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Complementarity of male and female energy enhances communication between employees..

Each of us, whether female or male, have within us both masculine and feminine power, energy and thought processes..

Masculine power can best be characterised as penetrating, direct, focused and initiating.

Feminine power can best be characterised as receptive, open, nurturing and responsive.

Most men tend to lead with their masculinity.

Most women tend to lead with their femininity.

The masculine style of communication has to do with

  • Fixing, doing, actions, and being solution orientated.
  • It is based in the literal and pragmatic world.
  • It involves talking.
  • It is singular in mode.
  • It is based in the future.
  • It focuses on resolution.
  • People (especially women) may be objectified through language, beliefs and attitudes
  • The primary focus is on things and events

The female style of communication is

  • more reflective and experiential.
  • Is based in the present, and emotive mode.
  • Is  multifaceted, considering several options simultaneously,
  • Does not necessarily entail given solutions but allows things to unfold.
  • Is based in the present. ( being) without concern for yesterday or tomorrow.
  • Is focused on listening.
  • Vulnerability, openness and truth are the preferred focus.
  • Compassion and empathy are inherent therein

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Work Politics

Dear Colleagues,

Politics are those actions taken within an organization to use power and other resources to obtain ones preferred outcome in a situation in which there is uncertainty.

  • Dysfunctional politics generally:
  • Maintain the status quo
  • Promote group think
  • Advance the individual agenda at the expense of others
  • Avoid, confuse or prevent custodianship of assets people and relationships.

Healthy politics may:

  • Advance the organizations agenda
  • Are appropriate and future orientated
  • Enhance individual resilience
  • Enhance sense making, meaningfulness, manageability and goal setting.

In summary political intelligence is:

  • The ability to read the environment
  • Staying focused on goals and action steps
  • Recognizing where the power lies
  • Identifying the true motives and hidden agendas of others
  • Maintaining a sense of humor.

If we consider that leaders are astute players of politics, the good news is that being politically smart is a skill that can be mastered.

Each of us has a natural political style that can be made more effective.

Your challenge is to learn to how to play the game whilst simultaneously trying to improve the rules.

Number One Competence is Political Intelligence

In my own coaching practice I find the number one competence I am required to impart is Political Intelligence.

The following 10 are the rules for astute political behavior in the workplace

  1. Politics are part of the natural ebb and flow in communication between people.
  2. Politics and games are everywhere you go. They exist in your home, your church, your friendship circle and at work.
  3. We were all taught to treat people the way we wish to be treated. Adherence to this rule ensures that we will trip and fall in the Game called Political Savvy. The rule in this game is the converse it says: Treat people they way they wish to be treated. In other words if they need power, make them feel powerful, if they need clarity give it to them and so on.
  4. Become an astute psychologist. Simply work out what people need and want  and what their agenda is, and determine which game they are playing in order to achieve their goal. This is easily done by listening to what people say and translating your message to them in a format they can most easily interpret. E.g. If people are ambitious they may have a need for power and recognition. Give them these strokes when the opportunity arises
  5. The function of politics is that they are a defense mechanism and we play political games in order hide our true intention and hope thereby not to be held responsible for our behavior.
  6. Use the triple AAA formula.
  • -Admit that politics are unavoidable
  • -Acknowledge that politics exist. Use your natural intelligence to work out what is actually happening, and become an astute observer of human behavior.
  • -Action implies working out ten alternatives or choices with regard to what you could do. Avoid thinking in terms of “all or nothing ‘. Sort these alternatives into an order of 1 to 10. 1 being something your conscience can live with easily and 10 being a highly political self preservation decision. Make a decision you can live with and in this manner maintain your integrity.
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Dr Renate Volpe’s Coaching

Inevitably in the leadership space conversations  turn to coaching.

The following are some of the questions I am most regularly asked about coaching.

1)   What is coaching?

2)   What does a coach do?

3)   Why should I go for coaching?

4)   How do I select the right coach ?


What is coaching?

Coaching is a formal and structured relationship where confidentiality is guaranteed, and learning objectives are clarified. Within a constructive relationship then, skills and competence transfer take place.

What does a coach do?

A coach, mostly exercises listening skills and functions as a trustworthy sounding board. Interventions range from the use of case studies, illustrative storytelling, enhancing personal mastery, sharing management and leadership theory, and teaching leadership competence.

Why should I go for coaching?

Neither the school of life nor formal education can ever prepare us for everything we will encounter in the world of business where we are given immense responsibility, accountability and are expected to perform and make effective decisions consistently. .

Firstly, we are able to take time out, look at our life, a situation, a challenge, a difficulty together with someone we trust implicitly, gain some distance from the fraught emotions, explore the dilemma and come up with a well thought out solution.

Secondly, coaching  allows us to reflect on past experience and engage hypothetically with the future thereby allowing us to learn the required skills timeously and to be prepared mentally when the challenges arise.

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