Mentor’s secrets: How feminine energy “grew my cojones” as a speaker
Do you remember the story when the Wind and the Sun were arguing who is stronger? They saw a man wearing a coat passing by. The bet was on. Whoever makes the man take off his coat would be declared stronger. The Wind started blowing. The harder the wind blew, the tighter the man held on to his coat. Then the Sun started to shine and smile at the man with its warmth. The man was no longer cold and he took off his coat.
Last year and a half, day after day and month after month, I was engaged in the training programs in which most of the participants were women. I was lecturing, coaching, and mentoring them, pushing them to their limits trying to improve the quality of their lives. We made some progress, but it would be a rather moderate one.
Then, my dear colleague would arrive and she would connect with them instantly. They would crack open in no time. Yes, she is very skilled psychologist with vast experience in dealing with people. And yes, I was jealous, and a little bitter too.
“Don’t worry”, everybody was telling me, “ it’s feminine energy. You can’t understand that.” I can’t understand something?! That sounded like a challenge.
When a student is ready, a teacher will appear. My teacher was in form and shape of Milica, my sister in arms in one train the trainers program few months ago. She is that kind of a speaker who stands in front of you and you can immediately sense her warmth and tenderness. You could actually feel her love and passion for you and her eagerness to lift you up. You would lower your shield and she would embrace you in her hug. She mentored me what thoughts I should create in my mind, what body postures I should take, and how I should send and transmit my kindness, friendship, and compassion to my audience.
Before Milica, my style as a speaker, lecturer, and a coach was, to put it simply, the one you would expect from an American MBA. I was very energetic, but pushy, confident, but cocky, and demanding, but aggressive. And the guys usually loved it. There were, of course, always some men in the audience who could not take it. Crybabies, as I used to call them.
Ladies liked it but they were not so thrilled. They would agree that I was very dynamic, positive, and enthusiastic, but there was always that intuitive suspicion or gut feeling about the quality and the essence of my energy, message, and purpose.
If you had asked me before what was more important to me: that the audience learns something or that I look cool, I would of course say the former. And it wouldn’t be the truth.
I became aware that I was compensating for something. If you understand that what you show in public is just a reflection of what goes inside of you, then you can pretty accurately conclude the true nature of your thoughts and emotions. I was trying to express my power and authority not recognizing that the more I tried the less I actually had it.
I realize now that I lacked patience, understanding and unconditional support. I pictured myself an ideal time for my students when they should learn something and what experiences they should develop. I showed very few or none consideration for what they actually needed in any particular moment. I could not understand the concept that they were there not for my reasons but for their reasons.
I feel now that my composure is stronger. I am calmer, more relaxed, and more confident. I actually became more dominant and authoritative but in a totally different way. I can better relate to my audience, establish stronger relationship, and challenge them in respectful and non-threatening ways.
What do I do differently now? I appreciate and acknowledge my audience first and foremost. I think none of the time about my needs and all of the time about theirs. And I am always in charge of my inner state keeping it in the areas of friendliness, harmony, and encouragement.
Will feminine energy emasculate you? No, it will make you more of a man. Theodore Roosevelt once wrote: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” Feminine energy is that big stick. Carry it and you will go further.
Wind is fun if you are sailing. But the Sun is efficient if you want your audience to take their coats off.
Keep you posted because I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg of this gold-mining adventure called feminine energy.