By Jana K. Hoffman, Copywriter

The ladies of RSR hosted its monthly Lean In on Tuesday, April 28. Originally started by partner Lauren Bello after reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, the forum has become a way for the company’s women to bond and discuss relevant topics in a comfortable and encouraging environment. Coincidentally, our Lean In fell one night before NYC Lean In celebrated its 1-year anniversary.

This month, Engagement Coordinator Jackie Friscia presented her version of Lean In by tapping into the topic of ego. Friscia chose this topic after reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and realizing the need to embrace simplicity in her life and let go of identifiers. “The topic is so multifaceted,” Friscia said.

So we dimmed the lights, lit some candles and snacked on delicious falafel from Taïm. While we snacked, Friscia began the conversation by asking each person in the group to identify herself using one word.

What was first considered a tricky task quickly became the gateway for a relaxing and open conversation. Women identified with words such as independent, adapter, positive, supporter, mature and tenacious.

Following this exercise, the group listened attentively as Friscia explained the differences between ego and self-esteem as well as ego’s impact on our lives. Questions like “When was the last time you felt like you needed to defend yourself?” and “ How did the last criticism of you (or your work) stunt you?” challenged the group to think and answer with honesty.

As usual, the conversations went off on tangents. Although some participants were hesitant to respond at times, each lady who attended opened up with insightful responses. Admittedly, Friscia said she didn’t receive the responses that she expected and was surprised at how enlightened everyone was — in a good way, of course.

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