Tag Archives: Gender Intelligence

Techniques to Build Your Gender Intelligence

Just as we prepare ourselves for an important interview or set our minds to achieve a challenging goal like runningScreen Shot 2016-02-07 at 9.35.40 PM a marathon, we can take step to invite intuition into our daily experience, and thus build our ability to move between what are traditionally considered masculine and feminine energies. Check out our two previous posts on Gender Intelligence here and here.The following are a number of ideas to ponder and exercises to do. Consider adapting them in a way that speaks to you.

Revisit Your Perspective and Perceptions

  • Consider the possibility that wherever you are now is now the optimal place from which to get where you want to go. A Native American proverb says: What do you do when you get lost? Stand still. The trees and bushes beside you are not lost.
  • Look at a painting by Monet or Picasso and contemplate your ability to alter your perception of reality and bring forth something completely new and unexpected.
  • Pay attention to details — like a word, color, or song that catches your attention or comes to mind for no apparent reason — as elements that have the capacity to reveal the whole. Look around you with a fresh eye to rediscover the environment you’re in or all data and aspects of the situation at hand that you would like to resolve.

Get Comfortable with the Part of Life That Is Not Logical

  • Don’t immediately ban an idea because it is paradoxical and appears illogical. Welcome paradoxical data or situations. The word “paradox” comes from the Greek paradoxos “opposed to existing notions, from para- + doxaopinion”; so something that is paradoxical is something we should all look for because we looking for new ideas, not what is already known and widespread.
  • When you receive information that appears to be out of context, take a moment to notice it. It may appear to be out of context, but it could lead you to a deeper understanding of something that is not obvious.

Accept That You Are Not in Control

  • Allow yourself to be carried away by energies that appear to be chaotic. Your acquiescence can help the emergence of a new order that you could not have imagined.
  • Try to stay in tune with your emotions, especially in moments of stress or chaos. Emotions are energies that are all part of a same circle; if we shut one down, we break the circle, and we close ourselves off from all emotions, good or bad. If we can avoid trying to harshly control emotions that feel uncomfortable, they will pass and we will return to a state of balance. The more we accept our emotions, the faster they evolve and the faster we can move on.

Relax and Practice Noticing

  • The world-renowned mime Marcel Marceau said, “Our body knows things the mind does not have access to.” The best gateway to information from our subconscious mind about the world around us is through a relaxed body. The most efficient way to relax our body is not a five-star vacation, it is breathing. Breathing can dramatically alter our experience in any given moment. You can do this almost anywhere with a simple meditation. Sit quietly with both feet on the floor, hands at rest on your thighs, eyes closed. Don’t try to alter your breathing in any way, just pay attention to it. Don’t think about anything — not your problems, not even happy things — simply focus on the movement of your breath. Do this for a minute, or five minutes, or as long as you like, Taking this little break, even for just five minutes, may at first make you anxious, but give yourself permission to take five minutes in which you do nothing but breathe. To focus on your breathing, simply notice the movement of your diaphragm — the horizontal muscle that moves up and down in your mid-torso. when your diaphragm goes, up, you exhale and your rib cage narrows. When your diaphragm goes down you inhale and your ribcage expands. Becoming mindful of the movement of your diaphragm is enough to largely improve your breathing. When you give yourself this permission, your body will relax and your breath will deepen naturally.
  • Pay attention. It is very easy to stop noticing small things, or even large things. Buddhists have a practice of mindfulness in which every movement, whether lifting a cup of tea to one’s lips or placing a foot on the ground while walking, is afforded the greatest attention. Be mindful during a routine event such as eating breakfast; afterward, record the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arose in the short interval.

After you have tried the exercises, keep practicing the ones that resonate with you. Over time these exercises will help your intuitive abilities get stronger and will make it more likely that they will become natural part of your daily life. Intuition is a skill not made by either nature alone or nurture alone. We are born with a capability, and we turn it into a capacity by using it over and over again. Once you’ve identified the exercise of the few exercises that are most natural to you, with regular practice you will improve your ability to reflect about a decision or a situation beyond pure logic. This will greatly enhance your ability to pay attention and notice, to trust the unknown and tolerate the confusion that comes with ambiguity and complexity. You will be more comfortable with your own subjectivity. It will prevent you from too quickly jumping to a logical conclusion, which would not necessarily get you to the most creative answers.

What is Gender Intelligence in Business?

In the second in series of blog posts about Gender Intelligence we will focus changing perceptions and beliefs and behavior to create diversity and inclusion of both men and women, feminine and masculine values.Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 10.48.45 AM

To tap into the whole of our intelligence, we need to allow mental and emotional space to relate to the intangible and the unconscious, to integrate what is complex, and to accept the out human nature is playful and instinctual.  We also need to address our fear of the unknown and our need for control. If we fail to properly manage these, they can easily and even inadvertently turn into obsession, aggression, and destruction.  It takes awareness, focus, and discipline to turn the human instinctual force into creative collaboration.  Intuition helps us achieve all of this.

The graphic above shows how Intuitive Intelligence facilitates a synergy between our rational mind and our instinctual aptitudes.  Our intellect and instinct work together and feed one another:  intellect operates from deductive and inductive reasoning, instinct from direct perception.  Intuition bridges the gap between the two and receives information from our feelings, emotions, physical sensation, and direct perception.

The diagram shows a feminine quality and a masculine quality on either side of the figure eight.  Feminine energy is receptive and creative, empathic, open, welcoming, intuitive, contemplative, and circular, seeking deeper meaning.  It lives in the left part of the body and is traditionally associated with the right hemisphere of the brain.  Masculine energy is piercing, penetrating, concrete, logical, linear, willful, and powerful.  It lives in the right part of the body and is traditionally associated with the left hemisphere of the brain.  Whatever our gender we all partake in dual feminine and masculine energy.  When we become aware of these two polarities and develop these two qualities of energy, it helps us understand ourselves more deeply and enables us to improve our relationships with others.

The two hemispheres of the brain are connected by the corpus callosum, which develop earlier in girls than in boys and could explain why young girls are usually more mature than boys at the same age.

But although we culturally see intuition as a quality more developed in women, research actually proves that men and women have an equal ability.  I think it is more a question of education, societal representation, ability to trust, and readiness to put intuition to use than a question of innate aptitude.  Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer makes a clear statement about it:  “We still hear that women have much better intuition than men….  This distinction sustains an old prejudice.  Contrary to common belief, however, men and women share the same adaptive toolbox.”


Next week we will present a set of exercises to help you tap into your intuition to improve your ability to move between feminine and masculine energies.