The DNA of Gender Dynamics© Part 6 . Learning to Engage One Another.

By Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator

hand_shake_m_1Ask any audience the question “ARE MEN AND WOMEN THE SAME?” and you will always get the same answer. NO! In every biological kingdom across the world – be it human or animal – the male and female of each species are designed to be different genders and to come together to create new life. No argument there. We laugh at the obvious differences as in this picture.  However, not all men behave the same, nor do all women behave the same, and the reasons for this are myriad.

I realized within a short period of time that I needed to take ‘what I knew’ back to the drawing board. I was learning that within each gender there was a range of physical body shapes that had a direct correlation to identifiable gender specific behavioral patterns that linked directly to left-brain, right-brain patterns and configurations. Beyond that, it was my belief that these patterns began to develop from birth. What I was witness to was the emergence of various types of women and men quite literally coming out of hiding, if you will, due to the necessity to survive in a world that struggled to make sense of the chaos of this gender evolution.

article-1364014-00BEEEF8000004B0-177_468x286Society at large continues to try to squeeze everyone into neat little boxes that men of great power and stature created centuries ago, long before women even began daydreaming about the possibility of working alongside men in the business world. Now, however, women, technology and changing needs are forcing us to rethink the playground we all live and work in. Nowadays the differences within each gender, especially women, are out in the open. Women now clamber to hold their place without truly understanding the biases that exist between women and women, and men and men, let alone between men and women. Each, in their own way, struggle to make sense of the influence required by those in charge.  New leaders are emerging; men and women alike who recognize that the players, as well as the ground rules need to change as the marketplace and life itself changes. The playground has both boy and girls in it. Why, then, do we choose to keep approximately half of our available human capital from participating in the growth and development process to become leaders. Why do we arbitrarily include and exclude at random?

boys_and_girlsLook in the playground, you see the girls play together, often in circles with their heads together. You see the girly girls sitting pretty and the tom-boy girls climb trees and playing football, ‘all girl’ and yet tough in their own way.  You see the boys hustle and tussle, playing running games, football and the like. You see that the more reserved, quiet and perhaps gentle boy plays football, but does not easily take to the more physically challenging parts of sport such as risking bodily injury and hitting opponents harder. Yet both are ‘all boy’ as they deal with their individual DNA and spirit.

As the girls grow and mature, they may well have the opportunity to become leaders like Chancellor Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, very different types of women.  Boys may well have the opportunity to become the next President Bill Clinton or world leader Nelson Mandela, again very different types of men. Imagine them each these different types of boys and girls in the playground, and let me know your views?

Men and women around the table making the future grow in innovative ways
Men and women around the table making the future grow in innovative ways

As I began to recognize these variations of leading men and women in the boardroom, as leaders in government, as entrepreneurs hiring the next generation and in society at large, I observed changes afoot that lead us to new ways of working, using mixed gender teams and feminine leadership styles, where maybe the focus becomes people rather than profit, customer rather than cost savings. The playing field starts to change to a more collaborative end game where men and women share the playground with a dynamic harmony and results that suit all.  Such things are not out of reach.

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The DNA of Gender Dynamics Part 5. Men and Women … Reaching a Critical Understanding

By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator


drama-queen
If we accept that men and women are different, in terms of an overall gender culture, how do we start to understand the intrinsic differences within each gender? More than that, how do we measure the impact that these differences are having today as women alter, and in some instances all but abandon their historically designated roles as mother, wife and homemaker?  Are changes coming due primarily due to generational variations, cultural pressures or sexual overlays? Is it because of religion or ethnicity? Interestingly, all of those things would, in my opinion, potentially lead to explosive and undesirable outcomes.

In my experience, in most parts of the world, men and women want to be successful, but for different reasons. It is critical to raise the awareness surrounding gender differences not just in nature, behavior, talents and skills, but with regard to desires and visions for each gender. Ask women what they mean by success and more often than not they will site personal values first – e.g. family, health and peace – rather than personal wealth and recognition.

