1. Feminine Wisdom is Missing from Our Vocabulary
Feminine wisdom is not something we talk about, it doesn’t exist in our vocabulary and as a result so much of its value is missing from out everyday conversation. Karen Buckley says “I did an online search for wisdom and I discovered that most of the quotes are by men. Then I looked at wisdom in Wikipedia, the photographs are all of men. Old men with white beards. At that time, nobody was young and no women.” Using this as a reference, it’s clear that it’s a subject that remains unknown, even where it’s most necessary.
2. There are Virtually No References for Wise Women
In dictionaries wise women are described as “knowledgeable in matters such as herbal healing, magic charms or other traditional lore.” Even HM Queen Elizabeth, after celebrating her 90th birthday and a 60 year reign, isn’t referred to as a wise woman. Throughout the decades she has interacted with 13 Prime Ministers which has given her a supreme wisdom we don’t talk about. There just isn’t enough of an understanding of what makes a woman wise.
3. Feminine Wisdom is not Valued in Business, but it IS Needed
Business has so far not realized the benefits of feminine wisdom, but new ways of thinking and operating in an increasing number of companies have made an impact by starting to learn from feminine wisdom. This wisdom is incredibly necessary if we consider the needs of the modern individual. According to Leadership consultant Karen Wilhelm Buckley and Thought Leader in Gender Mentoring Betty-Ann Heggie;
- Feminine wisdom is the blend of the external experience, competency, knowledge and deep inner knowing. It is demonstrated through applied empathy. It’s a quality that allows leaders to perform a service in conjunction with relationship.
- It takes into account the emotional needs of the clients as well as the tactical or business needs.
- In business, it takes into account the kinds of ripples of consequences that might be missed if an organisation was only looking through a tactical lens.
- Feminine energy value systems, tend to be a lot more about the collective and a lot less about the individual.
4. The Reflective Nature of Feminine Wisdom is Necessary
Masculine styles of leadership tend to emphasize quick action over the silence and slower pace of reflection. Feminine wisdom finds answers and solutions by looking inward first and relying on our internal capacity when it comes to making decisions. In the wake of the Brexit resignations, newly appointed Prime Minister Theresa May has decided to take her time to make wise decisions by relying on internal reflection, as well as carefully and slowly looking at the data. She has been bringing her feminine wisdom into situations that have been forcing her to rush towards fast decision-making. Instead, she has had the courage to step away, slow down, so she can make the best decisions.
5. Feminine Wisdom has a Language for the Internal Experience
Feminine leadership is all about having the courage to take the journey to find the authentic self. It trusts what comes from within and it’s less reliant on external voices and influences. Feminine Leadership Coach, Nyali Muir says, “the feminine is really about identifying and owning what’s going on inside and having a language brought in a landscape and our inner experiences. In the hyper-masculine world which we live, we’re so focused on the external and we have very little language and intelligence for our internal experience.”
Transcripts of the Interviews are Available for Download
Download the transcript of Karen’s interview.
Download the transcript of Betty-Ann’s interview.
Download the transcript of Nyali’s interview.