First, let’s take a closer look at what it means to be feminine. Most of us have a particular image that comes to mind when we think of a feminine woman. Maybe it’s a woman with long flowing hair with a slender figure with just the right curves. She wears a sleeveless floral print dress with open toe shoes. She’s perceived to be soft spoken, kind and giving.
Then we think of the word powerful and a very different image comes to mind. This same woman might have her hair pulled up and back. She’s wearing a full sleeve dress that’s a dark solid print with closed toe shoes. She’s perceived to be outspoken, affirmative and driven.
Here’s the truth, being feminine and powerful doesn’t really have anything to do with the way we dress or the style of our hair or shoes. It has much more to do with our physical and energetic presence.
The more a woman is able to be grounded in her hips and pelvis the greater her presence will be. She’ll naturally be more influential in her interactions. This is true whether she is speaking to others one-on-one or in front of a large group. All without pushing or trying too hard to make an impact.
In a nutshell, being feminine and powerful is about how we show up as women both physically and energetically. We can show up disconnected from our power center, which puts us up into our heads. This is when we can come across as either intimidating and demanding on or shy and submissive.
However, when we learn to embody our feminine and drop into our power center we can hold an authentic confidence. We can lead with more ease, and have a greater impact. All with just the magnetic power of our presence.
The first big issue I see women struggling with in leadership positions is they’re trying really hard to gain or maintain authority and superiority as women leaders by operating from a place of pushing and over-efforting to make things happen. Unfortunately, this often comes across as demanding and abrasive. It often negatively impacts other areas of their life. Such as ones health and intimate partner relationships.
The second big issue is that this more aggressive style of leadership often stems from one being addicted to being right, which puts one on the defensive stirring up more conflict than a powerful impact. This is not only exhausting to maintain, but it has a tendency to turn people away. Particularly those who don’t want to feel confronted or intimidated by others, which is most people that I know.
The third big issue is the opposite of this, where women with big personalities become submissive and soft spoken. To avoid confrontation, they over accommodate to ensure that they’re liked. They actually draw attention away from themselves by not ever rocking the boat. Unfortunately when we play small like this our presence is weak and our influence is not very powerful or impactful.
In summary, women with BIG personalities who are in leadership positions can fall into two different camps. Camp one is when you’re stuck in a pattern of playing small and struggle with communicating what your really want. Camp two is where you’re stuck in a pattern of constantly pushing hard to get what you think you want.
The truth is, both camps cause women to feel frustrated, confused, depressed and even anxious. They struggle to get what they want in their career, life and love and feel satisfied and successful.
The one thing woman can do is invest in learning a different approach to leadership. To commit to shifting our focus from being purely results and strategy driven to presence and power driven. I teach the art of feminine presence practices and leadership skills to women to help them drop out of their heads and into their bodies.
This is where they can hold an authentic confidence. From here they don’t have to push so hard to be seen and heard. It’s amazing the shift that can happen, just by learning how to show up differently both physically and energetically.
Personal leadership develop is key for effective leaders. Strategy, tactics and concepts are actually secondary. Presence must always precede strategy. Particularly if you want to have less conflict and a more powerful impact at work and at home.
Founder & CEO of Claim The Lead. Teena Evert, M.A., LMFT, LAC, PC is an executive wellness, life and career coach helping busy professionals achieve work-life balance and greater career and relationship satisfaction.