Taking a look at the shifts occurring throughout the business world – men and women confronting the obvious biases held by each – I looked back on my own journey to help establish a point of reference.  I started by tracing the core DNA of Gender Dynamics© through observations I had made and noted regarding the variables that come into play when men and women interact. I realized that there were men who exhibited very masculine characteristics (I began referring to them as MM), and there were men who freely exhibited characteristics that would normally be regarded as feminine (I classified this group as FM). There were women, obviously, who displayed highly feminine traits (I denoted these women as FF) and there were other women who displayed some traits that appeared more masculine in nature (and I characterized them as MF). Here at last I found my true nature.  My tom-boy essence came to rest as a grown up mature woman.  The overlay that I have created can help us understand such diverse factors as generation shifts, cultural divergence, religious codes, sexual distinctions and preferences as well as the rapid changes occurring in the global community where men and women have got in a tangled mis-understanding and dis-regard. It must be noted, at this point, that my codification of the above traits are in no way indicative of one’s sexual orientation.

20235294-diversity-group-of-teenage-boys-and-girls-isolated-on-white-backgroundIn summary, I can confidently say my own research shows there are some core similarities among all men, and likewise among all women, stemming from our biological essence, and across whatever age, culture, sexual preference we are or where in this world we are brought up. To elucidate: men are the hunter/gatherers, think in boxes, one at a time… and part of their biological function is to impregnate women. Women are the center of the family are biologically geared to nurture and care for their family and surroundings. Whatever choices men and women make to expand their life in the creation of their wealth, the woman, if she chooses, will always bear the baby and take on the major family care role. It’s in our hormones and even when women are more masculine minded MF, as I am, and we strive for a career without regret, the emotional maternal core will raise it’s gentle head.  Some men may take the home-father role but they are still not nearly a majority influence.  Even Y Generation couples who are more evenly sharing their lives in employment, income and social activities, still leave more of the caring duties to the woman.  It’s natural, it’s nature. It now lines up against a natural urge for women to be in business, to be independent and successful as much as any man and still have a man in her life who she can partner on life’s journey.  We want it all!  I believe that the world needs to recognize and applaud core gender differences and the influence these have on our lives especially when women go forth into a men’s world or both genders champion ‘gender equality’ boy-girl-signswithout regard for our biological make-up.

What biology cannot be held accountable for is all the evolved bias and quite myriad stressful differences and blind-spots that exist and have existed between men and women for centuries. I’m talking about the differences that are at the epicenter of the ongoing debate raging between genders. The record clearly shows that men and women struggle with innate bias, imposed stereotypes, invoking human rights issues … disputes nearly as old as time itself. One of my objectives has been to provide a lens through which to examine and evaluate the domestic and professional shifts and conflicts between men and women in any situation. I have been able to do this and, as changes continue to occur and disrupt the ebb and flow of society, I continue to refine it. I will reveal the map in my next blog.

The DNA of Gender Dynamics© Part 4. Merging life and business … the “and/and” female mantra

By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator

Women have entered business in increasing numbers and blend business & life. Will men accept women as a bonus to business and recognize the mutual talents they bring together? Understanding each other is key!
Like many women, I loved the logic of business and yet needed to blend business & life. I challenged men to accept women as a bonus to business and recognize the mutual talents they bring together. I knew that understanding in a gender dynamic manner was essential.

As I developed the business side of my emergent personality, I grew despondent about my personal relationship with my husband.  I discovered that, after years of having a relatively negative self-image, I had finally come to love my angular body and saw it come into alignment with my natural, angular, logical mind-set. I came to the realization that I was what, who and how I was for a reason.  I was no more nor was I any less than any other woman I perceived as sexier or curvier than me. The strange paradox was, however, that those same kinds of women would continue to try and persuade me to be more like them … more feminine, as they were fond of saying. Nonetheless, in my own unique reality, I was every bit as feminine as they were.I remembered my own story, in those first years as I got into business. I recognized that I loved the logic of business as much as I enjoyed my domestic life. I drove like a man, read maps like a man, and as I moved confidently into my 40’s I was transitioning into a no-nonsense independent, action oriented woman.  And yet I still had a soft underbelly that cried over unnecessarily critical feedback. I maintained an understated femininity on the inside that sought love from a soul-mate and desired the support and respect of the female tribe of which I was a fiercely proud member.

