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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to negotiate when lives are on the line, in deadly hostage stand-offs, with ISIS, or with an armed man with sniper weapons on the National Mall in Washington DC? Sounds terrifying, highly emotional, and exhausting, right?

Grant it that negotiations with your leadership and/or board may not be life or death, but they can be no less exhausting or frustrating when you’re not heard, valued, and respected for your ideas and initiatives.

I’ll be joining FBI and NYPD International Hostage Negotiator Chris Voss again (the first training was in October 2022 in NYC), so I can help you stand in your power even more for yourself, your company, and those leaders coming after you.

As we know all too well when women are not heard or don’t have a big enough voice at the table, it’s costly.

Consider that productivity has taken its biggest dip since 1947, and it’s costing U.S. companies north of 600 billion dollars a year,...

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Feeling Uncertain About What's Next? 4 Simple Strategies ...


"It’s the Nature of Babies to Be in Bliss.
- Deepak Chopra

Life was pretty simple as a baby. We did not have expectations, responsibilities, comparisons, or judgments placed upon by ourselves or by others, and it was our nature to be curious, have our basic needs met, and follow our bliss or what made us happy. We didn’t overthink, worry about what others think, or get stuck because of some past trauma (that we were possibly unaware of.)

Somewhere along the line, we were influenced by our parents, friends, siblings, society, media, colleagues, partners etc. So, when we’re feeling uncomfortable or like it’s time to shift, it can be challenging to truly determine with utmost clarity and confidence what’s next or when to pull the trigger.

Whether you’re an executive thinking about leaving your corporate career, or you are a twenty-something about to wrap up college and trying to figure out what’s next like my amazing daughter Megan,...

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4 Steps to De-escalate an Escalation


"Self-centered negative emotions and egoic behavior are like poison in a well. If they are not transformed, contained, or eliminated, they’ll contaminate the purest water.”
- Sheryl Kline

Do you want the good news or bad news first?

Let’s go with the bad and get it over with!

You may have a counterpart that’s a challenging personality type. Unless he is willing to do the work (ie: with a licensed therapist, NLP practitioner, or other licensed professional), he is not likely to change. Cognitive processing and behavior are strongly influenced from long ago, likely in childhood, and how we are treated by influential people in our life.

The good news…

You can follow a proven process to lower a colleague’s (or a family member’s) emotional state, by making him feel heard, cared for, and in control. This in turn puts you in a position to de-escalate a conversation, make it less emotionally charged, and for you to take your power back to influence the...

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The First Step to Defuse an Emotionally Charged Conversation


“When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion —

you fall to your highest level of preparation.”

- Chris Voss

I recently spent time with Chris Voss and a few of his Black Swan NYPD and FBI hostage negotiators in New York City. It was slightly terrifying (I’m half joking), but the quote above sums up why most emotionally charged conversations escalate and ultimately fail to be productive. 

Lack of preparation.

This is the first part of a live SOLD OUT masterclass series presented to the @theWITNetwork and the topic for an upcoming live event for @Coco Brown's amazing @the-athena-alliance, so I hope you find it helpful as well!

Most of us catastrophize about a potentially emotionally charged conversation which is understandable. Who wants to have an uncomfortable conversation? But, if the conversation is potentially emotional, it's likely an important one.

The first step to defuse an emotionally charged conversation is to make sure you...

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Hello 2023! Exciting News!!


Happy New Year!

I am incredibly optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead for women in leadership for 2023. With all the uncertainty with in economy, lay-offs, weather (as I watch the 20 waves in here in California), there is tremendous opportunity to rise while others speculate or are fearful of the ‘what ifs’.  

You are limitless, remember?:) Despite everything going on around you. 

For some, it’s been a very difficult time, and it’s with incredible respect and gratitude that I have for you to keep showing up and inching forward towards a better day. Take comfort in knowing that there is a proven process to help.

For others, opportunity has knocked, and you’ve opened the door wide open! You’ve raised your hand, and the universe has answered in a big way!  

Here are a few facts that I know and many that I didn’t know until I went to my husband’s dear friend, @Tiffany Shlain's opening exhibit at ...

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Is Your Executive Membership Falling Short?

The world seems to be in a precarious place, and I believe wholeheartedly that the course correction that we need to see right now will be led by women (and fueled by some incredible male allies). Do you agree?

