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.

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.