In yogic philosophy, every aspect of life has female and male attributes. The yin and the yang. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a man or a woman, each has both qualities (more or less) within. Our Western world, and especially our economy is male dominated. I’m not even talking about the low quota of female board members in Fortune 1000 companies (only about 20% at the moment). I am talking about the nature of how economy works and business is done is yang. Yang is decisive, factual, fast, efficient, process- and goal-oriented. Yin – the female quality – is the opposite: fluent, emotional, calm, intuitive, creative, mysterious. See what I mean??
The result of a yang business environment means that men need to be ‘real men’ to succeed, maxing out their yang, while denying any emotions or other female traits. Women are in an even trickier situation. Our natural way is not getting us far in business! We need to stick to timelines, take tough decisions and react quickly, if we want to be successful. But we are flexible and we can adapt, so guess what happens: We become male.
Again, I’m not talking about our physical bodies, but I’m talking about behaviours and personality traits.
We absorb more of the yang qualities, because they let us go further in today’s economy. I realised this the first time when a vocal coach asked me after the first 5 minutes we met, if I was working in a male dominated environment. Without knowing anything about me, she saw right through. I was wearing a mask that helped me get through whatever I needed to do in my consulting job, working with high profile clients in a fast-paced, goal-oriented environment. I was not myself anymore, I had lost my femininity in pursue of success. What a shock.
The good news is: It’s not lost forever. Yin and yang are within each of us, and we need to reflect and ask ourselves, what is the right balance? Female qualities are amazing, so how can we make them shine in the business world? Creativity helps us to come up with the most innovative solutions to problems. Our intuition will guide us the right way, when it comes to taking difficult decisions. And our emotional intelligence makes us amazing team mates and leaders.
Yin rocks, so embrace it!!