Tag Archives: economics

Negotiating with Power

The Key to Negotiating with Power About Money

I recently had the great privilege of interviewing Maggie Baker, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Crazy About Money.  Our call, entitled Negotiating with Power (part of a series on Preparing for Divorce), dove in deep to explore how our personal money stories affect our negotiating power and our lives. Whether you are creating a divorce settlement agreement, negotiating a salary increase, bargaining for a new house, or navigating money conversations with your spouse, understanding your money script is critical to gaining strength and confidence.

What is a ‘Money Script?’

Simply put, your ‘Money Script’ is your money story – what your mind tells you at the subconscious level about what money symbolizes for you. These stories begin developing early in life at home. Regardless of how much money you had growing up, your script was informed Negotiating with Powerby the ways in which people around you interacted with and related to money. If you lived in the ‘land of lack,’ where people always perceived there was not enough, this affected the story you created around money. If you lived in an environment where money was a means of control, then this affected your story around money. For a quick example:  If you grew up in an environment of ‘lack,’ while you may want to have more money, your fear around not having enough may cause you to make choices around money that perpetuate powerlessness rather than strength. No matter how much money someone has, everyone has a money script because everyone interacts with money. Understanding what story your mind tells you about money is critical to developing a relationship with money that is aligned with what you most want and with your ability to negotiate with power.

Negotiating with power is all about knowing your ‘Money Script’

Whether you are negotiating a divorce settlement agreement, a raise at work, or with your child who is requesting spending, money, your money script is going to kick in and impact how you negotiate. If you related to money as a source of power, then you will assume that the person in the negotiation that has more money is more powerful. If you associate money with love or approval, you may feel personally disregarded or slighted in a negotiation for money. If you believe that money is correlated to hard work, you may feel that you need to prove yourself as having worked long hours in order to negotiate. I think you get the idea. The fascinating thing is that we always assume that the person on the other side of the negotiating table thinks about money in the same way as we do when most of the time, this is not true! People often lose power in negotiation because they are so stuck in their own money story that they don’t attend to the money story of the person on the other side of the negotiation – and this is the point of view that really matters!

4 Steps to figuring out your ‘Money Script’

So if you want to negotiate from a place of power, you need to figure out your own money script. Here is a step by step process:

– Study your money habits

Get a journal or use your phone and begin keeping track of how you spend your money for 30 days. There are great apps for your phone to help you do this. Mint.com offers one. You must write everything down since our mind will trick us if we rely on memory alone.

Use the same journal and keep track of what you consciously chose not to spend your money on. What did you forego because “it felt like too much money” or “not the right time?”

Finally, listen to the language you use when you talk about money. Do you talk about ‘not enough?’ Do you talk about ‘needing to be careful?’ Do you ‘not care’ about money? Do you ‘not know how to manage it?’ Do you ‘feel overwhelmed by it?’

– Analyze your money habits

Once you have the data collected above, sit down alone or preferably with a friend, family member, counselor or coach and review. What patterns do you notice? What seems curious to you? To the other person? Seek to understand the reasons behind your expenditures and your non-expenditures.

– Link your habits to your upbringing

Now think about where these patterns and habits may have come from. How do they relate to your family of origin? How do they connect to any significant life events that have occurred? How have they been supported by the language people in your family used around money?

– Name your story

Once you have completed steps #1-3, you are ready to write your money story. It can be one paragraph to one page. It describes what you believe about money, the choices you make around money, and how those choices have served you and not served you over time. And I do realize that this can be difficult, so for additional support, I highly recommend Maggie Baker, Ph.D.’s book, Crazy About Money for language that will help you understand and interpret your money script.

Negotiating with Power

By now, it is probably clear that in order to negotiate with power, you need to (a) know how you think about money and (b) understand the basics of how the person you are negotiating with thinks about money.  People leave evidence all over the place if we choose to pay attention so it is not always as difficult as it may seem. And if you are negotiating with your spouse or child, you likely already have all the information you need to understand their money story. Once you do, then negotiating with power is all about languaging your position to help the other see how there is a win-win available in which both sides can obtain a good deal of what is most important to them.

