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In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch last Friday, the eyes of the world turned to the New Zealand’s leader. 

As I have admired Jacinda Ardern’s response and her heart-led presence with the families and broader Christchurch community,  I have also now reviewed my vision for this Women’s Network (Connecting the Dots) as well my ‘why’ (my purpose). 

I believe that modern leadership and the most influential global organisations need to invest now in developing skillsets, which are intrinsically feminine such as compassion, empathy, intuition and emotional intelligence. The right amount of both masculine and feminine power is now required for organisations and societies to thrive. 

So what can we, women do to empower ourselves? And to empower each other?

Whether it’s more respect or recognition you want, more autonomy, more security, stability or structure, it’s not just standing up to speak, its those other aspects too:  

  1. Intuition - trusting our better judgement. Making decisions and taking steps because they feel right, they sit well with us. Women are highly intuitive, but don’t trust it as often as they could. And again, science is catching on with the spirituality on that matter too (according to Mbraining we operate not with one, but three brain centres including that of our heart and gut). 

  2. Compassion - having the ability to connect at a deeper level with oneself and others and respond appropriately. This skill is so valuable in building relationships and communicating well with others. 

  3. Emotional Intelligence and that includes awareness of others (needs, emotions, communication styles, reactions) as well as relationship management skills. These would not be possible without very high self awareness and self- regulation. 

  4. Gentleness and Kindness - whilst the two attributes are not the same, they both encompass a non-aggressive and non-defensive behaviour and the attitude, which only comes with high levels of self-esteem. 

  5. Openness - which leads to curiosity, listening and prevention of judgement. Openness allows to truly connect and give others what they really need.

There are other, more masculine attributes such as confidence, ability to say ‘no’, decisiveness, responsiveness and delegation.  

The bottom line is balance.

Just like assertive men need high levels of emotional intelligence to connect, understand and acknowledge others; women who are gentle, compassionate and intuitive, will need assertiveness and ability to speak out when it is required.  

Only if and when the masculine and feminine are played out in balance, can we talk about the best outcomes for all.

How to develop that balance?  That’s a whole new conversation.