Friday, September 4, 2009

Is anger blinding you?

Just the other day, I was meeting with a friend and colleague Dave Daugherty. He is a well-accomplished executive coach and we were discussing a potential collaboration project.

We were speaking of some of the challenges and issues that executive women face in the workplace. As we were talking, he mentioned the pain and anger women feel when they are on the "outside" looking in to the "inner circle."

For a moment, I tapped into my own anger against those injustices that I had felt many times in my career.

The feeling of "why can't I get in?" And the feeling of taking it all so personally, as if you are purposely being shut out. That kind of anger is so blinding. And, that kind of anger is destructive to ourselves and the very cause of furthering opportunities for women.

I know this now that I have distance from my own anger.

It is not to say that the injustices aren't there, but how we react to them and what we do to bypass them is much more important than dwelling in the anger. I believe that we need to move beyond the anger to be able to affect more positive change for ourselves and other women. When I was angry, I wasn't able to mentor other women. And when I was angry I wasn't able to find the connection with my male counterparts. Both of which are essential for getting to the next level.

The 21st century requires a holistic approach where women and men effectively leverage each other and within each of us, we employ both masculine and feminine traits to lead.

So how angry are you? What can you do to get beyond it to make positive change?