Posted by: ginalazenby | January 6, 2014

Dr David Paul talks about the untapped potential of the female mind

Dr David Paul talks about the

untapped potential of the

female mind

Continuing on from the dialogues on Feminine Leadership over the four previous videos, in this section I talk with Dr David Paul about how women need to step forward and embrace their difference … as David said “The female mind is very much an untapped mind….” [NOTE:  David Paul will be speaking in London at a special event on the future of women’s leadership on Wed Jan 8th, 2013]

Click on the video above to watch. Here is the transcript of the video …….

Women need to focus more on their strengths

  • This video conversation opens with me saying that women do tend to question themselves more. And they can lack confidence sometimes, falling into the trap of trying to be perfect. Research into career progression in corporations highlights that women often feel the need to tick all the boxes before applying for a new job or promotion. If they are not 100% perfect with the skills then they don’t necessarily move ahead. They focus on the gaps too much.
  • Whereas men have a much stronger confidence and inner bravado which means they access their courage and don’t tend to look at what’s missing so they more easily apply for a promotion. We need to be more sensitive to this difference to ensure that more women move up the hierarchy.  Women don’t step forward so boldly, they hesitate while men don’t.
  • David Paul says that this is slowly changing, but women do doubt when they should be saying “let me try”. At the end of the day, instead of asking how much confidence do I have, they should be asking how much competence do I have?

Women need to champion each other more

  • Gina says: We women need to champion each other, we need to see in each other our gifts and talents because we can’t always see our own greatness. A butterfly can’t see the beauty of its own wings . This is something that we can definitely do for each other. This is what we do in our Women’s Gatherings when we create Circles of Trust where we really see the potential in each other.
  • We encourage each other not to let the negative critical voice inside creep in. We can support each other, we need role models, we need to give each other a hand up.  We need to push aside competitiveness and make a concerted effort for that.

The new 3Rs – Radical Revolutionary Reform

  • David says we must ask what is the one thing that we can do differently. He talks of creating a radical revolutionary reform. A century ago women got together to get the vote and said “let’s fight for this …. this is our right”.
  • Women have not got together since then and got behind an idea or a cause or really championed change. We need to have these powerful conversations and support the women who are out there already creating the change.
  • David emphasises that women need to LEAD the change and not to wait for someone to give permission to say this is OK or this is what I will support you with.

There’s something new that we can create together that’s much better

  • David revealed that …. Men will feel threatened by this. “I feel threatened …. what in the world are we going to be doing?”  But, we need to move beyond fear, I need to move beyond fear, you need to move beyond fear to say what can be created by us working together. As partners we can do something greater than as individuals.
  • Our conversation, says Gina, is what can we women do with men rather then charging in there and taking over. Our conversation is about how we have been missing from decision-making and communication. We want in. We want to be included.  Our dialogue is a joint one.
  • When the company Unilever did some research in the UK into the effectiveness of all male, all female, and mixed teams they found that those that were gender balanced were the most effective. You miss out on so much when you only have one gender. Balanced teams are certainly more enjoyable too. After all, we want to work together.

The female mind is very much an untapped

  • David says that the female mind is very much an untapped mind in other words we haven’t done enough to really find out what are the skills that women bring that will actually create this next ‘revolution’ that we are looking for.
  • Gina pointed out that so much brain research has previously only being done on male brains because the female body’s monthly hormonal changes can upset the data. What scientists have done apparently is to use castrated male rats to create pseudo females, but this gave a very different picture. Now this is changing and research is being done directly on female brains.

Difference has more value than looking to ensure sameness

  • For the last 20 to 30 years women have tried to catch up and show that they can do a job as good as a man. It’s been about an emphasis on sameness. However we are different, not less than, just different. That is what we hath to now explore and celebrate.
  • Women have more agility to embrace difference. For the last 200 to 300 years men have not been able to do that. David says “we men have separated the workforce into women do this and then do that. I think now women perhaps would have more of that brain agility to say OK it’s not about them, it’s not about us, but let’s work together to create something quite new, something quite different”.

Women much needed flexibility

  • Talking about flexibility, there is a new book out called The End Of Men where the author, Hanna Rosin, refers to women as having more plastic flexible brains. They approach challenges as if they were immigrants coming to a new country and doing whatever it takes to adjust in that new landscape.
  • Men’s brains tend to be a lot more fixed and they show up like the immigrants in the new country who try to replicate the old ways of the place they have just left rather than adapt to their new environment in the way that women more easily do.
  • Women are so flexible and we need that different approach. David affirms that flexibility is key.” I think the other thing that you have also touched on is the masculinisation of the female executive. In think we have created a role model where women have to become like men to advance up the organisation to the top.”

This conversation will continue on the next video – published soon on the blog.

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