Betty-Ann's Both Sides Blog
June 5, 2013
When you invite your opposite energy into your life, it becomes natural to flow back and forth between the two energies. Both can be used to your advantage and by accessing them you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way.
I remember one exciting day early in my career when we had a new CEO, and he came by the Sales department to introduce himself. As I watched the men in my department jockey for position and invite him to play golf, I realized that they had membership in an entrenched system that didn't include me.
So I pulled out my secret 'girlie' weapon: my recipe cards. No, I wasn't going to cook for him - this was my system for keeping track of clients, with each recipe card containing personal and professional information about a given customer. A card would tell me how much he bought in a year and why they weren't buying more from us.
The cards also provided personal info - where their kids went to school and what they liked to do in their spare time. This meant that when I called them I didn't need to get right down to business - I could ask them how their son's team had done in the playoffs. They knew that I cared, and that made a big difference.
Looking at the feeding frenzy surrounding the new CEO, I could hear him asking around about our biggest clients, trying to gather as much information as possible for an upcoming meeting. So I spread my recipe cards out in front of me and invited him to review them. I spared no detail, giving him every last personal and professional nugget that I'd gathered over the years. He thanked me up and down for all the valuable information. I was just a lowly sales coordinator at the time, but now the new CEO knew my name. Six weeks later, I was promoted to Director of Marketing Services.
Once again, I can credit Gender Physics for this success. While some of the other sales coordinators made only passing attempts to connect on a personal level with their clients, I viewed it as an important part of the client relationship. And I wasn't gathering the information in a calculating way - I was really interested in their family life! By using my empathetic, relationship-oriented Feminine Energy, I was able to make strong connections that paid dividends.
However, I would not have realized those dividends if I hadn't used my Masculine Energy when the time was right. When I wanted to impress the new boss, I took decisive action in bringing him the fruits of my labor. I used my action-oriented Masculine Energy to make the most of my relationship-oriented Feminine Energy, with spectacular results for my career. I use this same approach to relationship-building whenever I network.
The moment when a personal connection becomes a business relationship is a crucial one, and also requires a skillful blend of energies. Feminine Energy is cooperative and inclined to help out others, and that's not such a bad thing in the business world - doing favors for your new contact is a great way to deepen that relationship and make them feel like they owe you one! But if you don't use your Masculine Energy to ask for your quid pro quo, you'll wind up in a lopsided relationship where you get nothing in return for your generosity. (By contrast, if you show too much Masculine Energy and demand too much of your contact without offering anything in return, you're unlikely to get much return business.)
What makes Gender Physics so valuable in the workplace is that over the course of your career, you'll encounter numerous situations which call for radically different approaches. One day you might find yourself executing a series of cutbacks to save money, and the next day you'll find yourself having to persuade a group of customers that you can be trusted. You'll be more effective at handling the cutback if you access your Feminine Energy to help employees connect to the larger purpose; and if you use your Masculine Energy to address customer's concerns by actively demonstrating results, your trust quotient will be improved.
Allowing one energy to dominate at the expense of the other will leave you ill-equipped to deal with half the situations you confront in the workplace. By developing your opposite energy and learning to effortlessly flow between the two options, you'll be ready for whatever comes your way.