin  22:47

So Soyeah. So it's that switch of Well, yeah, you don't want to be on the other sideof the table from me. But we, you know, we don't have to be that way. Now,we're colleagues, you know, that's so it makes it it makes it hard, right. Andthe reality is that in life, you're still obviously you're part of the sameteam. And you're going to she went in house, you said she was a lawyer, shewent and house somewhere. So she's probably part of the large in house, legalstaff, interesting executives, etc. She probably also works with outsidecounsel, blah, blah, blah, all of that. And there's going to be things she'sgoing to continue to need to negotiate internally, you know, who uses themicrowave, first, you know, what her vacation time is, or where the next bonus,or salaries coming from, all of those things big and small, are going to keephappening. But at the end of the way, at the end of the day, there is this sortof a dogmatic shift, right, a perspective shift, now you're part of this team,whereas previously, you were on the outside. And that's hard, it's hard toadopt that.


Dia Bondi 23:43

It'slike, that's what I'm saying that like accepting seeing ourselves in a new way,as a way to integrating that identity and identifying, you know, some assetsthat you have, and then putting them to work for yourself. And for the folksthat are on your team. What I love too, about this naming of, you know, I wason the other side of the table, now I'm using your same side of the table, Ifeel like there's moments where we don't have to we can signal. Like, you know,maybe this is just hypothetical, but maybe those little stings she was gettingthe little punishments, the little social punishments she was getting, as anoutcome of advocating for herself was folks not knowing what side she was on,like if she was gonna still be protecting herself, or if she was gonna write,but for her to flip the script to say, yes, that is powerful. I am powerful inthat way. And I can lend you that I am now on your side of the table, as likethat has impact I think when we can signal to the world to the teams to thecollaborators, that we work with the partners that we engage with, to say like,Hey, baby, I am on your side. I may win a knife fight, but we're on the sameteam right now. So I can, you know, like, I just, I think we can be proactivethat way and you know, that's my jam, like, you know, direct and you know, andI don't know if we could say aggressive but maybe teetering on aggressive. ButI feel like, right,


Shermin  25:06

yes.Strategic. I mean, you're coming at it from I don't know that it's, yeah, Imean, I guess you could say aggressive, there's nothing wrong with beingaggressive in this context. But it's not, but it's not, you're just tellingthis person to what, you know, negotiate the best deal they can get thatthey're worth that they're worth. And when they come into the environment, tothe extent they get backlash to have a strategic approach toward how that'sgoing to work. Yeah. So I mean, it's, it's just common sense. I mean, one ofthe things, though, that we have to note is that, you know, men are moreaggressive, and we don't necessarily mind that in them the same way that weminded in ourselves. And so we stand out more when we act out that when we actthat way, but, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I will say also, it'snot a bad thing to not be aggressive, and just be strategically aligned, youknow, and just do the right thing and figure out how to move all the pieces.You know, one of my favorite fictional characters of all time is Miranda fromthe double wars product, played by Meryl Streep supposed to be on a wintertour, in that entire movie from beginning to end, you're terrified of thisperson, she never once raises her voice. In fact, she barely speaks abovewhisper. And yet she dominates the room with power, pound her fist on thefloor, or scream or shout or walk out. She just plays everybody. Shadows.


Dia Bondi 26:28

Yeah, tome that's playing high all the time.


Shermin  26:31

Playinghigh all the time. That's what works for her. Right. And so. And the reality isthat's authentic to her. And she's become comfortable with that vision andimage of herself. And that's how she got to where she is. So


Dia Bondi 26:44

yeah, sothis so this, I was talking to a colleague a couple of weeks ago, and she wasciting, you know, a dude, who was keynoting at an event that she was at, wellknown dude. And he was citing, you know, the women get punished for advocatingfor themselves. And his solution was just that they shouldn't do it. And I andI'm, you know, and so that is the heart of the thing is like, how do we breakthat logjam? And you know, what we've been talking about so far is all thestuff in and around that. But I'm constantly in this thing of like, if we getpunished for doing the very thing that's, that may advance us, you know, thatwe tell women to do? How do we do that in a way? Like, the answer cannot be?Don't do it? Yeah,


