What does it mean to be a velvet hammer?

Answered by Robert Golston

Being a velvet hammer means being a woman who possesses a unique combination of grace, eloquence, and effectiveness in leadership. It is about embracing one's own style and approach, rather than trying to fit into the mold of male counterparts. A velvet hammer is someone who gets things done, and done well, by leveraging her own strengths and capabilities.

To truly understand what it means to be a velvet hammer, it is important to recognize the challenges that women often face in the professional world. Historically, leadership roles have been predominantly occupied by men, and the expectations and norms associated with leadership have been shaped accordingly. As women have entered these spaces, there has been a need to navigate and redefine these norms in a way that allows them to thrive.

The term “velvet hammer” captures the essence of this navigation. Velvet symbolizes grace, softness, and elegance, while a hammer represents strength, impact, and effectiveness. A velvet hammer combines these qualities, using grace and eloquence as powerful tools to achieve goals and make a lasting impact.

One aspect of being a velvet hammer is embracing one's own leadership style. Women often find themselves in situations where the strategies and tactics that work for their male counterparts may not be as effective for them. Instead of trying to mimic or conform to traditional leadership styles, a velvet hammer recognizes the power in being authentic and true to oneself.

This authenticity extends to communication as well. A velvet hammer communicates with clarity, confidence, and conviction. She is able to articulate her ideas and opinions effectively, while also actively listening and considering different perspectives. By leading with grace and eloquence in her communication, she is able to influence and inspire others.

Another characteristic of a velvet hammer is the ability to build strong relationships and foster collaboration. In a male-dominated environment, women sometimes face challenges in being heard and taken seriously. However, a velvet hammer understands the importance of building connections and forming alliances. She recognizes that collaboration and teamwork are essential for success and actively works towards creating an inclusive and supportive environment.

Furthermore, a velvet hammer knows when and how to assert herself. She is not afraid to speak up and advocate for what she believes in, while also being mindful of the impact her words and actions may have. She leads with confidence, but also with empathy and understanding.

To be a velvet hammer is to constantly strive for excellence and to challenge the status quo. It means not being defined or limited by societal expectations, but rather carving one's own path. It requires resilience, determination, and a willingness to take risks.

In my own experiences as a sommelier and brewer, I have encountered situations where my approach and perspective as a woman have been questioned or overlooked. However, I have learned to embrace my own style and voice, leading with grace and eloquence. By doing so, I have been able to make a meaningful impact in my field and gain the respect of my colleagues.

Being a velvet hammer is about empowering oneself and others, breaking down barriers, and creating a more inclusive and diverse world. It is a testament to the strength, resilience, and capabilities of women in leadership roles.