3 keys to feminine leadership style
Leadership, as a concept, has been masculinized.
In today’s society, we consciously and unconsciously associate “leaders” and “good management” styles with masculine traits, a legacy of centuries of gender stereotyping and power.
When I first read about feminine leadership in Forbes magazine calling it “the future”, I flipped out. How could feminine traits be considered powerful in the workplace?
Well, the report had its strong source.
After surveying more than 60,000 people in 25 countries The Athena Doctrine, a research led by John Gerzema, revealed how people were fed up with a hyper masculine type of leadership that exerted control over teams through aggression, tyranny, manipulation and even, violence.
The thing is, masculine leadership is not only used by males, female leaders also recur to this management style suppressing their feminine qualities in order to “be taken seriously” because that is how the game plays out.
Regardless of sex, everyone can benefit from the power of embracing the feminine.
A feminine leadership is one that reconciles the inner and outer world and connects the person with the “whole”.
Feminine Leadership traits include: Empathy, Tolerance, Long – Term Vision, Vulnerability, Sustainability and Intuition.
There are three keys to understand how this works:
- A feminine leader views management in a horizontal rather than vertical way.
- A feminine leader knows that, in order to connect and increase social change, Ego walls need to come down, welcomes feedback, change and authenticity.
- A feminine leader recognizes there is power in deconstructing what “powerful” means and opening him/herself up to explore its humanity while trusting in others to achieve business or life goals.
As a business coach, I have seen the extremes: leaders embracing or rejecting their feminine qualities.
Those who reject it to the extreme become consumed by competition, envy, emotional disconnection and a strong desire to dominate an Other.
Those who embrace it to the extreme become consumed by sensitivity, the beautiful world of dreams and ideas and a lack of order and materialization in the physical world.
It is easier to talk about how charming feminine leadership is while disregarding the masculine leadership, as if we lived in a binary world where things are either right or wrong.
To my understanding, this kind of pattern does not help form better leaders because feminine and masculine leaderships, the same as feminine and masculine energies, do not cancel each other out.
They complement each other.
If we don’t first heal our notions of “what a leader is” and “what leadership should be”, progress in our workplace and in our personal lives will be slow or even stagnant.
If we don’t heal our notions with “our femininity” and “our masculinity”, we will keep exteriorizing thoughts, behaviors and actions harming the growth of our personal relationships and, of course, our enterprise.
So, finally I want to leave you with this task.
- What is femininity to you?
- What is masculinity to you?
- What is leadership to you?
- What should a leader be?
- Ultimately, what kind of leader do you want to be?
Let your responses guide you to the type of acceptance work you need to do or have.
If you are interested in learning more, on September 10th I will host a free webinar on The Feminine Leader. Feel more than welcome to join me at 11 AM EST, reserve your spot here.
Also, be sure to check out more tips in my Spanish Masterclass already available on Youtube: Qué es el liderazgo femenino y cómo activarlo.
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