Conclusion

The biggest reason why we lose power in negotiations is that we operate from inside our own heads which are filled with fear, anxiety and anger and don’t pay enough attention as to how the person on the other side is thinking. Get out of your own head or get the support of someone who will not get wrapped up in the fear, anxiety or anger who can help you find your place of strength and clarity.

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Adina Laver is the founder of Divorce Essentials™ and author of the Divorce Companion™ a multi-media step-by-step guide to navigating divorce.  The Divorce Companion™ is the only resource of its kind that provides guidance and decision making tools for every aspect of the divorce process, including determining whether divorce is the next step.

Adina also provides limited one-on-one coaching support for those who recognize that divorce is a sign that life has gotten off track and are aching to finding happiness again – or perhaps for the first time ever.

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increase your net worth

How Divorce Can Increase Your Net Worth

One of the primary concerns of anyone facing divorce is the diminishment of personal net Golden eggworth. Whether there are two wage earners or one, whether you have been the primary wage earner or have been financially dependent, divorce means a division of assets and an increase in expenses overall which means there has to be less in the end for each person. So how can divorce increase your net worth?

 

The other day I was reading an article called The Business of Self-Esteem by Amy Anderson in Success Magazine. (A special shout out here to my friend and mastermind partner Jodi Silverman who turned me onto Success.) One of the first things that Amy invoked in her article was this quote by personal achievement philosopher Jim Rohn, “Income seldom exceeds your personal development.

 

I will admit that I am still investigating with this statement with curiosity, particularly regarding what is meant by ‘personal development,’ but Anderson’s article is on self esteem, and according to some of the most renown philosophers and social science theorists, self esteem is defined in the following ways:

  • In the mid-1960s, Morris Rosenberg and social-learning theorists defined self-esteem as a personal worth or worthiness.
  • In1969, Nathanial Branden defined self-esteem as the experience of being (feeling) competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and believing they have the right to achieve happiness and be given respect.

 

As I read these definitions, I thought about the many people I talk with each day who are considering or facing divorce and their relationship to money and something rang very true: Those who were most fearful about their financial position following divorce were also those who questioned both their right to achieve happiness and receive respect as well as their capacity to overcome the challenges inherent in change. In other words, they could only imagine how their situation could get worse following divorce rather than better because they did not believe either in their right to be happy or their ability to confidently navigate the transition to a new kind of financial stability. Unfortunately, this lack of belief in self keeps many people stuck in unhappy and abusive situations for a long time with a sense that there is absolutely no way out.

 

“When your self-worth goes up, your net worth goes up with it.”

~ Max Victor Hansen

 

The truth is that when you do not believe in your right to be happy and your ability to navigate in uncharted waters, then there is no way out. It is like living in a cement box with no doors or windows.

 

However, as Mark Victor Hansen said, what is also true is that “When your self-worth goes up, your net worth goes up with it.”

 

It is not the lack of a job that keeps you stuck.

It is not the inability to afford a new place that keeps you stuck.

It is not your age that keeps you stuck.

It is not the disapproval of others that keeps you stuck.

(This list could go on and on.)

 

These are the “explanations” we invoke when we don’t feel worthy or capable.

 

We have all read many rags to riches stories, heard the tales of people who surmounted unbelievable odds to reach great success, and know about people just like ourselves who have made the changes we are considering and came out just fine.

 

What differentiates those people is a simple resource that everyone has access to – a sense of self worth. Do the work on yourself, and the rest will follow.

 

By the time many people are considering or facing divorce, their sense of self worth has taken a beating as a result of years of years of living in an unhealthy relationship. At this level of self worth, change feels insurmountable.

 

But the great news is that self-worth is malleable – it can change – it can increase – significantly. This is why my one-one-one coaching programs as well as my Divorce Companion program focus on personal development first. It is a great leap of faith to believe that working on yourself is the path to freedom from the chains of unhappiness, but nothing has ever been more true. In fact, it is the only way out.

 

So whether you are considering divorce, actively pursuing divorce, or recovering from divorce, this is powerful energy that you can leverage to both increase your self worth and increase your net worth.

