Time for transformation – and magical conversations!

The month of May has brought transformation in my life as well as in the political climate in the UK.
This time of the year always has a transformational nature; with blossom arriving and grass freshened with the spring dews. The sun warms us up and helps us to feel happier. We watch this happening with all-consuming regularity and do not necessarily value the natural evolution right in front of our eyes.

May has brought new leadership in the UK – a coalition of two parties, two leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, a duo walking together from two different points of political view with one singular common purpose – to make the UK a strong, safe, robust and healthy place to live! Watching these two men come together in the Rose Garden at No 10 on May 11th, an astrological day of relationship harmony, was truly magical. They walked, talked and lead in what appears to be a trusting, open, sharing yet purposeful manner. Their personal natures subtly entwined, sharing a wonderful blend of masculine and feminine energy in their presentation, even though both are men.

Why do I observe and comment on this?

Not because of “the politics” – but because I observed, on that day and since, we are watching the natural possibility that two differing political ‘enemies’ can now work together as ‘allies’, and can actually create far more together than separately! Many of my female friends suggested that there should have been more females in the cabinet – and I reflected in my last blog that there was considerable lack of female opinion running up the election. Although I too desire a more balanced number of women in politics – I’m happy that this partnership is, at this moment in time, the best partnership. Cameron and Clegg are very different in terms of their gender dynamics and yet similar enough to be good collaborators in a world that needs them to be so. This is the right ‘male’ partnership to challenge the “old boys club”, the traditional ‘nay sayers’ who don’t believe significant transformation of our society is necessary. This partnership can give birth to a new balanced opportunity for survival and growth that embraces all types of men and women, from all generations and of all diverse natures. We now need to help them do this, planting a new ‘playing field’, one which harvests new types of crops that feed both male and female needs in totality.

Cameron and Clegg are two very different gender types from the male gender and can naturally bring balance. Cameron has a more ‘masculine’ male brain yet intelligently has learned to use a highly tuned relationship style of language that complements Clegg’s natural softer, more lyrical ‘feminine’ male brain, using more intuitive and emotional language. They both grasp the need to use strong male energy and direct serious actions while keeping focused on the possibility of a UK vision and a future sustainability yet unknown but desired by most. For me, the fact they are both men gives the duo leadership a solidarity that is needed to counter the many cynical alpha men who believe our current difficulties in the markets and across social disturbances are merely a blip and we will return to ‘normality’ once the crisis is over. We need a wholly new way forward and that does mean, I hope, that these men recognise the need to bring in more female players but it’s important that they do this for the right reasons and not just for a quota.

The magic continues for me. The Cameron-Clegg partnership shows that anything is possible and we don’t have to do the “same-old, same-old” which has brought us to catastrophic economic downturn, problematic social issues and environmental disasters. We can build new possibilities and bring together new collaborations without knowing exactly what will result from discussions; we can come together with a common purpose – that impacts all of us!

I believe that this opening up of explorations for innovative solutions for economic and social change is exactly the journey we are required to face up to as a human race. There is no return to the past. We need to shed a new light on how we engage everyone, all stakeholders in society and use our natural resources, and especially recognize how men and women, together, co-create a more sustainable model for our society, our economy and our world.

For me, it is key that we bring a new plan into place – a plan that allows for all men and women to get together to co-create a new future for this planet. A big plan starting with each of us…for me, Cameron and Clegg have opened up a political ‘magical conversation’ at the top level and opened the floodgates for me to explore the unexpected in my own work with my corporate clients about how they can step into the future via conversation.

“Exploring the future” comes to life for me in the many conversations I have had in my life – and I am delighted that in May, being that transformational birthday month for me, I launched my first official ‘Magical Conversation’ last Monday in Geneva.

I had been researching, talking, and discussing these ideas for 9 months since September 2009. I had brought my own transformational path together within my Corporate Heart consultancy and my personal passion to eradicate ‘bad behaviour’ in the workplace and evolve a healthy natural excellence, a work culture that is balanced, connected, purposeful and performance at its best.

So now, building on my twenty year study of people in business and watching the current challenges, I decided to bring ‘Magical Conversations’ to the forefront of my work. In a world of amazing synchronistic links, I found myself hosted by a wonderful woman, Fabienne Feldman, in her beautiful home in Geneva on May 31st and welcomed 10 highly inspiration business women together. Our goal in this first conversation was exciting – to explore the relationship of women, business and life – and discuss how we might transform the current imbalance of prominent women in a world so often designed by men for men, and share our stories that create our history as women, in the business world, in philanthropy and in social communities.

‘Magical Conversations’ are designed to bring small groups, up to 12 people together at a time, in a safe sacred circle of open chairs, to contribute openly and with perfect self expression, respecting everyone’s view and looking at innovative possibilities around current topics such as economic revival and social change. The intention is to ensure everyone enjoys contributing: everyone learns, shares and leaves more enriched than when they arrive: knowing what they will do differently; and why they will continue to explore and expand their own magical conversations wherever they go.

