“Wisdom starts with wonder” Socrates

Ever thought about where your wisdom comes from? What has been imprinted into your very being before you are born from generations before you? This is not in the sense of past lives (that’s for another blog…) but simply the wisdom of inheritance from 2-3 generations past, merged through male and female lines, and the communities around them, into your essential being as you occur in your day.

Our wisdom is so influenced by the nature of your family history and adjusted by the times they lived in and merged with the times you now inhabit. Our wisdom comes from both maternal and paternal pathways of course and whether these are actively known to us during our childhood or not, whether we are orphaned, adopted, fostered or brought up by our natural parents, in wise or unwise whys, the unconscious guidelines are there. How can we bring these alive into conversations today where we share the wisdom over generations, like a wisdom waterfall, seeking our elders, to talk with our mid-life ages, and our youth to really listen to the evolution of current day wisdom.

I was fortunate to be born into a wise tradition of love and family values, and my childhood was one of love and togetherness. I look around today as people talk about the breakdown in ‘family’ living and community cohesion, and I wonder how and why we, collectively, have lost what people most cherish, a rich and fulfilling life; a sense of belonging, a pride in contribution for its own sake. The wisdom of the word ‘rich’ has been misplaced by the obsession for money and not as a word to describe a desirable natural life of joy and happiness, rich in all aspects of life, relationships, love, identity, achievement and wholesome success. It feels somehow we have got the whole word trapped in a sticky web of materalism. Where does our sticky state come from? Is it inevitable because of our history or can we unstick the web of the past to emerge like a butterfly. I know we can all do so, and use the wisdom from ancient times to present day.

My own wisdom was influenced by my history and the times I was born into. It has also evolved through the route I have taken, the attitude I have developed and the good daily practices of living that guide my journey. I have evolved with my own children’s development; influenced by my choice to be of single status after 30 years in a partnership with their father; now as a grandmother and an entrepreneur, my wisdom evolves further as I seek to engage in a new way of collaborative living suitable to this era of transformation. Collecting strands of wisdom from all ages, all diverse individuals and multi-potential groups across society is a passion of mine. We each have so much to bring the conversation and time is pressing us to observe, converse, and merge our wisdom for the common good.

Socrates says ‘Wisdom starts with wonder’…

…as in wonderment of all that is wonderful in our world. It seems we only get bombarded with disaster, war, famine, mistreatment, injustice and pain. The world is writhing in agony in so many parts of the globe, near and far, yet I see also the clinks of light where human beings step into their wisdom.

Samuel Smiles said “We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do: and probably those who never made a mistake never made a discovery.”

Some simple wisdom strategies:

• Put aside the constraints of your past for the possibility of a wise future (and if you don’t know what constrains you, then take a personal review journey with me)
• Do not fear your mistakes , know these provide ground to seed new discoveries (I have learned so much form my mistakes, I love ’em!)
• Allowing all (wise) views to come into your conversations, listen with your whole being not your pre conceptions and moral high ground (open your mind and heart to views outside your reasoning)
• Leave judgments and opinions outside the circle of conversation, hear wisdom from all corners of the world, draw the full square of life into a flow of inspiration (when the flow is stuck in an eddy, notice and then get paddling)
• Encourage good intentions and heartfelt expectations to raise everyone’s game, lead as you would leaded with unconditional love (life is about expansion or contraction, observe what is occurring for YOU not outside of you)
• Focus on sharing always in a consistent wise manner, join and leave every conversation inspired to inspire others (be present to the moment, this is NOW and the only space we have, take time to ‘wonder’ about all that is)

In my experience, wisdom is often mistaken for expertise or being clever – NO – wisdom does not happen because we think we know the answer, only when we don’t know what we don’t know, and we’re OK about not knowing, then we open up a space for wisdom to transform our lives… and magic conversations occur!

Join me for Magical Conversations in Richmond, starting from mid-May; dates and venue to be announced, register your interest by emailing me at pauline@magicalconversations.co.uk

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…