Shermin  27:33

I mean,again, I think it's so complicated. It's It's so hard for me to advise youngwomen, for instance, I've had I've known young women who were sexuallyharassed, who filed the lawsuit and who were fired, and it destroyed theircareer. So what do you tell, what do you tell people? Do you tell them, oh,gee, don't file a lawsuit. Because you could get fired, and you could ruin yourcareer. That's not advice that you can give. It is a realistic possibility. AndI think that when you make decisions you need to be you need to be aware, andmove with as much integrity as possible. And this is why I think that it'salways about the larger picture. It's always about, what are your internalalliances? What are your external alliances, as you move forward? What are theinternal functional functionalities? What are the various ways in which youcould deal with this situation, you absolutely should not remain the victim ofharassment. But let's think very thoughtfully, and stretch strategically abouthow you how you respond to the situation. And this is it's very, very difficultand recognizing the repercussions. Now, I will say, though, that sometimes, Imeet women who are senior, and they're in institutions where there would neverbe a repercussion. And so they have no experience with that. And so for them,it's absurd that anybody would do anything other than just report it and besuper aggressive, because that's their, that's the institution that where theywere sort of like raised and brought up. It's just not the case for everybody.But we need to think and we need to think very mindfully about the individualand what the individual goes through. We also need to think very mindfullyabout the collective. What happens if we as individuals remain silent, right.So let's acknowledge the fact that there might be repercussions and do a costbenefit analysis. What happens collectively, if we all game theory, one on one,right? What happens collectively, if we all only act for our individual bestinterests, and again, it's very difficult to tell a young female you need totake one for the team, right? It was at the beginning of her career.Nevertheless, these are once again, these are realities, this is what it is tobe a victim, you've been put in this incredibly difficult position. And now youhave to figure out how to survive and how to move forward and from taking fromthat how to thrive. These are Yeah, these are just these are super complex. Andreally, the reason Reality is that when it comes to negotiation, andadvocating, particularly in the law, there should be much more allowance. Imean, it's truly absurd that there would be micro aggression against an inhouse counsel a lawyer for negotiating the best thing that she could negotiate.I mean, it's insane. Right? It's it's completely backwards. Obviously, she waswithin the range of acceptable, you know, they said, yes, they said, Yes. Andshe's literally your lawyer now. So, I mean, literally, that's what she's goingto be doing. So what's absurd, right, it's very, very, it goes against selfinterest. And that's why I think it's always important to include men in theseconversations to, to include men as allies to include leadership as allies andto get them to engage, what are they doing wrong, right? She has she can dothis, that and the other thing she can strategically realize she can do this,she can do that. What about them? Who's talking to them? Who's advising them?Who's telling them to eat it? I mean, what is that? Right? And so it's, it's soupsetting. It's beyond upsetting to me, again, we have to talk to her becauseshe's in the situation, and she needs the best advice that she can get tofigure her way out. We need to be talking to them to them.


Dia Bondi 31:21

Yeah,totally. One of the things that I so in, in the work that I do, I'm you know,I'm always having a conversation with women about something she wants to askfor. And sometimes it's, you know, in our earlier conversations, I talked aboutthe four pillars I noticed most of the asks, fall into and you know, I see themfalling into, like money, influence, you know, authority and balance. And theseare strategic asks to help them get closer to their goals based on theframework that I use. And the you know, one of the questions that I think isreally powerful, or I've seen be really powerful is, what are you going to doif you get a no? What are you going to? What are you going to woman asked meall the time? What What am I getting? What do I do? If I get a no and I don'thave an answer, I only have another question, which is great question, what areyou going to do, and I have had women say to me, with tears in their eyes, andyou know, heavy heart that they're going to leave their role, or they're goingto move the job, are they going to close the business or they get like, and andif there's both pain in experiencing ahead of time, the loss that you may have,if you can't get the thing that you need to move towards your goals. And at thesame time, there's some freedom in really looking that and making somedecisions for yourself, about what what to do when it doesn't, quote unquote,work out. Um, I have one conversation with a woman a couple of weeks ago,where, you know, we just had to sit together, let her like, have some tearsabout the fact that she would have to walk away from a thing that she wanted,you know, that because she wasn't going to, if she couldn't get it in thesituation she was in, she would go find another situation where she could getit and walking away again, had some heartbreak, it was a beautifulconversation, how she talks about her decision to say, if I can't get it here,I'm going to recognize that I can't get it here, and I'm gonna get it somewhereelse. And there's some sadness there. But it is like dealing with therepercussions of, of, you know, winning the knife fight. There's also thisquestion of recognizing that sometimes we can't get the people in front of usor the system in front of us to get off the fence to get out of the way to toresource the thing that matters to us in our lives and our goals and ourcareers and our businesses and that we have to move on or move away. Andthere's, I'm curious what your thoughts are about confronting that and lettingourselves look at that and have sadness and then not have that trap us but away to let us move on.


Shermin  33:59

So Ilove this so much. I think not only do we need to let ourselves think that way,I think we have to train each other to think that way. This is just algorithmicthinking, this is playing chess or wargames. Or you know, if a then B if B thenC, if not B, then how do we get to C and literally just strategizing throughthe various potential outcomes. What sometimes gets us is as we sit through andthink, think through the various outcomes we attribute undue weight toparticular possibilities of fear and anxiety. So maybe there's only a 5% chancethat someone's going to say no, but you're so afraid of that. No, you're soafraid of it, that in your head. It's at least a 5050 shot you right?


