A woman’s power is in her conscious connection with her body. A woman’s power at work is in her vibe and behavior, is in her presence.
When women connect with our inner power we behave well. When we behave well we connect with our inner power.
A woman’s power to perform and lead well are in her ability to stay grounded and centered in her true self—having access to her inner knowing so she can readily connect with what she knows and how she feels. Her body language is key. Standing tall, open, and smiling she remembers “the sovereign” that she is and thus stays more objective, less reactive and overly emotional…and less suspicious and critical of others, of men. Taking deep breathes, she feels uplifted by her inner sacred vibe and is confident. She awakens her creativity and ability to problem solve. She responds and behaves with integrity and strength—open and cooperative, with intelligence, passion, compassion, and grace, with wisdom. She is radiant and infuses her environment and those around her with uplifting energy. She positively changes her work environment by merely her presence…and thus participates in generating positive results.
BEHAVING AND THUS BECOMING LIKE MEN
Living in a masculine-dominated world, we tend to see ourselves, and the world, through a masculine frame-of-mind—masculine definitions and masculine perspectives. Because the work environment is pre-dominantly a masculine one, women have dampened our feminine nature and adopted masculine values and behaviors to fit in, to feel safe, to survive…to move up. We become like men. The problem is this does not feel natural or good. Suppressing ourselves has a huge negative impact on our self-esteem and thus on how we behave…interfering with our ability to enjoy our job and thus ultimately to be “successful”…the deepest meaning of which is to feel valued.
Over the last 30 years, women gained greater responsibility in business, politics and religion…and that’s a great thing and we need to continue. However, it is rather apparent that the patriarchal culture still prefers women to remain in second class…meaning though it has finally given us a seat at the table it wants us to just take notes rather than contribute. Not feeling genuinely accepted generates a low-level hum of humiliation flowing through us constantly—triggering our ego and putting us on the defensive. This stress and sense of insecurity makes us angry and ultimately submissive or aggressive…and our critical attitudes and competitive behaviors contribute to the tension between the sexes and widen the gap of understanding. This is very distracting and prevents any meaningful collaboration from taking place…progress is stalled.
Women have begun to see how “becoming like men” costs us our creativity and our authentic self-expression, how it causes us to behave in ways that are not reflective of who we truly are. It costs us our femininity. We hold ourselves back from speaking up, from sharing what we know and feel, from speaking our truth. We over-think and reexamine what we do and say because we worry about what men are thinking of us. Censoring ourselves like this causes us to miss the opportunity to actualize our full potential, not only at work but in life. Feeling self-conscious, we become anxious about how to interact with men. And because men and women communicate differently and women already feel on the defensive, we often take things men do and say personally…and feel misunderstood, dismissed, and disrespected.
The resentment and tension we feel shows up in our vibe and in our behavior. Men pick up our negative energy and feel uncomfortable, not sure what more to say or how to interact easily with us. They feel confused and so focus more on avoiding confrontation than legitimately engaging and collaborating with us. And women internalize this as our inadequacy. Feeling hurt, we become angry at men for running away and angry at ourselves because we feel we made them run. Frustrated and afraid, we “try to keep the peace” by either becoming shy/withdrawn or aggressive/strident–we either hold back and hesitate or try too hard to please and prove our worth. And no matter how much both men and women try to hide our discomfort, our posture and body language, our behavior speaks volumes—the tension is always evident. No wonder men hold onto to their preference for working, and “lunching,” with men.
Is continuing to struggle to gain half the patriarchal power in business worth becoming like men and thus sacrificing who we truly are?
HOW CAN WOMEN MAKE WORK CULTURES BETTER?
…as “a woman in her power”MAKING RELATIONSHIPS WITH MEN BETTER.
Women can be extremely powerful and take the lead in affecting a positive change in the dynamics between men and women by committing to change our judgments of men…and we can begin by changing our behavior. We have the chance to affect a positive transformation in work-cultures because we are innately the energy of connection, of collaboration, of cooperation, of relationship…it is part of our gender qualities. YET it is going to take some work to reconnect with these feminine traits and skills. This is going to take some sacrifice–the good news is the sacrifice is going to be of our ego-self and since our ego is a huge part of our aggressive nature rather than our cooperative nature that will be a good thing. Letting go of our ego, we become more authentic and approachable and that is perhaps the only chance we have to connect better with men and others and change things. Now to be clear, letting go of our ego does not mean we let go of our commitment to champion ourselves in business…this is very important and does take a strong self-esteem (and yes a bit of ego). The part of our ego we need to release is judgment and criticism–and the resulting resentment, toward men. We are justified in feeling defensive about being suppressed, yet believing that all men are dominating and disrespectful and judge women to be “not good enough” only positions us directly opposite them with no real chance of an inroad for “peace talks.” Our ego, our posturing against men, prevents us from seeing the good in men and thus only contributes to the overwhelming disconnect and tension between us.
We have to look within at what we really want and decide on a new intention for a new future. Are we focused on creating better relationships and work cultures and thus more successful business and a better world or are we still focused on competing with others, with men, to get ahead, to get power? And actually these don’t have to be mutually exclusive. What if we created the intention to continue to enhance our more masculine traits sharpening our business acumen and ALSO commit to hone our feminine traits at becoming powerfully effective at forming and leading teamwork, collaboration, creative brain-storming, etc? Through open, direct, genuine communication we will gain more “influential power.” Feeling that we are our authentic self at work and that we have good relationships and are a valued part of a team generating strong, healthy outcomes and success is much more gratifying to us than any title or lofty compensation could be–for these fulfill the heart and soul of a woman. A thriving, peaceful, productive community is what makes women extremely happy. So why not be happy while we demonstrate the value of the feminine in business–which will eventually encourage men to come around.
