Have you ever encountered someone who insists on being the boss? He’ll discount others’ ideas, wanting them instead to acknowledge and follow his way. Quick to make a decision, he’ll jump into action when presented with a problem. If you have, you were facing someone with an over-abundance of masculine energy.
Or maybe you’ve worked with a person who continues to consider alternatives long after he’s exhausted all avenues for gathering information. He vacillates when it is time to make a decision, incessantly turning to others to be sure they approve. If so, you were in the presence of someone with an over-abundance of feminine energy.
Both these individuals are imbalanced and would benefit from developing their opposite-gender energies.
We all need the contemplative feminine energy that takes its time and checks in with others before making decisions. But feminine energy needs to be accompanied by the action-oriented masculine energy: once we’ve gathered information, we need to have the confidence to forge ahead with the action required, firmly placing the naysayers on the sidelines.
By learning to develop both our feminine and masculine qualities, we can access whichever energy is most appropriate for any given situation. In doing so, we’ll be assured that we are aligning our own external business actions with our internal values and capabilities. This will enable us to call forth whichever energy is most appropriate based on those we find across the table.
I call this ability to flow between the two energies “good gender physics.”
Applying the Two Energies
Most of us have a preponderance of one energy or the other, often (though not always) dictated by our actual gender: men usually have an abundance of masculine energy, while women have more feminine energy. Learning to balance both energies in your interactions will help you build relationships, become a better leader and grow your business.
1) To increase feminine energy, take time to build emotional connections. Learn about the other person, their family and what they like to do in their spare time before asking them to join your business.
Everyone wants to feel acknowledged for who they are, and there is nothing like the human connection to open the mind to a new idea. Once, when I was working in sales, I took care to “make friends” with a person who was generally considered difficult. I made note of his likes and dislikes and kept him apprised of how doing business with me would benefit him. Not only did I become his primary supplier, but he remains a valuable contact today, long after we’ve both moved on from our previous positions.
2) For more feminine energy, take time to tell stories. Stories awaken empathy and demonstrate that “we are all in this together.”
By establishing our common culture, stories illustrate the foundation of our values. They provide the necessary ground for a long-term business relationship. When I was working in sales and facing a skeptical buyer, it was tempting to enter a game of “one-upmanship.” However, this always results in a winner and a loser, which means we’d both lose. I found that by switching from reciting facts to telling a story, I’d make my adversary into a partner.
3) To enhance masculine energy, get to know your facts. Masculine energy wants to establish right from wrong by using facts. Men often present facts as truth to reinforce a position, but it’s important not to depend upon them entirely. As Mark Twain said, “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” Use facts to establish credibility with clients, but avoid using them to establish a pecking order. Facts make a real impact when used to reinforce a story. This balance of masculine and feminine energy registers with listeners in both their hearts and minds.
4) To increase masculine energy (or to relate to another person who has a lot of it), set measurable goals and develop action plans with a timeline. Then break those goals down into a number of smaller goals and focus on accomplishing them by the target date. As a woman with a lot of masculine energy, I thrive in this scenario, so I need to remember to balance this single-minded desire to move ahead with building and maintaining my emotional connection with people.
By developing both energies, each of us can become a better leader. A more masculine-energy leader is eager to “get out in front,” while a more feminine leader prefers to “nudge from behind.” By using collaboration and connections, feminine energy brings out the best in others, encouraging all involved to discover and develop their own capabilities. It delegates responsibility and decision-making as part of the facilitative process.
This less traditional form of leadership can be viewed by masculine energy as weak, as feminine energy prefers negotiation and consensus-building to using the force of the hierarchy. In the same way, the top-down leadership style of masculine energy can be viewed as autocratic from the feminine perspective. However, both leadership styles have value.
A person with good gender physics uses both energies for best results. Masculine energy helps to develop a strategy and its single-minded focus provides the courage to take action. Feminine energy uses empathy and compassion, inspiring people’s commitment to the cause, which is necessary to drive the strategy forward. The feminine focus on developing relationships to achieve an end goal provides balanced, long-lasting leadership.
The ultimate quest is for each of us to acknowledge and embrace our opposite energy and become fully integrated human beings, capable of flowing seamlessly between the masculine and feminine energies.
Good gender physics allows us to grow our business from an action platform aligned with our capabilities while garnering support from others. From people to companies to governments, we can all stand to develop our opposite energy. Good gender physics won’t happen overnight, but if we work at it, we can create a more balanced world.
BETTY-ANN HEGGIE shares her quest for
female empowerment through her keynote
speeches and workshops across North America,
by showing audiences the importance of having
enough feminine energy to balance the masculine
energy prevalent in the system. You can follow her blog at