My identity crisis as a woman started slowly gained resolution as I continue to learn more and more about the subject over the years. Because I am now in a position to reveal what I have learned over the years, I am inclined to share my truth with you because it has led me to a rich life filled with emotional expression rooted in professional authenticity and a reputation as a woman of substance in business and in life. If you too have ever felt a lack of identity or felt your self-image to be different to that of your gender peers, then stay with me a little longer.

Seated left with my mother, brothers and sister - I always felt like the 'rebel divorcee' striding out alone in my 50's for what I believed in - whether it was love, independence or affirmation, I searched for true meaning.
Seated left with my mother, brothers and sister – I always felt like the ‘rebel divorcee’ striding out alone in my 50’s for what I believed in – whether it was love, independence or affirmation, I searched for true meaning.

I spent many years forcing myself to diet while continuously trying on clothes that should have made me feel more feminine, frilly and sexy. And yet when I emerged from the dressing room I felt improperly dressed and more often than not, dishonest. I struggled between knowing “I liked myself as a person” and “not liking who I was as a woman”. I was never comfortable as a girly-girl although I admired that quality in my sister and my girlfriends. Even though a tom-boy, I loved clothes and colours. I loved being female and never wanted to be a boy.  I was at last able to identify and articulate the ‘and and’ multi-faceted nature of being a female but happily with a masculine ‘either or’ ‘yes/no’ logical mind set. This was a mindset and physicality combination geared to business of the day yet allowing me the right to retain my value as a woman.

My “ah-ha” moment came about quite naturally, almost by accident, as often things do. I now recognize the Law of Unintended Consequences and my somewhat accidental discovery has enabled me to identify the DNA of Gender Dynamics© for you – for women and men under all circumstances and all diverse factors and all condition including age, culture, sexuality, ethnicity and/or disability. What I have discovery has allowed me to communicate clearly with men and women alike, and has help both parties better understand their Gender Dynamics© types, shapes and genetically imposed dispositions. It helps each and every one of us create a natural blueprint for relationships, professional performance, personal interaction and overall success.  I now am privileged to share, with men and women alike, in all levels of business and enterprise, how they can understand each other, relate to each other, communicate with one another as well as live, breathe and work better with each other … if they so choose.

Performing for NIEW at The Ministry of Women, Malaysia, working with men and women on 'Gender Intelligence Leadership
Performing for NIEW at The Ministry of Women, Malaysia, working with men and women on ‘Gender Intelligent Leadership” I found my passion is to engage men and women in understanding each other.

The DNA of Gender Dynamics© Part 2 – Finding My Place in the New DNA Helix

By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator

Aged 21 setting out on my first career in Tourism, and enjoying the style of the 70's I joined a young expanding business full of men and women.
Aged 21 setting out on my first career in Tourism, and enjoying the style of the 70’s I joined a young expanding business full of men and women.

Let me provide a little personal perspective with regard to the forgoing first 40+ years of my life. I was a very fashion conscious female when it came to my own style. I was lucky to be a teenager in the 1960’s because a more causal and funky fashion sense came to the fore.  I created my own wardrobe for the reason that, as a young girl, I had learned the art and science of dressmaking. I could conceptualize an outfit simply by looking at a piece of fabric before I had ever sewn a stitch. I learned, among other things, that I was highly visually oriented.  I saw ideas as connected shapes. I could read maps and drove my car – according to my female friends – like a man. I could connect diverse pieces in my mind and create designs both on paper and verbally. I loved geometry and art and what I knew of Leonardo Da Vinci made him my role model. Yet, I was dissatisfied with my journey as a woman.

