I have been reminding myself lately of the male perspective on gender differences. Here is one of my lessons: One day I was talking to a Chairman, Ronnie Stronge, about male/female differences in networking and that women are generally excluded from business networking because it happens on the golf course. He asked me how ‘we’ network and I said ‘well, we meet for coffee or lunch and chat’, to which he replied, ‘would I be welcome there?’ Hmmm…something to think about there.
I know I am making massive generalisations but try to see beyond that to the real point ….Gender IQ requires learning and flexing on both sides and we all need to manage to gender differences to get the most out of our talent. It is a key management competency not a ‘nice to have’ and there are many men who have had to learn how to talk ‘football’ including Antony Jenkins, CEO Barclays. My biggest lesson in integration has been how to retain my personal power in a predominantly male team where there is a way of doing things that is different to mine.
I underestimated my own personal need to conform, to belong, to be part of the team. How do we do this without losing our personal power? Almost all of the coaching I am doing at the moment is on personal power and we know that it is possible to lose it through work, relationships, kids, but the key is to know how we begin to lose it and interrupt the pattern.
A gifted coach will be able to work with you where you are at and identify your pattern and work with you from that place. For instance, which of the following resonates with you?
* You are mostly in your head, telling yourself stories about why something can’t be done
* You have a sick feeling in your stomach and a feeling that the fear is related to a past event
* You don’t feel able to set clear boundaries
* You feel confused and conflicted about what you are being asked to do
If any of these speak to you, get yourself an intuitive coach, somebody who can read what’s not being said. Personal power is critical to every area of your life. It is the life force that runs through your veins. Make a commitment today, to begin or continue the lifelong work of nurturing your own personal power.