HONG KONG – Hello, my name is Judy Wong a Corporate Governance Expert and Business Protection specialist. The yin-yang symbol, it’s the circle which is formed with two fluid halves – one black (yin) and one white (yang). Both of which have a dot of the other element at the center of each other’s essence. I’m excited to share how you can use the yin & yang principles in leadership. as a woman. The yin-yang symbol is highly recognized in Eastern Traditions similar to the holy cross being recognized in Western Traditions.
Dynamics of Ying-Yang in Leadership
The symbol is often used to describe various matters and dynamics. Such as nature, human relations, and the harmony of the co-existing feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) energies. Yet, the one place where we often do not consider whether this harmony exists is in the corporate workplace. In boardrooms and meeting rooms where men are often dominating the scene; learning to balance the yin and yang is what can set a woman apart from all the other leaders in the room.
Leadership skills extend beyond the ability to be articulate and speak to others. It includes the ability to influence and to be truly heard (as opposed to having people fall asleep at the table).
If we took an honest look, most work and professional related “problems” aren’t problems at all. They are instead, the manifestation of different leadership styles being played out. Also more often than not, there is plenty of friction that comes with having too many over-aggressive (often male) personalities addressing one specific “problem”.
Men are Wired to Problem-solve
Therefore, having a lot of men in a room tackling problems naturally means there will be differences in opinion. This is not to say that women are always peace-loving, however, women do tend to prefer community and balance. Women are also more SENSITIVE by nature and can detect when energy IS “OFF”. So when we can work our magic to restore balance and harmony, we succeed.
Too much testosterone calls for a softer touch!
When a woman can lead authentically from her position of feminine power, the effects can easily be seen, heard and felt.
Rules to yin (feminine) energy;
1. Active listening –
Without interrupting until a person has aired out all they have to say. Most people listen without truly hearing what the message is behind the words, and are often more concerned about sharing their views as opposed to understanding what the speaker is trying to say. Create respectable space for people to air out their complaints.
2. Speak firmly –
Speak from a place of deeply rooted power, with firmness and conviction. Less is more. There’s no need to dominate the conversation in the number of words spoken. Speaking concisely and with firm conviction makes you heard.
3. Lean back and smile –
It’s amazing how serious people can get when it comes to working and defending their power, their territory, and their ego. By leaning back in your chair and smiling you are demonstrating how amused (or even entertained) you are by the heated arguments that might be taking place. There’s no need to join the battle. Let the fire burn until there is a chance for you to step in and speak. Eventually, the people acting out their parts will recognize that they are making a scene and will be ready to stop and listen.
4. Along with #2, make firm suggestions –
State preferences, but don’t yell. Have you noticed that the words you use determine how seriously others take you? It’s not about volume.
5. Highlight your observations –
Most people who are a participant in some form of work drama don’t even realize how they contribute to it. Calling their awareness of the situation is a brave move. It demonstrates your courage and helps allow them to improve. (Warning: Not all egos are open and receptive to criticism, so be careful about how you do this.)
Even though people may not be able to articulate why they are feeling disturbed, when the balance is off in a particular environment, it can be felt. Humans are animals, and at the end of the day, our animal instincts are often able to detect it when an environment feels hostile. Women can easily set the tone to produce a warm and welcoming environment which allows others to feel safer to be themselves and become more productive along the way.
Many will argue that while women make fabulous entrepreneurs, not many can succeed in the corporate world; precisely because they are women and don’t “play the game” in the same way as men.
But what if women were able to view it not as “a game” but as an opportunity? What if it could be proven that having women in meaningful leadership roles often contributes to making bigger profits or keeping profits? I have witnessed and experienced first-hand, situations where having female leadership makes a significant difference in the outcome. Instead of silently resisting the male-dominated business model in a corporate environment, I believe that women can make the biggest difference by embracing their yin (feminine) energy by creating the space that allows creativity to be expressed (no matter how big or small).
Yin And Yang Communication Styles
Leadership that leans towards a dictatorship model is often deemed too direct and too harsh. Moreover, sometimes detrimental to the development of the people who work for you. More often than not, it may quite simply be a man’s communication style that creates this tone.
With a feminine communication style, we may often find that our positive and fresh approach can bring about great rewards. For instance, the admiration of colleagues and maybe even a few prospective partners!