As part of the Limitless Leader community, you’re undoubtedly committed to being a heard, valued, respected, and energized agent of change, with your family, peers, subordinates, and with your leadership while empowering others to do the same.

In addition to being lit up by what’s possible, sometimes leaning into our highest sense of contribution and change, can be challenging, frustrating, and downright exhausting! Where our passion meets our expertise is our Olympics, our legacy, and what the world
so desperately needs to see right now.

Like the work put in by Olympians, the thousands of hours and days leading up to the culmination of our life’s work, sometimes in solitude, and often with no fanfare or recognition, you keep going.

Just as Olympians dream of...

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Time to Plan Your Exit Strategy and Decide What’s Next?

Uncategorized Nov 22, 2022
Sheryl Kline M.A. CHPC | The Zone Lab, LLC
Time to Plan Your Exit Strategy and Decide What’s Next?

Clarity is fluid and many times not easy to reassess. One thing I know for sure is that our future depends on women leaders to shift cultures, companies, and the world for the greater good.

 If you feel like it’s time to take an honest look at an exit strategy, assess the impact you want to have in your company prior to your departure, and decide on what’s next, it will not likely happen in solitude.

 Executive peer advisory communities are SO important for influential heart-centered female leaders, especially for women who are ‘onlys’ and ‘double onlys’ in their companies and/or boardrooms.

 After speaking with over two dozen female executives that are seriously considering dropping their executive women’s membership or know of many who have already dropped, I got curious to find out why.

 Here’s what I found out and possibly what to consider when choosing an executive peer advisory for yourself:

 1. ...

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Podcast Episode #127: 'Show Your Worth' live book talk with Shelmina Abji

Uncategorized Nov 18, 2022

'Show Your Worth' live book talk
with Shelmina Abji

In case you missed my LIVE Book Review with the amazing Shelmina Abji  (Speaker, Former IBM VP, AngelInvestor and Author of Show Your Worth), here are a few gems of wisdom that she shared: 

  • Don’t just show up, show up with intention
  • Find the things in your life where you can dream bigger
  • Find your voice and learn to communicate, and believe that you deserve to be heard
  • Every experience teaches you something - whether it's a good or bad experience, you can use it to grow

 I would have listened to her even more if we had more time!

To be notified for future interviews be sure to connect with me here on LinkedIn AND to learn more about how to build the mindset and influence for real change, join our community at

Download a transcript of Sheryl's interview with Shelmina Abji.

(Please watch the video above)

To your next level of impact and joy!


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Need Leadership's Buy-in? Take Control with These 4 Strategies


Need Leadership's Buy-in? Take Control with These 4 Strategies

Have you ever had that brief yet vitally important window of time to speak with your leadership or board only to let your emotions get the best of you and feel disappointed at the outcome?

Whether negotiating an offer for a new title, a monetary raise, promotion, or buy-in on an idea, it’s vital to prepare your mindset AND that of your counterpart.

Here are a few tips to make sure you feel in control of your next crucial conversation:

  1. Have an ECO Mindset prior to entering into any high-stakes conversation. (Have "E"mpathy for the other, "C"uriosity for what he/she might feel/be experiencing, and "O"ptimism for how you’d like the conversation to turn out). If you’re not feeling the love, postpone the conversation. Anger and frustration, while 100% understandable, will likely come out in your tone/gesture which will not be helpful to your cause.
  2. Begin with acknowledging the other’s perspective. Be...
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Podcast Episode #126: "The Importance of Visibility and Self Promotion for Women in Leadership" - an Interview with Christine Kiefer

Uncategorized Oct 28, 2022

The Importance of Visibility and Self Promotion for Women in Leadership

In case you missed my LIVE interview with the amazing Christine Kiefer (Senior Vice President at Experis), here are a few of the wisdom gems she shared:  

  • If you’d like to try something new, ask ‘What do I love, and what are my transferable skills?'
  • Be courageous and take the leap! You can learn what you don’t know
  • Communicate with peers and management your accomplishments and what you are passionate about, so you’ll be considered and mentioned when you’re not in the room
  • As leaders, our teams are our accomplishments, so speak up for yourself while praising your team
  • Be proactive about illuminating the accomplishments of your team and peers while encouraging others to do the same

To be notified for future interviews be sure to connect with me here on LinkedIn AND to learn more about how to build the mindset and influence for real change, join our...

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