The choice is yours.

 

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Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

 

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Let’s Get Real Mini Session, or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make ‘Discerning Choices’ When Going Through Divorce

Based upon a Bloomberg article published on February 18th, divorce rates are on the rise for the 3rd year in a row after plunging to a 40 year low in 2009. While the decision to divorce is motivated by emotions and the health of the relationship, the economic reality of paying for divorce and life after divorce points to a direct correlation between divorce rates and the health of the economy. When the economy improves and there are more jobs and better housing values, people feel more confident about making a shift in their lives.

Nonetheless, both the emotional and financial costs of divorce can be very high and making discerning choices when going through divorce is critical. I was recently interviewed by Amy Kaufeldt on the My Fox Orlando morning show regarding this trend and tips for minimizing the financial and emotional toll when going through divorce.

Click to view videoFox 35 Orlando_n

This was a quick clip. Below are additional tips.

Reducing the financial and emotional toll when going through divorce

Do not file for divorce or make decisions because you want to threaten, harm or retaliate against your spouse. As I have said previously, divorce is an expensive and ineffective means of claiming justice or vindicating years of unhappiness. Divorce does not determine who was right or wrong and in most cases who did what to whom is not even a factor in dividing up assets or custody. Emotionally charged and reactive decisions tend to be costly in the short run and long run and can leave you financially and emotionally drained at the end.
Prepare emotionally for the process. Divorce challenges even the most level-headed among us. For most couples, as soon as they begin going through the divorce process, trust dissipates and each partner tends to feel very self-protective. In this frame of mind, you can either be inclined to battle over everything or negotiate for nothing because you feel guilty or want to get it over with. Neither of these responses will leave you or your family in the best position for the long term. Working with a counselor or therapist to release some of your anger and hurt or working with a coach to build your emotional strength will pay dividends in the long run.
Choose an attorney or mediator who is a good match for you. Not all doctors are the same, not all hair stylists are the same, and all divorce attorneys or mediators are the same. It is important to have a process for selecting legal support that will be a good match for you and your situation. Take some time to articulate your goals for the process and what you want in this relationship and then interview people.
Do your homework. Every decision in the divorce settlement agreement has implications for the short term and long term. For example, the way in which divorce support is determined can impact your ability to get a mortgage on a new home. What is best for the kids is a complex decision based upon a number of factors. Parents can make decisions that result in unintended consequences because they focused too much on one factor and not at all on others that they weren’t aware of. There are many qualified professionals who specialize in divorce who can help you think through the process.
Take it slow. One of the most important things I discovered to be true in my case and in the divorces of many of my clients is that everything transforms in time. Just because your partner says one thing today, doesn’t mean that is how they will feel tomorrow. Just because your financial picture appears one way today, doesn’t mean that there aren’t options that will transform how it can look over the next few months or years. Everything transforms in time. While I do not suggest dragging out the divorce process in general, it is important to take the time to feel comfortable with the decisions you are making when going through divorce so you can set yourself up for a healthy and positive future.

For additional support in pursuing any of these tips to reduce the emotional and financial toll of going through divorce, contact me and let’s talk.

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Divorce Essentials, founded by Divorce Coach Adina Laver, is a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Let’s Get Real Mini Session, or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

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How to Escape the ‘Cost of Divorce’ Quicksand

Divorce Corp, the movie, demonstrates how easily couples can fall into the ‘Cost of Divorce’ quicksandQuicksand where they are swallowed up by outrageous court and legal fees and life-altering acrimonious battles. Like with real quicksand, it is best to avoid it in the first place, but once you step in, how can you get out?

Here are some tips from our wilderness guide that can easily be applied when you find yourself beginning to step into divorce quicksand.

HOW TO GET OUT OF THE ‘COST OF DIVORCE’ QUICKSAND

If you step into quicksand, the first thing you want to do is drop everything. Drop your backpack that can weigh you down and your shoes that can create suction as you try to pull your feet out. If you feel your feet getting stuck, take a few steps backward before the quicksand takes hold. Avoid taking a big step forward because doing so may get one foot unstuck but push the other farther down. Then sit down or lay back to help release your feet. Once you do, roll to the side away from the quicksand. You will get dirty, but you will get free.

