As a Relationship Coach who works with many successful women, I want to share a huge breakthrough one of my clients recently had that will transform both her work and personal life — and it can transform yours, too. This particular client is a highly-respected Corporate VP and just like many of the other executives, doctors, lawyers, professors, and serial entrepreneurs I have been blessed to work with, she's pretty much been successful in everything she's ever done — with the exception of intimate relationships. This is no accident. The truth is, these incredible women have been richly rewarded in every other context for utilizing their masculine energy...but it has totally failed them in their relationships because most men aren't particularly attracted to a woman living in her masculine.
Before I go further, I want to clarify that I'm going to discuss masculine and feminine ENERGY; this has nothing to do with gender. Males and females possess BOTH energies but they're usually not equally developed. I'll warn you up front — if you find yourself having a strong reaction to what I’m about to share – that may be a clue to you that this is really an area you may want to really consider. Where there is smoke, there is quite often fire nearby.
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Understanding Masculine Leadership
To be sure, many of the traits we tend to quickly associate with strong leaders are often masculine in nature. Masculine energy is about solving problems using logic, analysis or data. It's very disciplined, linear in focus and it's all about being in your head. It's all business; nothing personal because emotion just gets in the way. It's about commanding authority. Issuing orders. It's about rank and hierarchy. It's very much top-down in its organizational structure. It makes quick decisions typically and once a decision is made, it's seldom re-evaluated. Masculine energy is associated with the hunter archetype and it's closely associated with a number of very strong words. Solitary. Driven. Single-focused. Duty. Mission. Honor. Decisive. Firm. Unyielding. Do you notice an underlying theme or tone here?
Understanding Feminine Leadership
By contrast, leadership from the feminine looks totally different — yet it's also very powerful and effective. In fact, oftentimes it's infinitely better when you consider the ultimate outcome you want and the long-term effects. It's far less focused, however, its diffuse awareness makes for a better ability to multi-task and improved sensitivity to complexities. Feminine leadership styles — and femininity itself — has a much greater focus on emotion and understanding how people feel. It's more about leading from the heart and "the gut" than simply being in your head. That's why "women's intuition" is such a powerful force in those who develop it and learn to trust it rather than shoving it down and ignoring it.
That sixth sense is actually a huge and definite advantage when so many dismiss its wisdom so readily. Rather than commanding and issuing orders, leaders from the feminine are more effective at developing others, supporting them and building consensus. Instead of hunters, they're more like farmers or gatherers who plant the seeds and work together for the common good. There are many words that describe feminine traits very effectively. Nurturing. Understanding. Compassionate. Listening. Appreciative. Empathetic.
Bottom line, when you understand both models, it becomes apparent that there's a time to hunt and go for the quick strike — and there's a time to farm and develop over time. The truth is that the very best leaders of ANY GENDER offer a great balance of BOTH ENERGIES and they know when to flip from one style to another in order to get the very best results.
So here’s the breakthrough...
In identifying the positives and negatives that come with both energies, my client realized that she was over-developed in masculine strategies since it was such a pervasive part of her corporate culture...but it was not her CORE essence. She also saw how her over-worked, 24/7 focus on business was both not sustainable long-term, nor was it working for her in terms of any kind of healthy balance and it made her dating life non-existent.
Once my client got clear on both strategies and understood that she had always had a choice, she was free to simply choose anew because everyone knows "it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind." I also reminded her that she already had these traits within her, otherwise she wouldn't see them in others. Simply put, if you spot it (in others), you've got it.
So then I asked her what new and more feminine traits and qualities might help improve both her experience and her effectiveness at work. Here are the specific traits or qualities she mentioned in this exact order. She said she can be a little short with people when she's stressed so she wanted to be a better listener. She said she can come off a little harsh sometimes so she'd like to be more agreeable. Then she said her days would be a lot smoother if she could just be more calm. And lastly, she said she'd like to be more empathetic with the people on her team. Do you see it? The exact qualities she identified, in order, spell the acronym L.A.C.E. – perhaps one of the most FEMININE words you could possibly suggest from a contextual standpoint! You can't make this stuff up.
Now as I said, my client already had these qualities within her, especially when she was rested, empowered and feeling good. (Part of the problem was that in her state of constant overwork, she wasn't showing up in a peak state anyway). She also just hadn't really been aware of how femininity could serve her; nor was she conscious of the cost that came along with not accessing that within her.
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Now that we've identified these traits, I showed her how they combined to form a Class III situation which means it will absolutely benefit and serve 1) her, 2) her peers and others and 3) the greater good. Now my client has posted the acronym L.A.C.E. in a place where she will see it regularly so she will be reminded and anchored back to those 4 foundational commitments she made to herself. Her job is to now demonstrate or represent those traits to her peers and take note of how people respond. She's no stranger to setting goals so I know she's going to achieve them and as a result, she will feel much better and perform better. My only question is how quickly will her team and peers notice...and respond positively? Keep reading...
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