From the beginning – at least when I was in charge of deciding how I would dress – I always dressed to suit the occasion and my emotional make-up of the day. Sometimes I got it right but almost as often I didn’t. In those early years, getting it wrong made me feel somewhat frumpish and more than a little stupid even when I knew I was neither!

I learned much about myself during my formative years, not the smallest lesson of which was … dressing to look  feminine mother rather than as the woman I believed myself to be was very, very difficult. I wasn’t suited to soft fabrics that clung to me or frills that created a more sensuous and gentle profile.  I felt better in trousers (thanks goodness for jeans). I loved to wear pant suits, and bell-bottoms and many items trendy including mini-skirts. I especially loved the square shouldered jackets of the 80’s and structured garments that hung straight and simple. I liked bold colours and ‘chunky’ jewelry and seldom, if ever, ventured into the frilly; elaborate or tight fitting clothes with low cut necklines. As a business woman in the 90’s, I felt that fashion had finally caught up with ME rather than vice versa.

With the advent of large shoulder pads in women’s jackets and tops, I was told that I looked tough and somewhat intimidating although that was not who I was on the inside.  I was just being me. I presented seminars and programs to largely male corporate audiences and felt very much at home. Conversely, when I was at home with my husband and children, I felt estranged from my business driven persona.

As I gained credibility in the work environment, my physicality boosted my confidence when I realized the juxtaposition at work with men in the corporate world. I enjoyed the intellectual sparring, presenting my ideas to inspire business people to develop and improve themselves as I had done.  I felt the inner satisfaction of being able to stand mPauline Dom Photosy ground but was keenly aware that I was still very much in the developmental stage myself.

Today I continue to spend the greater part of my time humanizing and advancing my work in Gender Dynamics© and Gender-Intelligent Leadership©. It is my firm belief that the results that I have been able to codify is the legacy that I will one day leave to my family, to my friends and the world at large.

The DNA of Gender Dynamics© Part 3 – Shapes, Sizes & Other Interesting Stuff!

By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator

Conference for Executive Women. 21st November 2007 BT Centre, LONDON
Conference for Executive Women.
21st November 2007
BT Centre, LONDON

As an Image Consultant in the 1990s, I first studied the various shapes and sizes as they related to the characteristics of the women coming to me for advice.  During this period of my life, I rapidly realized there was a range of female body types and that particular body types appeared to connect directly to certain personality traits and emotional inclinations. Simply stated, certain elements and/or functions seemed to be innately driven by a woman’s particular physicality. In other words, the REAL ME can be revealed in one’s own mirror. Short aside: definition of epiphany:  a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.

My epiphany occurred when I realized the deep meaning of what is stated above. It opened my eyes and mind to something that had haunted me for more than half my life, and now it was set out right in front of me. I knew that my somewhat masculine mind-set was natural for me. I realized too that it did not … that it could not … overwrite or override my being a woman … my femaleness.  My body was not the curvaceous one I may have wanted at some point in my life, but that was alright because I really came to like one I had.  It explained to me my reluctance to accept the words like ‘feminine’ or ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’ as adjectives into my personal dictionary. Going into my 40’s, I could accept the description of myself as ‘attractive’ or even ‘stunning’ but not ‘beautiful’ or ‘gorgeous’. I came to like what I saw in the mirror.  I knew how to dress my body and to see myself as attractive. This breakthrough released erroneous preconceptions and connected me to my realities. It was good to get to know and appreciate the woman I was.  I was a female through and through.

From this point on I began to observe everything around me on a daily basis. I even observed that men also showed a range of physicality types that ranged from very angular through straight to somewhat softer. Men are not curvy like women, but the nature of softer lines sends a gentle, quasi-feminine message.  This physicality range also appeared to align with what I saw in women, i.e. the more angular, straighter bone structure hosted a more masculine mode of thinking and behaving.  I structured my thoughts into a simple mind-map designating MEN by a box, and WO-MEN by a circular shape. This mind-map was the initial incarnation of what would eventually become the basis for Gender Dynamics©. I was able to create a visual format, a codified embodiment that enabled me to articulate that which I could see in front of me as a lens through which I observed men and women in all situations.

