10 May How to practise feminine energy in your leadership – Collaboration
In a world where leaders are expected to drive results, be resilient, push through against all odds, hustle and make tough calls, we sometimes forget what we’re leading. And yes, it’s important to focus on delivering our results, but in leadership it’s equally (if not more!) important to focus on what gets the results – our people.
Bringing a mixture of masculine and feminine energies to our leadership style, regardless of our gender, ensures a balanced approach and outlook. Both results and people then receive equal focus. Unfortunately, right now the business world seems to place a higher value on ‘the masculine’, as it’s more tangible. We see this play out in organisations where profit comes before people, when achievement (and reward) is ascribed to individuals rather than teams, and having lots of knowledge trumps having a great attitude.
How do we bring more feminine energy into our leadership?
When practising feminine energy in leadership we focus on the 5Cs – Collaboration, Care, Creativity, Change, Collective. In my complimentary ebook I describe how each theme relates to the workplace and how to practise (sign up at bottom of the home page here, and also receive a video of me introducing feminine energy in leadership). And in this blog I’m going to go deeper into one of the Cs – Collaboration.
Collaboration is often seen as ‘working together’ or ‘getting inputs from interested parties’ or ‘consensus decision making’ and while all these have some validity, this is a lower level perspective. It’s a tick box exercise in collaboration, especially when many teams think that they collaborated just because they had a meeting with a different department!
The next level of collaboration is a value exchange. Particularly common in businesses who want to bring in capability or networks without hiring. At least there’s a nod here towards an end outcome, and the value of each party is recognised, but it’s still for the benefit of those parties.
True collaboration is when people come together to create something that is bigger than themselves (which also brings in working for the Collective, another Feminine Energy trait!).
Let’s look at a leadership example.
A while ago I witnessed beautiful collaboration in action.
A team was struggling. Through no fault of their own they were suddenly thrust into a very difficult situation, and they had no leader to guide them. Emotions and stress were overtaking everything.
Three leaders from different parts of the organisation, who didn’t directly manage this team, stepped in. All three brought feminine energy in spades. They happened to be women, but as we know either gender can bring either energy.
The three leaders had one unspoken goal, and that was to make sure the team were ok. That was it.
They provided support, care, tissues, an ear, a shoulder, some gentle planning, some tasty cake, but above all they just showed up and were there. And the work effort needed to do this flowed between all three of them. They quickly decided who was doing what and went with it.
And they did this without any concerns about who looked best or having any worries about one of them using the situation to any political advantage (like a land grab!).
None of them told their leaders they were doing it, it wasn’t a moment for gaining personal recognition. No one moaned if they were providing support to the more challenging personalities in the group. Egos were dumped at the door and there was no thought of personal gain. They did the right thing for that team.
That’s collaboration. Working together for the greater good, because it’s the right thing to do.
How’s the collaboration in your leadership?
Do you use collaboration as a tick box exercise of meetings and ‘listening’ so that you can get a project over the line? Or do you consider it a value exchange, where you have to focus on ensuring fairness?
Or could you start collaborating with others with no expectation on an outcome for you, just knowing that you are doing the right thing for your leadership environment?