- “(of a man) deprived of his male role or identity.” (“EMASCULATED | Definition of EMASCULATED by Oxford …”) “insecure, emasculated men”
- made weaker or less effective. “An emasculated organization that is merely a shadow of its former self”
Oxford Said it!
Explore emasculated leadership as a shadow of authentic leadership.
Have you ever facilitated disorderly dialogue? 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 from a discussion. Energy converges to effective and more sustainable outcomes. So, please, don’t shut people down.
Divergent, Emergent, Convergent communication allows for various thoughts to converge into one. Try it.
How Shadows Appear in Leadership
I like to think about gender in our system with energy. 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 dismiss attaching racial characteristics to energy too. That is nothing more than prejudice and bias. Small-minded tropes about Black / Brown people do not dignify a response. In reality, an eye, a breath, and comportment gloss-over what should be a reasonable answer. Instead the energy behind the responses of Black/Brown individuals are really shadows of what should be lodged back to ignorance.
Stereotypical attachments of the angry Black / Brown 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.
Awareness. If you don’t practice awareness, DEC is fruitless. How you function with awareness about the energy in a room is how you practice awareness in all spaces. Awareness asks us to step out of the shadows into another place of being to take another course of action.
Trainers manage a spectrum of energy with DEC
Divergence (D) – Emergence (E) – Convergence (C) 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. Questions or comments from all participants spark innovation. Listening to hear is the catalyst for transformation with DEC.
(D) The Divergent Phase.
Start with a problem to solve or an unanswered question.
Open with questions. They spark communication in this phase. Movement is a slow process. Divergent Thinking is like brainstorming. Participants don’t criticize: The facilitator welcomes all ideas/thoughts/opinions.
Divergence is not orderly, and appears 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
Synthesize ideas to find solutions. It’s at this juncture where points-of-views merge. Are others intimidated by various models– worldviews, opinions, and perspectives?
Probe for meaning to combine ideas. Allow the group to help with an emergent phase. Others clarify better than the facilitator.
Discomfort may be evident. Be aware of this uneasiness. It’s a creative tension. The energy in the room might even stop. Why? Because, no one likes to sit with uncomfortable communication.
How do you manage this phase? When things appear to fall apart, do you take control? Do you fall back to managerial order or wait for a convergence?
As a facilitator, observe the system’s energy. Listen as though you are outside on the margins.
(C) Convergent Phase
Evaluate! The collective, not a person, agrees upon conclusions: Summarize and Cluster key points into goals/categories. The group then offers alternatives.
The Point for Trainers about Emasculated Leadership
Participatory Leadership is the end-game. Me and My is didactive and centered in past learning. What drives participatory leadership is Our and Us. Divergence converges toward interdependent knowledge.
Emasculated leadership is counterintuitive to the solidarity of interdependence. There is immense perception gained from a community of energy in a room.
We emerge together, not alone. Divergence, emergence, and convergence leverage an opportunity for sustainable change efforts. Leaders step away from the shadows of emasculated leadership!
Listen and 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.
 Meadowlark Institute. (n.d.). The Art of Collaborative Leadership in Uncertain Times. Lark Parfrom