Last Monday’s magic worked, we were in a perfect place, and the atmosphere was loving and giving, 11 women intent on creating a new vision for our world. Our conversations inspired, challenged, probed and opened our eyes to the ‘feminine’ attributes that women bring to the party, the nature of ‘giving back’ that entrepreneurial women often seek, and the passion we all have for being part of the solution with men – we challenged each other as to how women can be heard more on a world stage for justice and true equity – and we explored the issues of sisterhood that we don’t always get right yet!

We agreed that, in order to transform our world, we each will take responsibility for our own actions; and, leading by example, share our stories in a format that can be heard by all. We pledged to return to hold more conversations and to attract more women – and men – to explore in the same way. The magical journey of transformation begins…

May has brought Spring – new growth, green shoots, bright light and great hope; June now sets the summer into full swing, turns up the heat and sets the magic alight, how often nature shows us the way and we only need to look and listen more to know the truth.

What will the Autumn bring? We can harvest the magic or the misery, let’s make an inspired choice.

The orchard by Gallaher

Little seeds we tend to sew
create a world of life unknown,
Around each corner around each bend,
The fruits of labour blossom begin..
What kind of seeds do we choose to sew?
Are we aware, do we know?
Observe the harvest as it will tell
A life of heaven …or a living hell?

“Magical Conversations” will be held in Geneva and London on regular basis, we welcome top business men and women to explore the key issues of today. Call + 44 208 998 7032 for more details.

Economy at risk – do women have the missing boardroom ingredient?

In Corporate Boardrooms across the world, it matters that all voices are heard, valued and accounted for in the major and minor conversations that build sustainable success. Many factors influence these conversations in today’s tough economic climate and it is now recognised that men and women together make a positive difference to results. Yet each player brings different, and uniquely valuable, natural traits into this mix. However most women are not heard unless they use masculine styles of behaviour.

As men and women converse in the Boardroom (and elsewhere), it is critical to understand gender dynamics not just between males and females and their biological make-up, but between different natural styles of men and women from masculine to feminine, generation to generation, culture to culture, set against the backdrop of social and economic necessity and key platform issues (good and bad) of our world today – issues such developing technology, fast pace of business, overload and pressure, social unrest, poverty and mis-justice, desire for reform, family and life agendas…. and so much more.

Today I see that too much confusion is forming about women and their role and this has been caused by social stereotypes of women and the historic rise of feminist challenges that were necessary to make women’s voices heard, and a lack of open conversations about our own place in society and the economy at risk. Women are movers and shakers – financially, as consumers, as more than half of the world’s population, yet we are seriously unheard.

Even after the years of feminism (and I am not a feminist myself) I don’t believe that women really want the emasculation of men. We want to be heard and listen to and taken seriously and to play our part – on our terms in a world that we truly co-create with men. I do see that women do not want to be dictated to by the ‘past’, that created by an old world view of business, money and power.

Women love men, but do men value women and really listen to our needs? Do we clearly articulate what we have to offer from a future perspective without being defined by what has been to date?

Today’s contemporary leading business woman is ready for action in a wholly different way. An entrepreneuial mindset, a philanthrophic heart set and a wide scope for integration and collaboration, she has been blocked in the past yet now desires to bring a balanced viewpoint into an economy at risk. She wants to be a contributor in her own right… and heard by both men and women.

For a desirable cohesive balanced mix, where women become equal contributors to the Boardroom conversation, it is vital that female leaders understand how to operate from an informed level in both their professional acumen for boardroom efficiency but also in their personal awareness of gender attributes and natural traits that serve them well yet often get hidden away.

The most effective woman in the boardroom knows who she is as a leader and a woman; she has the confidence to value her contribution and her personal business style as a woman. She will however be faced with a range of communication styles and relationship obstacles from different types of men and different types of women, each with their own personalities, motivators, experiences and perspectives that vary from her own. Learning the elements of a mixed gender group is key. The right conversation, underpinned by a new ‘gender dynamics’ perspective, will increase her effectiveness. With this expert knowledge, a female leader will be heard and can then influence the outcomes desired by all parties, male and female. Men will appreciate her viewpoint and readily add this to their advantage. She can then more easily leverage her natural skills in the Boardroom with regards to key issues such as decision-making, conflict, risk taking and team collaboration.

This new perspective looks at the behavioural and language elements of Gender Dynamics for both men and women in the Boardroom mix; recognising personal and professional style from six different perspectives; and underpins key changes in language patterns that ensure everyone is heard. This is not the same argument as the past… quotas and playing a male game. This is about truly new ground, getting into an ‘and/and’ discussion about what both parties need and not making assumptions that the world designed by men over the last 200 years is actually the way it needs to continue.