Dia Bondi 34:51



Shermin  34:52

it's sohard to do that to have sort of have that objectivity and and really, I sayalways think like a general thing. Like a general about to march your army intobattle, or think like a chess player, and you're really trying to evaluate. Andthis is also why we need advisors, right? So many of us now, like, do yourself,you're such a phenomenal advisor. So many of us also, in addition to women likeDia who can advise you, and be your consultant, there's also you know, friendswe have in our lives, support groups we have in our lives, you know, we're allnow talking about this, like, personal board of advisors, this is all the rageNow, everyone I like to call it my personal Knights of the roundtable, justfolks that are less invested, right? It's not my mom, it's not my best friend,it's not my husband, it's somebody who cares about me, but isn't, as directlyinvested in can see the situation slightly more objectively. But really, Imean, it's so great dia that you provide these types of services, because youcan see the situation very objectively, because you don't have a personalrelationship with the women that you advise. And it is really helpful. This iswhy we need consultants. I mean, this is why we need leadership coaches. Andthis is what this is why we need people like you. But you know, even ifsomebody doesn't have those resources, just sort of training themselves todetach, to evaluate, to seek advice, etc. Yeah, there's


Dia Bondi 36:14

thisinteresting balance, I noticed that like, we want to raise the stakes of thethings that we want for ourselves high enough that we will stand up and gothrough the difficulty of pursuing them because they are important to us. Butthen lower the stakes enough of any one negotiation so that we can see past itand it doesn't trap us.


Shermin  36:33

I lovethat. That's, that's really profound. And it's spot on. Wow, that's reallyvisually provocative. Yeah, well, I love that. I wonder if there's a greatvisual that would go along with that.


Dia Bondi 36:45

That's agreat question.


Shermin  36:46

I don'tknow. Maybe. I would like to commissioned an artist to paint that paint. Forme,


Dia Bondi 36:52

I'm soglad you took time to talk to me today. And that we had this on the books totalk and connect anyway. And I was like, wait, I know, we're gonna talk aboutsomething juicy. So let's just record it and put it up on the Deobandi show. Soit's so so awesome to have you. I love, love, love, love.


Shermin  37:06

Thankyou. This is amazing. Normally, I just ask people what their favorite brand oftequila is on a first meeting. So it's definitely a little bit different.


Dia Bondi 37:14

So whereto like, what, what is the thing that people can engage with you? How do folksengage with you? You've got a TEDx up, you produce Ted, when we've done thewe've done the introduction, leading up to our conversation, but like, where dopeople find you? And what can they do with you?


Shermin  37:30

Thank youso much. I appreciate that. This is you know, I'm honestly and authentically,much more interested in what you do. And that's why I'm here. I do run aconsulting firm, I do a ton of leadership consulting and change managementwork. I do also, yes, produce TED Talks. So if you think you've got a greatidea for a TED talk, feel free to hit me up. I'm on LinkedIn. And you can alsogo to reality if you are interested in the consultingservices, it's my honor and privilege, though to be here and listen to yourprospective dia. I love that. And I love asking like an auctioneer, it's, it'sI love that. That's one of your hobbies, by the way, which is something that Ifound out about you, because I can't understand what the hell the people are sayingwhen they don't worry.


Dia Bondi 38:14

Don'tworry, I don't have I'm not I don't have a cowboy chant. Just so you know.Because fundraising auction, there are people in the house that if I used tochant like that, then nobody would bid at all, because nobody would know wherewe are. So yeah, talk about lowering the stakes. I lowered the stakes formyself right off the bat and said, I will not have a chant like that. But I'lldo some other things that are fun and help you bid and raise your paddles andraise money for the organizations


Shermin  38:33

we careabout. Phenomenal. Sounds great. It was such a pleasure to be on. I apologizeto the listeners. I do have to get off I have I have another call to jump on tobut this was so great. You're amazing. streaming. This is great.


Dia Bondi 38:45

I'mgonna circle back with you because you know, I got a TEDx in me you know, I do.I know you do. Yeah. Okay, have a great rest of your day and worse. I feel likewe are connected right here like I'm in a continue to haunt you. Sounds great.


Shermin  38:59

I havelots of ghosts in my house. And one time somebody told me that there's a an arkangel that follows me everywhere I go. Honestly, I'm an atheist. So I don'teven know what this person is talking about. But as far as other random peopleare concerned, I'm fine with hauntings bring it on baby. Bye bye.


Dia Bondi 39:27

Allright, so that was it. It was definitely like off to the races from thebeginning to the end. And I hope that all of you got something out of thisconversation like I did, at least an energetic dose of what we could do to helpmanage through the potential of backlash that we either perceive or actuallyexperience in the workplace and in the world when we go to advocate for ourselveswhen we go to ask for more so we can get more of what we need to reach ourgoals faster.


Arthur  39:58

While everybody put on your outs. clothes and get on out there.



ThisPodcast is a production of Dia Bondi Communications, scored, mixed and producedby baby. You can like share rate and subscribe on Apple podcast, Googlepodcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. If you would likemy mom de Bondi to answer any questions about how to make your next big move,call us and leave your question at 341-333-2997 Thanks for listening

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