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In Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, she talks about the difference leadership pressures between men and women in the workplace. My take on it? She is explaining how when a man is assertive they are seen as powerful, strong leaders that have a ‘take no prisoner’ approach. This is seemingly a ‘one style only’ approach to leadership, accepted and respected by all around them. But when a woman shows the same approach to her leadership style she is seen as a complete bitch.

I see how female leaders are working through this, they are facing this challenge and pushing back, allowing them to manage in whatever style suits them best.  Personally my struggle comes as I am not that one style of management kind of girl. I have moments of strength, and yep, I sure have experienced some of the scenarios Sheryl mentions in her book. But sometimes I have a more understanding and softer approach, and it’s not because I am feeling weak or dis-empowered from others around me.

The truth is, like me, many female managers lead differently depending where they are in their cycle by using strengths which appear at different time of the month for them.

As women we travel through four phases. These phases impact everything about us, our moods and emotions, our physical health, our energy levels, even the clothing or accessories we choose to wear. But these phases also impact our level of tolerance we may have for things (and people), how creative we are in our thoughts and how passionate we are about getting something over the line.

Imagine as a leader understanding and utilising this tool. A tool we all have access too, as it is just about listening to our bodies and understanding what each phase looks like for us.

Tap into the the phase of power. Days 6 to 12 is your Daphne phase. A more energetic and enthusiastic phase, you lead through being so very clear in your vision and enthusiasm. Embracing your goals, developing your plan and inspiring all around you, they can’t help but be drawn to come along with you.

Make Hay. Days 13 to 16 is the Demeter phase, a phase which is a more compassionate stage, often allowing yourself more time and patience, resulting in you being more encouraging at this time. This is a great time to be a support and ensure others are nurtured and achieving great things for all.

Dig in. Day 17 to 28 is a longer phase we call Persephone. A phase that can be more challenging. Your emotions tend to be heightened and you seem to put more demands on yourself and those around you. This time you can feel more sensitive to others comments, as you may be a little short and or more abrupt than usual. However, when you are aware and supported, this phase can bring you great creativity to a project or challenge that has been in your sights.

Reflect on your work. Day 1 to 5 in your cycle is a phase we call Hecate. This phase is one of reflection. A more inward phase this can position you as a more reflective and insightful leader. Allowing you to assess and evaluate current situations with a sense of calmness and understanding.

Women should embrace each phase and allow the strengths each phase brings – creativity, patience, inspiration or reflection – to shine through. I don’t believe you need to be any one type of ‘leader’ the gift being the diversity we embody through our cycle each and every day.

Learn more about what each phase looks like for you and how you can enjoy and love who you are, knowing that you are just being true to yourself. Go to www.emgoddess.com or contact me for more information and upcoming courses at sharon@emgoddess.com

Pic by brook-lark-194253-unsplash