Esther Perel on Masculinity, Power & Relationships at Work
Published October 4, 2018
52 min
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    I am so honored to bring to you this conversation with a personal heroine of mine: Esther Perel. Esther is truly a thought leader in the space, with a perspective on modern relationships that is refreshingly original, insightful, and pretty un-American. Recently, she’s been stretching the bounds of her work beyond the bedroom, which is the focus of this episode. More about this episode: Can we apply something like couple's therapy to co-workers and how easily does it translate? In this episode, Esther shares how to bring the relational intelligence from our romantic lives (things like trust, empathy, vulnerability, etc) into our most difficult, stressful work relationships and creative collaborations, especially in the context of patriarchy and the #MeToo movement. Esther’s work practically saved my relationship with my husband before we got married– and her work really helped us see what sustains desire between two people over the long-term. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered more than 20 million views and her international bestselling book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into 25 languages. Her newest book is the New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular podcast called Where Should We Begin? I know you will find this conversation fascinating and applicable to your life. Show Notes Esther shares about her childhood as a bold and extroverted girl, her experience as an immigrant and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and getting by on the goodwill of people willing to help her. [2:48] Esther turns the table on Majo and asks why she felt pressured to focus on her career over relationships for so long. Plus, how Esther became a “disciple of people” and learned to navigate uncertainty while writing her first book. [7:43] Why Esther enjoys taking on difficult and taboo subjects, and her non-prescriptive approach to finding solutions. [11:35] The major problem with our current culture of experts. [15:43] Bringing her expertise to the context of work: Esther shares her insights as a cross-cultural therapist, and the big shift she’s seeing toward reliance on relational intelligence as the core of company success. [19:59] Why do 65% of startups fail? Co-founder breakups. Esther discusses the deep, intimate, and often turbulent relationship between company founders. [26:10] Majo shares two true scenarios with Esther for advice on how to navigate relationships. Scenario 1: A woman being constantly triggered by her male manager who refuses to listen to her advice. [30:51] Scenario 2: A woman feeling disempowered by a male CEO who favors his own ideas over hers. [38:24] On difficult conversations, what’s missing from the #MeToo movement, and how we reshape and redefine relational thinking through communication (not policies or rules). [43:23] “Patriarchy doesn’t just hurt women.” On polarized systems, masculine vs feminine, and the honesty required on both sides. [46:30] From the bedroom to the boardroom – more resources on translating the personal to the professional. [49:39] Resources: Majo’s website – Esther’s website – Esther’s event – “The Masculinity Paradox” on November 10 in NYC – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
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