If this is the direction we wish to head–creating a more conscious work culture–then we have to change…and a powerful place to start is to change the way we behave. Men need to change too…yet we can only worry about ourselves. Put in very simple terms, we have given men power over who we think we are. The way to begin to reclaim our power is by being accountable for how we have contributed to the existing tension between the sexes and why men think of us as they do…we need to own the behaviors that have promoted the disconnect–aggression, attack, accusation, dismissiveness, ridicule, protesting, patronizing, castrating, etc. We also need to get in touch with the subconscious feelings that motivated such behavior: being angry and resentful toward men and blaming them for our frustration and hardships at work, in life. Though much toward women at work has been unfair, we still need to be accountable for how we have made ourselves feel small. And this then is the moment of truth–do we have the courage and maturity to move beyond the past and into the future…do we have the courage to move past the anger and to forgive, to forgive men and to forgive ourselves. Do we have the consciousness to channel our passionate energy into something more generative—channel this energy into raising our self-esteem and be who we truly are no matter what men think of us. Do we have the courage to raise ourselves out of victim mentality and behavior?
Think of the teachings we have learned from Ghandi, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Mother Teresa, Mandela.
We must not blame men nor look to them to make us happy or give us power, any longer. That is a victimized orientation and only weakens our power. We behave immaturely. Raising our self-esteem and feeling confident helps us feel less victimized by men and more empowered. Though it may be obvious that they hold great power in the ‘external world’, it is up to us to decide how much power they have over our ‘inner world’, over our self-esteem and spirituality. The only true power in life is the power to be our true self. The rest is illusion. Admittedly it is definitely not easy to hold to this perspective when confronted with the behavior of some men. Yet there will always be bullies in life and to become a bully to fend off a bully never raises consciousness.
We need to rise above our hurt and resentment, we need to rise above the past, and take ownership…of our new future. And our new future requires new beliefs and thus behaviors. We need to realize that we are the only one who can make ourselves feel powerful, make ourselves feel happy, make ourselves feel worthy, make ourselves feel intelligent and attractive. Once conscious of our sacred power, we realize that our aggression to gain power and influence in business, in society, in politics, in religion, has taken us as far as it can. It got the issue of disparity and disrespect for the feminine noticed–and also not only recognized as narrow-mindedness of men but also very unintelligent and bad for business (the major majority of consumers are women). Yet now we have to realize that the way we keep “arguing the issue” is coming across as a “broken record.”
A MORE CONSCIOUS CONVERSATION ABOUT BUSINESS CULTURES
It is time for some powerful creativity. Can we up-level this conversation of equality of men and women at work (in the world), can we give it a more fresh, a more conscious, a more empowered perspective? We absolutely need to continue to express the vital importance of what women have to offer business and society, and persist in presenting the justification for women holding executive positions and receiving equal compensation taking pride in the powerful results we contribute…yet is there perhaps a more elegant, sophisticated, and empowered way that we can do this? Our focus needs to become broader and the conversation more intelligent. We need to focus on how to improve society and the health of the planet…rather than continue to be primarily self-focused. We need to partner with men and rationally evaluate the history of business paradigms. And given that it is evident they have run their course, we need to decide together what we are going to do differently now to continue to improve the quality of life for all.
And what would become obvious from this conversation between men and women is that we need to work together on this. And so we arrive at the same conclusion–there needs to be more balance in the utilization of masculine and feminine qualities in work-cultures: to result in stronger employee relations, wiser management and leadership, and higher-conscious customer service…in order to be more productive and successful. Utilizing the unique yet equally valuable qualities of women and men at work would become a strategy for good business led by the CEO…rather than “equality” continuing to be a grassroots fight by women “pressing in, leaning in.” Women deserve to rise in ‘equality’, yet not by trying to be like men. We deserve equality of importance on the job being women. Yet debating this aggressively does not seem to work…men dig into their position to maintain their power more. Until they see and believe in the value of the feminine as a critical part of “their” mission, in other words, it being what they believe, they will stay on the defensive.
Now is time for wisdom and diplomacy, real diplomacy…speaking from our heart and soul, speaking about the benefit for all rather than a few. Women need to take pride in the fact that we have gained a seat at the table, yet now we need to evolve and ask ourselves who do we want to be, how do we want to behave, now that we are there…how do we want to present our self and participate in a more conscious conversation? Do we want to come across as the pent up, aggressive, strident woman with a chip on her shoulder–“a powerful woman?” Or would we rather be our true sovereign, centered, stunning self–a calm, confident, approachable, intelligent woman–“a woman in her power?” Is “making our point and proving we are as good as or better than” the men at the table more important than being our true, authentic self? Are we willing to focus on collaboration and cooperating with men instead? How do we want to behave if our intention is to change work-culture, society, for the better? How do we want to behave if we want business and the world to experience the remarkable, positive vibe of the feminine?
We need to realize women will never make a positive difference if we come from our fearful, victimized self. We need to surrender all our anger and hurt, all our righteous defensive beliefs, our false belief that “we are not good enough.” We need to release our insecurities that men are better and our judgments that men are bad and to blame for suppressing us, and instead go within and find our sovereign self….Queen is You.