Much like real quicksand, ‘cost of divorce’ quicksand can quickly suck you in if you are not careful. Once your feet are embedded, it can be nearly impossible to get out! Here’s what to do…

1. Drop the weight. If you find your discussions about divorce or your divorce process beginning to spiral out of control, it is wise to immediately let go of some things that are weighing you down. What are you arguing about that really isn’t that important? What other pressures do you have at work or home that you can extract yourself from? You need to lighten the load. Immediately let go of some of the battles and let go of some of the other things that are drawing you deep into the cost of divorce quicksand.

2. Take a step back. In the early stages of falling into ‘cost of divorce’ quicksand, it is usually still possible to take a step back. Stop reacting to your partner’s button pushing. Stop listening to the voices of friends or family who may be fueling the fire of acrimony, and pause. Seek a moment of clear thinking.

3. Avoid taking big steps or panicking. Avoid taking dramatic steps such as closing bank accounts, freezing assets, changing locks on doors, filing restraining orders (that are not really warranted). You may think they are helping you in the immediate, but they will sink you deeper into battle. Remember, “quicksand can react unpredictably to your movements. If you move slowly, you can more easily stop an adverse reaction and, by doing so, avoid getting yourself stuck deeper. You’re going to need to be patient.”

4. Lay back and let your feet release. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to let some time pass so things can relax a bit and you can find a clear head again and seek sound counsel from a professional such as a coach, therapist or collaboratively minded attorney.

5. Roll to the side, away from the quicksand. You will get dirty, but you will get free. When you are in the thick of acrimony, you can be limited by tunnel vision. There is always more than one way to approach a situation. Sometimes just moving a bit to the side can completely change the perspective. Getting out of the mud can be a messy process, but let’s remember the ultimate goal – to get out of the ‘cost of divorce’ quicksand and onto solid ground so you can move forward with the journey!

HOW TO AVOID THE QUICKSAND

Just as with real quicksand, the best thing is to try and avoid the ‘cost of divorce’ quicksand in the first place,

Three tips from on how to avoid real quicksand – and divorce quicksand!

Recognize common quicksand areas. Real quicksand most commonly occurs in tidal flats, swamps and marshes, near lake shores, and near underground springs. ‘Cost of divorce’ quicksand most commonly occurs around discussions about money and child custody. Seeking out professional support early in the process can help you from getting stuck.

Look for Ripples. “You should be able to see water seeping up from below the sand, making quicksand quite visible if you’re on the lookout.” The same is true of divorce quicksand. You will see ripples forming: lots of arguments, secrecy, changes to spending patterns, less time at home, comments from kids, and so on. Take note of the ripples.

Test the ground in front of you with your walking stick. Since the first thing to go in a relationship as soon as there is mention of divorce is trust, any conversation or decision can open to a pool of quicksand. Use your walking stick to test the ground. Be thoughtful and plan carefully around how to have difficult conversations during this time. At the first sign of “soft earth,” pull back and take some time to explore a new approach or strategy.

Finally, when extracting from quicksand, it is critical to take frequent breaks. The work of extracting yourself can be exhausting. This is true of divorce in general. You spent years creating your marriage, and most do not end quickly. From the time your relationship first became strained until the time that your divorce is complete could be months or years. You will need to be patient, take your time, and take care of yourself regularly along the way.
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Divorce Essentials, founded by Divorce Coach Adina Laver, is a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Let’s Get Real Mini Session, or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

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How to Have a Healthy Divorce AND Bank Account

money trap

Someone recently registered for my monthly support call on “The Healthy Divorce” with the following query, “Isn’t ‘healthy divorce’ an oxymoron?”  How in the world could the process of dissolving a long-term marriage be ‘healthy,’ particularly if recent months have revealed deceit, infidelity, or other kinds of moral infractions?

This is such an important question. How in the world could the process of dissolving a long-term marriage be ‘healthy,’ particularly if recent months have revealed deceit, infidelity, or other kinds of moral infractions?

