Your gender DNA is in your bone structure
For twenty years I’ve been studying bodies! This may sound strange but I started as an Image Consultant in 1989 and had been a dress maker all my life. I was fascinated as to how my own body defined my behavior as a woman and also how my brain challenged my traditional view of femaleness differently to other women. I had always been a tom boy and observed many times that I was not like many female friends who just seemed more tuned into ‘femininity’!!
I was relieved when I realised I was not alone and many clients who came to me in those early days from 1989 onwards would stand before me in range of angular to curved bone structures; some had a masculine mind set and others a feminine mind set! There was a pattern to be observed, a natural relationship between the bone structure and scale of the body and I observed how that created ways of being more ‘boyish’ or more ‘girlie’, some more alpha female or others femme fatale!! Yet all were women and at heart, sisters, in our natural nurturing ways. I was fascinated. The more angular the woman, the more likely she was to have a masculine logical brain. How much did my own body and mind define me and became part of why I grew into a business woman? Let’s explore more.
I continued my observations with male clients too, there the patterns continued. More alpha males were strong and square shouldered, while I observed the gentler male shape represented men who were quite literally gentle in shape, gentle in nature. This definition was not to do with sexuality but with type within each biological gender – these ‘more feminine minded’ men were heterosexual yet with an emotional intuitive core that was a very different type of man to the alpha ‘he-man’. Fascinated as ever, I knew then that there was a relationship between physicality, personality and behaviour at a deeper level than just male or female.
The differences between men and women general are well researched and written about and let’s take note of those broader differentials. Men are in general more compartmentalised in their thinking, task focused, and love to find solutions first and emotional understanding second, able to be emotionally separate from the work delivery required. Women are more biologically flexible and fluid in their thinking and feelings, listening with both sides of their brain, multitasking and focused on relationships building to find solutions.
In exploring this deeper differential within each gender, it gave me an insight into my own ‘masculine-minded’ nature, my logical biased brain, and yet my female body! I learned that I was indeed truly female in all the core ways that all women are; multi-tasking, empathetic, relationship orientated, nurturing and emotional. But my brain was highly geared to logic and spatial awareness, and my body bone structure was straight and less shapely than my feminine female friends. I learned to own my ‘male’ brain and love my ‘female’ body and recognised the combination I was born with. I was more drawn to business than motherhood yet I became a mother and thoroughly enjoyed that role. Yet I need to use my ‘male’ brain to get back into business when I could. I had a natural strategic skill that put my logical brain to work. I loved business more than ever!
So now, 20 years later, it is a dream to be working with a new framework, a map that takes those original observations into account. Our business framework comes alive everywhere, in our own team we all come from different parts of the Gender Dynamics Map™. We now use this to help people at all levels of organizations to improve their communications and build relationships across so many aspects of business and life. In teams, in roles, in the boardroom, in service arenas, and in personal and social situations, we see men and women getting that ‘ah ha’ moment and recognizing the magical conversations that can be make success come easily.
We have discovered much about relationships since we studied the many variables within each gender, and we can see now how different types of men and women can co-create a future in business that will be sustainable for human life as well as rich in profits – and maybe solve the current economic chaos.
The deeper understanding of the ‘masculine-feminine’ – ‘male-female’ is embedded into a new matrix to better understand and remove our gender stereotypes, our in-equality experiences, and mixed up relationships, especially where women act like men in the boardroom, or men refuse to see the value of a female in their boardroom. I’d like to tell you – this is a magical clarification of a subject that is so often mis-understood. We can observe some of the core variables in our physicality!!!
Let me give you a brief overview of the components of this new gender matrix…
In summary, a male is most likely to be task focused, process orientated and acting consistently on solutions, while a female will bring feelings and relationships to the forefront to resolve and grow business. However there is a masculine and feminine variation within each gender that can throw a new light on how each sees their approach working with the other; masculine minded women and feminine minded men. This paradox is brought into focus as more and more women have grown into an increasingly ‘left-brained’ world – a masculine business blueprint.
In overview, our types are observed as follows:
The Strong Woman is naturally OK in a male environment, more masculine in outlook, logical, spatial, and often found in ‘male’ sectors such as IT, Telecoms, Construction, Shipping, Banking, and Law. She is often more angular in physique and takes a strong straight stance, happy to ‘square up’ to men and compete with ease. She can be a strong team and boardroom player, bringing a strategic mind and logical style with the ability to value relationships and alliances with partners across the whole business. This is our MF, our masculine-minded female.
The Gentle Woman excels in sensitivity, in creativity, using intuition and nurturing and often drawn to caring roles, coaching and therapeutic professions, people development functions, and customer relationship careers. She is gentle in physique and statute, and often presents a soft approachable presence. Her leadership style can be empathetic and embracing of people and emotional issues, bringing inclusivity and collaboration naturally to the boardroom. This is our FF, our feminine-minded female.
The Strong Man finds the authoritative leadership and management role easily, is usually physically and mentally strong and seemingly un-emotional at work. He is strong shouldered, stands straight and direct and presents a dominant physique. He can be seen as a tough leader who controls with a strong hand on the wheel and this style is directive especially on stormy seas. This is our MM, our masculine-minded male.
The Gentle Man is often found using a more creative, sensitive inclusive leadership style, building teams through personal relationships and using his feelings on a daily basis. He is gentler in physique and softer faced, slim or slightly contoured bodyline. He can be as a ‘servant’ leader, bringing others on board and lead by example spreading responsibility and autonomy among his team members and in the boardroom. This is our FM, our feminine-minded male.
If you are not one of these four extreme types then you may be between them and be a balanced feminine-minded masculine male FMM or balanced masculine-minded feminine female MFF.
We can make or break business when men and women don’t recognise their different styles and difficulties of mis-understanding arise.
By misunderstanding the natural order of the whole gender dynamic mix, we potentially restrain the scope for women and men to work productively in harmony and with the healthiest balance for business success. It’s time to change our view to a more inclusive one. This ‘physicality’ approach born on my observations of twenty years ago may save us yet and aid enormously how men and women communicate and build a new social and economic order for business.
Let me know your thoughts – how should the story continue….?