As I prepare to give my upcoming TEDX talk in Wilmington, DE, on August 16th, I finally finished editing and editing and editing some more, and now I’m in memorization mode. Phew!

My biggest challenge with editing was with regard to my opening story, which involves a super controversial raid conducted by the federal law-enforcement agency I used to work for, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), back in 1993. In my talk, I’m NOT discussing the pros and cons of who was right or who was wrong, because frankly both sides has innocent people killed because of their delusional leader’s deadly decisions.

However, what I am talking about is how the hostage negotiator, during that 51-day siege, saved 18 children’s lives by using a technique we use in law-enforcement to get people to cooperate. This technique has made me a better mother, a better investigator, better interviewer, better leader, and overall a better human being.

As you might imagine, my biggest concern has been that when I begin talking about the raid, I may accidentally polarize people in the audience. With that being said, my hope is that through my well-thought-out wording, a whole bunch of heart, and the perfect visual picture that says both sides were wrong in several ways, I just might keep people focused on the actual idea worth spreading: Talk like a hostage negotiator and get people to cooperate – even in the toughest situations.

Fingers crossed! Wish me luck…. pleaseeeee!

Before I sign often and say, “I hope I see you in Delaware, on August 16th, where you can judge for yourself, if I pull it off or polarized the audience,” I’d like to end with an epic expression that my mother always used to share with me. I’m sure you’ve heard it yourself many times.

“If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all!” Except, I want to tweak that expression just a little bit and end with, “If you can’t say something nice, then rally your inner hostage negotiator, and assign the person you’re in conflict with, a trait you want them to have!”

By finding the strength of talking like a hostage negotiator, you will not only get that person to cooperate, it will literally change their brain. And here’s the thing, when you assign a positive trait to someone else, it changes your brain too!

Wouldn’t you agree that it’s time to look at our world in a different way?

Ok, now here’s my official call to action…

I hope I see you in Delaware, on August 16th, where you can judge for yourself, if I pull it off or polarize the audience!

Xo, Janine