This is such an important question.

Divorce is always accompanied by hurt, frustration, resentment, and / or anger, so it makes perfect sense why so many divorces become contentious. One spouse may have hurt the other. One spouse may have stayed too long, is frustrated, and just wants out. One partner may have checked out a long time ago and has now just dropped the bombshell on the other. The logical consequence is the shattering of the relationship, and the termination of any trust.

What a healthy divorce is not 

A healthy divorce is not defined as one in which two partners agree upon everything and feel good about each other all the time. This doesn’t happen. Divorce is difficult. The hurt will get activated and there will be disagreements about the division of assets or custody arrangements. This is a given. You need to expect this.

And in some cases, one partner is simply determined to destroy the other. These situations are tragic for the partners and their family, and result in perpetuating a great deal of fear about the divorce process. The good news is that while these are the divorces that are featured in the media, they do not describe the vast majority of divorce cases.  Most divorces are between two relatively rational people capable of making discerning choices.

What a healthy divorce IS

What ‘healthy divorce’ does mean is that partners are committed to something more important than pure personal gain. They are willing to get the support they need so they can act in alignment with their values and sense of integrity.

Wait a minute…

  • How can there be integrity if someone has had an affair?
  • We can’t seem to agree on anything, so how will we find common grounds on which to divorce?

Those things may be true, AND, it is still possible to agree upon something that both partners care about:

  • The health and well-being of the children
  • Keeping the kids out of the battle
  • Preserving financial resources for both partners to be able to start over (rather than spending them all on ‘the fight’
  • Maintaining important friends and family relationships
  • Honoring the investments and sacrifices that each person made during the relationship
  • Honoring personal values (being someone you can feel proud of in the end)

Even when you and your partner hardly want to talk and you feel nervous about trusting each other, one of the most productive things you can do is to come together and decide what you are both care about that really matters.  By the time you have filed for divorced, you may have already depersonalized your partner and transformed him or her into the enemy. This conversation is designed to help remind each of you that there is another human being on the other side of this. Each of you has your own fear, but each of you has values too. Regardless of the values that may have been compromised leading up to this point, this conversation is designed to reconnect you to your best selves.

A ‘healthy divorce’ is a choice. It is a choice to navigate your divorce as a transition rather than as the main event in your life. It is a choice to get the support you need to heal and to keep your vision focused on creating a joy-filled life following your divorce.  It is an opportunity to remain true to the person you want to be.

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Divorce Essentials, founded by Divorce Coach Adina Laver, is a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Let’s Get Real Mini Session, or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

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10 Essential Happiness Quotes to Live By

Before we get to the happiness quotes, one must remember why we tend to be unhappy in 14897023_mstop this self-sabotage before it even starts!). Ingrained in our brains is a never-ending dialogue of

Should’s

Have to’s

Supposed to’s

Obligated to’s

With this on-going dialogue, is it a wonder why many of us are so unhappy?

Which of us ever achieved happiness and self-fulfillment by living a life measured by outside expectations?

The authentic and happy life is reserved for those who are willing to transcend the confines of society’s expectations and boldly define their own new measures.

If it were about being happy, what would you do, today, right now, to make that change? Choose to put that change in motion! Tuck these happiness quotes in places where they will be daily reminders to keep you moving in that happier, more fulfilled direction.

10 Happiness Quotes to Live By:

The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.

A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can’t get very far until you change it.

It’s important to make someone happy, and it’s important to start with yourself.

Sometimes life gives you two options: losing yourself or losing someone else.  Regardless of the situation, don’t lose yourself.

Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present.  Only you give it power.

Stop looking at what you have lost, so you can see what you have.

One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you.

Don’t be afraid of change.  Oftentimes you will lose something good, and then gain something even better.

The time spent on hating is the time lost for living a peaceful, happy life.  It is a habit that controls what you see, what you say, what you do, and ultimately what you become.

The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.

… Now go do it!

And don’t forget to post these 10 great happiness quotes!

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Divorce Essentials, founded by Divorce Coach Adina Laver, is a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Let’s Get Real Mini Session, or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!

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