A Coaching Model Created by Paola Knecht
(Transformational Coach, SWITZERLAND)
Display your true authenticity by reconnecting to the Masculine and Feminine sides of yourself
This model is inspired by the law of Gender: all of us have masculine and feminine qualities, which shape profoundly our character and our way of seeing life and ourselves. Since ancient times, there has been a belief that Gender is manifested in all things, and that the masculine and feminine principles are continuously in action in all the phenomena and dimensions of Life. On the scientific side, the name “masculine” and “feminine” are represented in the main physical and chemical theories like the foundation of Electricity, where this duality of energy is known as Cathodes and Anodes. The Cathode or the negative pole, it’s the mother principle and the foundation of the laws of Electricity. The atom is composed of a multitude of particles that are spinning in high levels of vibration ones toward the others. The Cathodes exert an influence in the Anodes, pushing them towards forming new combinations, which make as a result the “creation” of an atom. When this union happens, it triggers a process of energy release of electrons called “Ionization”. In this process, the masculine particles (Anodes) are in charge of directing the energy to the feminine ones (Cathodes). The feminine ones are in charge of setting the scene for the creation to happen, the masculine executes the movements of the particles towards a direction. Both energies are completely fundamental to one another thus keeping the balance is key. (Science direct 2018)
Other manifestations of this masculine and feminine duality are also present in the non-physical domains. Many researchers have addressed the existence of a mental duality in humans. Kahneman (2011) addresses this mental duality as “System 1” and “System 2”. System 1 is referred to as the like of thinking that is in touch with our daily happenings, which is rational, short-sided and sequential, and System 2 is the thoughtful, systemic and intuitive. Other theories with similar findings call this duality conscious and unconscious (Murphy,2011). Another classical theory addressing the complementary opposites is the Chinese philosophy Ying Yang. (Ancient.EU, 2018)
When we are born, we are basically complete beings, with many sides of us. We possess qualities from the masculine and the feminine side which comes from our genetic influences and as well from the influence of the parent of the other gender.
According to Greene (2018), our character has many depths and dimensions. As for the little Boys, studies have shown that at earlier ages they are more emotionally reactive than Girls. They have higher degrees of empathy and sensibility. Girls, on the other side, have a more exploratory and adventurous spirit, and powerful wills, which they would like to use into transforming the environment.
As we grow older, however, we have to present to the world a more consistent identity and we feel obliged to play the roles assigned to us in society. During this process, Boys tend to lose their sensitive side and fit the role of the typical Male, which is assertive, aggressive and shows no signs of weakness. The girls on the other side, tend to sacrifice their wild and assertive side in order to fit into the typical women role model of being nice, smiling and deferential, being compassionate and empathetic. By getting molded by those expectations, we become less dimensional; we start to conform to the culture and characters relevant in our societies. We lose rich and valuable sides from our true character during this process.
Application in Coaching
The role of a Coach by using this model is to become a partner with the Client in discovering their original nature, which contains very valuable creative power. By going into a journey of self-discovery and introspection, the Client can recognize the dominant side of his/her character and recognize as well the complementary part, which needs to be unlocked and developed. By recognizing and relating more to their masculine and feminine sides, the client will unleash energy that has been repressed, and his/her mind will recover its natural fluidity and easiness. It will not only unleash creative energy, but as well will help the client understand and relate better to the opposite sex, not feeling anymore an antagonic role, but rather an integrated, unified role with its uniqueness and wholeness.
The journey that the Coach and the Client will embrace together, will help the Client in opening himself/herself into the opposite style of their dominant way of thinking and by exploring that side, lose the rigidity in thinking. Masculine and Feminine energies have different forms of thinking and action.
According to Greene (2018), Masculine thinking tends to focus on problem-solving and categorization of objects and events. It wants to take things apart, like a machine, and analyze the separate parts that go into the whole. The thought process is linear, sequential and detached from any feelings. It tends towards specialization and order, to dig into the specifics of a topic/field. It is the typical structural, one-dimensional thinking.
The feminine side of thinking is more organic. It focuses on the wholeness, interconnectedness of things. Instead of wanting to disintegrate the problem by its parts and analyzing them separately, it tends to unify, interconnect and observe how one thing grows into another. The feminine side of thinking is more thoughtful and looks for hidden connections, look for patterns and let individual answers or solutions to come by its own time.
Although the masculine side has been often regarded as the way of scientific and rational thinking, in reality, this is far from the truth. The great thinkers and scientists of all times like Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein have shown a powerful mix of both sides of thought, masculine and feminine, which led to breakthrough discoveries in human history.
Masculine and feminine styles of action
The primary goal of this coaching model is to discover and balance the masculine and feminine sides of the Client so that the Coach can identify together with the Client the most suitable path of action, which will work at best to the specific goal and/or situation at hand.
When it comes to taking action, people with more masculine action styles, tend to move forward, analyze and explore the situation and attack. They are the kind of people which slogan would be “I will either find a way or take away”. They are the risk-takers and take pleasure in staying in the defensive mode. On the other hand, the feminine style is more leaned backward. They prefer to withdraw from the immediate conflict and reflect all the options before making a move. In many cases, they prefer to look for ways to smooth the conflict or avoid it if possible. Quite often, the feminine strategy is actually the non-action, and let the arrangement of situations play by themselves.
Both styles of action can be very powerful, as both styles require the development of a set of qualities that will help the Client in reaching their full potential. By practicing the feminine side of action, it requires the cultivation of flexibility, resilience, and patience. By practicing the masculine type of action, it requires the cultivation of courage, assertiveness, and willpower.
Application in Leadership
The masculine type of leadership can be seen very often in the business world and how most societies are structured. Maintaining a hierarchy is important. This style of leadership emphasizes the clear identification of goal and their achievement. The cohesion of the group has to be bounded around the goal achievement, thus often exerting authoritative manners. Nature is rather outward-looking. When there is a mistake, the masculine style tends to blame others or find an external cause of failure.
The feminine type is more focused on maintaining the group spirit and keeping the group together. Empathy is very important. Results are important but more important is the process of getting the results than the result itself. Nature is rather introspective when looking for ways to improve.
By helping the Client through the coaching sessions in recognizing his/her dominant character, the goal is then to support them in their self-awareness and together until the unexplored part and unlock all the creative potential, which will bring out his/her true authentic character.
Bringing true authenticity back will definitely lead a path of success for the Client, as it will be more closely connected to his/her essential nature, making it easier to find their true purpose and thus redirect the actions in harmony with his/her life purpose.
Figure 1: Coaching Model: My Mindpower- Reconnecting our Feminine and Masculine energies.
Murphy Joseph, The power of your subconscious mind; First Digital Edition 2018; New Delhi
Greene Robert, The Laws of Human Nature; First edition 2018; London
Kahneman Daniel, Thinking Fast and Slow; First edition 2011; London
ScienceDirect, 2018: Ionization; (URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/ionization)
Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2018: Ying and Yang definition(URL: https://www.ancient.eu/Yin_and_Yang/)