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/ēˈmaskyəˌlādəd/ Leadership

“(of a man) deprived of his male role or identity.” (“EMASCULATED | Definition of EMASCULATED by Oxford …”) “insecure, emasculated men”

  1. made weaker or less effective. “An emasculated organization that is merely a shadow of its former self”

Oxford Said it!

Listen to the intonation of the phonetic word. And explore emasculated leadership as a shadow of authentic leadership.

Have you ever facilitated disorderly conversation? Does one person control the conversation in a room? Worse yet, do you silence people from speaking? It’s the facilitator’s job to harnesses both positive and negative energy in a room. They converge to create effective and more sustainable outcomes. So, please, don’t shut people down.

Divergent, Emergent, Convergent dialogue allows for various thoughts to converge into one. Try it.

How Shadows Appear in Leaders

Think about gender in our system.  Gender is a social construct. Whether we like it or not, too many spaces expect certain energy from people. Intuition, sensitivity, emotions, understanding, gentleness, and empathy are often linked to females. Masculine characteristics lean toward assertiveness, power, and courage (to name a few).  The reality is that all genders (identity terms) display a cross-section of energy. A facilitator’s job is to engage with the diverse energy in a room- not to control it. 

And don’t dismiss attaching racial characteristics to energy either. It is nothing more than prejudice.  Small-minded tropes about Black / Brown people do not dignify a response. An eye, a breath, and composure gloss-over what should be a reasonable answer. Instead Black/Brown responses are a shadow of what really should be said.  

Stereotypical attachments of the angry Black person reinforce polarization, discrimination, and otherness.  Deference to ONE aspect of energy is a shadow.  It denies the full spectrum of reality.   

Shadows of emasculation show up with people in power. And you already know where power-hungry energy is obvious! In government and religions. In businesses, with teams, leaders, and individuals (whatever the gender identity or race).  

Shadows prohibit actionable shifts in a system for a collective intelligence. The facilitator’s awareness of DEC / energy permits a flow for new learning.

Read that! Awareness.   If you don’t practice awareness, DEC is fruitless.  How you function with awareness in one space is how you practice awareness in all spaces.  Awareness asks us to step out of the shadows into another place of being for action.

Trainers manage a spectrum of energy with DEC

Divergence (D) – Emergence (E) – Convergence (C)[2] DEC is a framework, and it is a mental model. Mental models are ingrained with thougths. Transformative leaders for the 21st century navigate the energy from  various models in a room. We don’t control communication or rush to interpret words. 

Participatory leadership is a key element. The trainer functions as facilitator and practitioner.  The right questions or comments from all participants spark innovation. Listening to hear is the catalyst for transformation.

(D) The Divergent Phase has no end goal. Start with a problem to solve or an unanswered question.

Awareness of the output is salient. Questions spark communication in this phase. Movement is a slow process. Divergent Thinking is open, like brainstorming. Don’t criticize: The facilitator welcomes all ideas/thoughts/opinions.

This is not orderly and may appear chaotic. A scribe should capture ALL the output.

As a facilitator, hold an open mind. Stand in the place with the speaker and expand on observations.

(E) The Emergent Phase synthesizes ideas to find solutions. It’s at this juncture where points-of-views merge.  Are you intimidated by other models– worldviews, opinions, and perspectives? Probe for meaning to combine ideas.  Allow the group to help with an emergent phase.  Others clarify better than you at times. Discomfort may be evident. Be aware of this uneasiness.  It’s a creative tension. The energy in the room might even stop. Why? No one likes to sit with uncomfortable communication. But just listen.

How do you manage this phase? When things appear to fall apart, do you control the conversation? Do you fall back to managerial order and control, or wait for a convergence? Observe the system’s energy as though you are in the margins. 

(C) Convergent Thinking is evaluative. Cluster the output into goals/categories. The group then offers alternatives. Summarize key points. The collective, not a person, agrees upon conclusions.

The Point for Trainers is Participatory Leadership. Me and My is didactive and centered in past learning. What drives participatory leadership is Our and Us.

Change efforts are not achieved alone. Divergence converges toward interdependent knowledge.  

Emasculated leadership is counterintuitive to the solidarity for interconnectedness. There is immense perception gained from a community of energy in a room.

We emerge together, not alone.  Divergence, emergence, convergence leverages an opportunity for sustainable change efforts.   Are you willing listen and hear from interconnected energy?

Follow the energy in a room!

Discovery with ST Consulting prepares strings of strategies like DEC for professional development. This is a part of participatory leadership. Contact me to discuss your long-term needs for PD.

[1] Meadowlark Institute. (n.d.). The Art of Collaborative Leadership in Uncertain Times. Lark Parfrom

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