By 2007, in addressing many audiences of business women and men,  I recognized at this time that I was watching business and life merging as women transition from home into the workplace in greater numbers. My Gender Dynamics©  map also gave me a lens through which to see the changing nature of work and home environments, and of society at large. I learned too, as we moved into the new millennium, that a new wave was rolling across the landscape, changing everything in its path. The centuries old male designed and dominated corporate economy was being retooled and reshaped by revolutionary new forces – technology which was driving global interconnectivity and the mounting feminine influence being fueled by greater numbers of women entering the workplace! We now had women emerging not only as corporate leaders, but as entrepreneurial free thinkers creating new enterprises and entirely new ways of running and leading a business entity.

The DNA of Gender Dynamics© Part 1 – A Journey of Discovery

By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator

20140621_122848Here I am today in the summer of 2015, aged 66, looking back to help you understand my story – a journey of discovery – about who we are as different types of women and men and how much more we can each do to understand each other.

When I was in my late thirties I became aware of something that had been growing in the periphery of my consciousness for some time. I had been gaining an awareness of something that was so powerful and far-reaching that I would spend the next 20+ years researching, defining and cataloguing my results.

During the late 1980’s; I was a devoted mother and an efficient wife as well as a successful business woman. As I continued in those roles, I grew to become a self-confident, authentic woman … a mature self-assured female who knew unequivocally who and what she was. As a very young girl, however, it was a far different story.

In my early years  although I liked playing dress-up, I was not overly keen to be the frilly little princess, and do those girly things many of my girlfriends did. That’s not to say that I never did such things, only that there were other things I enjoyed equally and was naturally good at such as climbing trees and riding bikes and taking part in the kinds things that my brothers liked to do. As grew into my teenage years, I struggled to gain the assurance of being a ‘young lady’.

I remember daydreaming of being a young sailor on one of the romantic tall ships of earlier centuries … climbing up the rigging to furl the sails or to take them in during an approaching storm. In the jargon of the day, I would have been considered very much a “tom-boy.”

The maturing process was, admittedly, a little confusing for a while as I tried to work through exactly who I was and what I might be like as an adult. The one thing I knew intuitively, however, was that I was not cut out to be a femme fatale … that just wasn’t me!

Such meandering thoughts of ‘wondering why’ would reoccur on occasion as I continued my life’s journey and as my knowledge of myself continued to grow and expand. The one question I struggled over time was, “Are we born with the characteristics that give shape and form to the little boys or the little girls we all have grown from, and do the essentials change radically over time?”

Let me tell you what I know today and let me state for the record that I know these things because I have learned them by the careful application of scientific methodology and much reflection and observation during my research. For this process, I have been the Experimental Group and my findings have been validate by filtering them through the results generated by the Control Group which consisted of observing and hundreds if not thousands of people, men and women who have been family, friends and clients.

One of the first principles of life is that of observation. Remember when your mum or dad told you to “Look both ways before crossing the street” … and that’s only the tip of the iceberg, as they boys_and_girlssay. I know that I was born with my boyish physicality and a more left-brained mind-set. I know because my passions were always driving intuitively throughout my childhood and early development. I always got on talking with boys quite easily as friends whereas my girlfriends saw every boy as a prospective boyfriend. Don’t misunderstand. I was and am as female as my sister and my girlfriends. I developed my share of infatuations along the way, but I knew that I was seeing inter-gender interaction differently even then. Putting it simply, I was looking at boys and girls and their expectations through a different lens … the lens of purposeful observation.

It would please me no end to say that whatever gender based issues we may be dealing with at this point in time, they are largely inconsequential because men and women communicate clearly with one another and each enjoys a functional understanding of what motivates the opposite sex. As I continue down the particular road of discovery I began to travel a few decades ago,  I am both unwilling and unable to dismiss the compelling and growing body of hard evidence that says “That is just not the case.”