It is fascinating to watch the ensuing pressure on our politicians to make a deal – get sorted quickly because the economy is the pressing issue and the ‘£’ our only measure. This does not take account of the human issues and the fact that maybe a too quick decision will leave us trying to solve last months issues with last years resources. Have we not learned that last month is obsolete?.. let alone last year! There is a theory ‘U’ that says it is best to take time out to resolve tough challenges, time out to reflect and open hearted, open minded conversations bringing new ideas together to bring the best solutions. Men are geared to ‘solution finding’ as a primary biological driver… this is why we need a more feminine viewpoint to counter balance this tendency (whether in men and women, this feminine energy looks beyond the task to whether the solution brings benefits to all not just the economy) Women do not separate key issues as men do … and a female ‘logic’ is needed to drive this home!

Together men and women make the best team, in today’s world this is still undervalued by all parties. More than half the UK population is female and yet we are under represented in politics and business. Now maybe proportional representation is about the gender divide as opposed to party boundaries?

We didn’t see women prominent in this election – and the media have slated us for that… Why did that happen? That is a dialogue needed among women which is continuing now in every conversation I hear. However in the business Boardroom, women have more opportunity and can make the changes happen if the men are willing. And some wise CEO’s are willing. Will men and women take up the challenges and create a new blueprint rather than more of the past?

Who will be brave? Are you? Watch this space, magical conversations start this month…

Creating magical conversations…

Pauline Crawford

Pauline Crawford

As time moves on, it becomes apparent that business is still stuck in terms of men and women getting their act together at the top of the corporate world!

I hear so many stories about how we should have more women at the top of business; how we need to change the ‘track record’ of the criteria for women in the boardroom; and women still arguing the toss about whether if they had been in charge, the economic crisis would have not happened! Personally I would like to focus on what we can do together to evolve a new conversation between us all so that we build a healthy, loving, energised and engaged thriving work culture….rather than keep on going over the past!

This is the time to look outside the past restrictions which have stopped progress. I recently addressed 50 lively business women, many solo entreprenuers, some corporate players, some owners of small successful businesses, and my theme was simple… “Life, Love and Legacy” and my request to my audience was ‘what responsibility and ownership do we take for our lives?” How do we bring love and energy into our whole existence… as business professionals, and as mothers, sisters, friends, aunties, daughters and colleagues, as customers and suppliers, as multi-faceted, emotional, caring, intelligent, highly talented, visionary collaborators in today’s future.

I believe if we take a wise stance, draw on our ancient wisdom, our strength as females, be it of many different types and styles, generations and cultures across the world, we can embrace men and persaude, inform, influence and emerge new ways to work together.

My wise advice to these women was direct. Let’s play our best card, draw the female baton and hand it on to other women around the world; recognise the limitations, rules and regulations that have been placed on us yet also look at the special place we’re now at and work together to give reasoned viewpoints as to why and how we change these rules.

Women have fantastic opportunities now to get involved in business, in politics, in social change and in determining our children’s future. Yes it may be a long road of change, but it’s happening as we sleep, eat and go out to work day by day. More and more men and women want a more purposeful world, a world where work and life find a more compatable coalition. And magical conversations are occuring everywhere.

My questions to my audience of women;

What part did women play in the design of our current world? What can we be responsible for in our conversations?

What did each of us learn from our lives to date that give us skills that can play into what has been a male world for many hundreds of years?

How can we discuss, debate and declare our authentic advantage as women without threatening, fighting with or demoralising men?

And why will men listen and hear us in a way that extends an open hand of collaboration?
I am uplifted to meet more and more wise men and women, of all generations who think, feel and act in a space of conscious awareness of others and the community around them. I am being asked every week to bring these magical conversatiosn into a wider arena and that I pledge to do.

Women across the world are gathering, click this link to find out more about Women on the Edge of Evolution and conversations to be held every Saturday from Oct 17th…

‘A thought for today’ I came across this week …

Pause before you let your assumptions spin out of control. Try being less fast to jump to conclusions and judge people or situations. Why not challenge your assumptions by checking out the full story first and then forming an opinion!
Think about your discussions about women, who we are, why we are the way we are, and what we can bring to the table?

Men – please don’t make assumptions about women, we’re here to complement you and bring a balanced view to the table…
Women – don’t make assumptions about other women, don’t pretend to ‘be’ a man even if you have a masculine mind, and don’t sabotage other women who you feel are playing too soft… When women fall out – it confuses the hell out of men and puts them right off including us in business!

My advice to women – learn that men are not the enemy, however they are made differently like a PC computer to our MAC, we use common words, yet our dialogue tells different stories and the hard drive and core programmes are distinct so we often hear and feel different meanings! Magical conversations are when we seek to understand to be understood, we speak and hear, we laugh and learn, we engage and emerge together for mutual benefits!

I asked my audience to think about their legacy…what would you like to be remember for achieving in your life?

Living a life of love that leaves a legacy that lasts…I wrote my ‘orbituary’ a few years ago, an exercise in intention setting – dated 40 plus years onwards,2050, and I pledged to leave a legacy that minimises ‘bad’ negative behaviour at work. More about that legacy next time!!

Call me on 00 44 7976 512117 to continue this conversation and find out more about my work at Corporate Heart. My passion is to shape a new energetic, awake, aware, and alive experience at work!!