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I work with powerful, successful women and the question inevitably comes up whether or not men feel threatened by their power.

There are many opions on the subject.  Here’s mine:  men are attracted to powerful, self-confident women.  The challenge comes in the way that we express our power when relating to men.

Women have the innate ability to tap into their masculine and feminine aspects at will, whereas men are typically hard-wired to a finite balance between their masculine and feminine aspects.  For example, it is our masculine aspect that manages, directs, strategizes, takes charge while our feminine aspect empathisizes, nurtures, feels.  

Have you ever found it difficult to transition from work to home?  I have a client whose challenge is being able to go home and shift into her role as a wife and partner from her career where she is required to hold her clients accountable.  At work she is in charge and when she comes home she finds herself relating to her husband and adult children the way she would her clients.

This happens to men as well, but this article is about powerful women and how men relate to us.  

Imagine that your career requires you be very competitive and that you are one of few females in your organization.  Consider that your mate is in a career that requires less competition and compensates him at a level not comparable to yours, yet he is a more traditional male who fills a more traditional “head of the household” role in your relationship.  There arises a debate over a major purchase which he feels is not in the best interest of your family unit, but you disagree and decide to overrule him based on your higher contribution to the household’s finances.

In this scenario you feel it is only fair that you have the last say because after all, it is your income which makes this purchase possible.  Perfectly reasonable from your point of view.

Yet, your mate is more traditional and his decision is based on his desire to protect your interests in the long run.  He knows that you are capable of protecting yourself but that does not deter him from his innate urge to look after you because this urge is hardwired into him.

What’s the point of this story?  This scenario is an opportunity to be voluntarily vulnerable with your mate.  Expressing how much this purchase means to you not as a justification, but as a way of helping him to champion you and your needs would be the best use of your power in this situation.  It becomes a win-win situation.  It acknowledges him as being on your team and not the opposing side.

Men love our power.  It’s not attractive when we use it against them just as it wouldn’t be with the tables turned.


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