The voice of Tanya Monsef

This is an interview in the series Women around the world, a mosaic of feminine impressions and inspiration in times of Corona.

The interview was held in English by Cécile Masson author and leadership coach

As a leader offering listening to someone is a huge gift

Based in the Silicon Valley, Tanya is an executive coach focusing on global leadership development. She helps leaders realise their vision and dreams and is passionate about global harmony.

Listening is essential in these times. She believes that sensing into what is happening right now and allowing herself not to have the right answers or the answer is important.

She is very aware that many do not have the silence and peace at home or the possibility to connect globally with colleagues because of lack of computer and time. Her heart goes out to those who suffer and are in need.

She finds herself in a place of inquiry and listening. Listening is the most powerful attribute to have as a leader. Listening is a very generous act of being with another human being: to really hear what the other person has to say without worrying about what to say next, to allow them to be truly heard without correcting them. Really allowing them to be heard is important.

As a leader if you can offer listening to someone it is a huge gift.

She has been very conscious of using the word “normal” as it has the tendency to take her back to the past creating a desire to make sense of things based on what she knows from the past. These times invite us to really be in the present. Really stay present and really feel who we are right now.

The inquiry is:

What kind of a future would you like to create for yourself,
What are the choices you would like to have, in a time when you might sense that there are no choices
How would you like to show up
There are various levels of choices and what we are facing right now is greater system changes and shift and there again we might need to engage differently. The structures we have leaned into for many years are changing. From a climate point of view, how businesses are run, how governments interface is all changing and we are in the place of in between where we do not know how the structure of these systems that most of us have known all their lives will change.

On a global scale, we always knew that each of our actions creates a reaction, the so-called butterfly effect. If there has ever been an opportunity where we could see how everybody and everything is connected it is now. This pandemic is the biggest opportunity that we have been given to see the direct impact of our daily life’s choices on a global scale.

As human beings we have certainly three axis’s of intellect

· The mental cognitive ability

· The emotional ability

· The body intelligent

In the CIYO feminine leadership program one of the requirements, as a faculty is to know oneself and be connected to oneself and that requires a slowing down to sense.

The value of a leader is often based on their intellect ability and many lean into their cognitive, intellectual intelligence. To acknowledge ones sadness or frustration brings out another aspect which is the emotional and the physical awareness. However to have the courage to feel into things gives another layer of awareness and capacity. Especially in these times where you cannot always just think your way through this pandemic without acknowledging the body intelligence. You need to have an awareness of the broader spectrum as a leader where you can tap into and value it.

This traditionally feminine leadership quality has not so far been valued as much and is becoming more understood as being precious by both men and women and accessible to both men and women.

Her hope is that the feminine leadership qualities of emotions and somatic body awareness become a more natural state of leadership that are necessary in leadership practices.

There are different models of leadership and to Tanya integration of at least these three axis’s give the possibility to create a more harmonious world. And that also starts with the integration of the various roles we have. The Coming Into Your Own feminine leadership program has been of great help to her to make her more whole allowing her to show up at work, in her family, with friends and colleagues as Tanya rather than the professional, the mother, the friend. That authenticity is precious!

As a mother of two sons she had the opportunity to learn that the ability to sense is present in men. Raised in a culture where she was led to believe that men did not have that capacity, the gift of being a mother to these two amazing men has shown her that men have the capacity to feel. So as female leaders we have the opportunity, especially now, to create that space for men to address certain topics that to this point had not been allowed to be opened.

The act of listening can be an access point, together with the space of trust allowing men to verbalise their emotions. Too often men are relied on to have the right answers yet don’t get listened to for their emotional needs.

Let us not underestimate the power of listening. The greatest male leaders do embody those ‘feminine’ leadership qualities.

One of Tanya’s core values is reciprocity allowing space for her self and the other to express emotions, be that in a work situation or amongst friends. The invitation is to express what she would like herself and to grant that same gift to the other to create an authentic relationship

As women we have our own biases of what we might expect of men and it would be a great gift to open our selves up to the possibility that men have that capacity too and invite them to show up in that way professionally and personally in our lives.

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