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Fiercely Understanding our Menstural Cycle for Business and Project Success

The amazing guest expert Michelle Graham shared with Fierce Project Managers how we can better understand our menstrural cycle better and use this knowledge to improve our lives, including how we work!

Michelle, was a guest expert in the Fierce Project Management Movement and gave a brilliant explanation about how during our monthly cycle our energies ebbs and flow from the more masculine – where we tend to be more action-focused and comfortable with visibility – after we bleed, to the more feminine energies – where are more reserved and, creative – after we ovulate. Recognising that this will show up for each female differently.

Being fierce and authentic at work is embracing these two sides of ourselves – to be showing up and amplifying our message in a way that works for us, and to be vulnerable and open

Understanding how our energies ebb and flow, and how that may suit differing activities during our menstural cycle was eyeopening. This made so much sense yet it is not something we are generally taught or that we discuss.

Talking about periods and our menstural cycle beyond when we bleed, and when relevant are fertile, are about as far as it goes and generally these aren’t conversations we bring into work! Let alone how we plan our work.

And yet if we did have that understanding it would be a gamechanger – where possible we could plan our activities to ideally be at a match with our engeries, working with our menstural cycles rather than against them! So we could plan that highstakes client facing meeting or writing a report solo at the best times for us.

Being a project manager we won’t necessarily have all that freedom to plan our projects and workload iin the most ideal way for us – project deadlines, and stakeholders certainly wouldn’t always allow for that! Yet that awareness of when you are working against your ideal energies means you can make the provision to give yourself the appropriate self-care so you still thrive.

Having this understanding of ourselves, shows that we aren’t designed to always be “on on on” and that allowing for the ebbs and flows is important so we don’t burn ourselves out. That doesn’t mean we are less capable, motivated or effective at the job but allowing for our natural cycles where possible will allow us to flourish, thrive and be even more productive whilst maintaining our self-care.

Yet work, project work, is often designed with a male-centric lense, which doesn’t cater to the best work flows for us to flow! But what if, where possible, it did?! Not at the expense of project delivery but in order to be even more effective.

Having these conversations of when we are at our best may feel vulnerable and showing weakness but it is in our ebbs and flows that we actually find our different superpowers. Having these conversations with other women and people that mensturate, and where we’re able to with other allies would be hugely powerful to understand the ways in which we do our best work!

We first track our cycles and understand how the cyclical nature impacts us. A top tip from Michelle was to use a meaningful expressive word to describe each day, and over time spot patterns. For those women, who don’t have a cycle or a regular, such as peri- or post- menopause, she suggests using the cycles of the moon as a guide.

Michelle goes into this much deeper in our Masterclass, available exclusively for Fierce Project Management Movement Members.

Note: This article recognises that not all women bleed, and that transmen, non-binary and intersex people can have menstural cycles too. If you want to learn more about that check out this article.

You can follow Michelle and her work on Facebook and Instagram

What Fierce Project Managers said:

Such an amazing session, really insightful. Only once I started being a bit more conscious about how my cycle was impacting my productivity, my relationship and my own mental health did I realise what an impact it had. Michelle provided the explaination and science behind the why that has been missing. Such a great session!

I enjoyed this too. Really thought provoking. I am keeping a manual note of mood, achievements etc to see if their are patterns. As I am post menopausal, I will be interested to see if the moon does impact my emotions etc. Of course so many other things do, too, so it is going to be hard to identify true root causes, but interesting all the same. Another thing I wish I had understood years ago… ah well, better, later than never!

Super – loved watching this, thank you!!! Got myself a tracker last month and hoping to start seeing if there are any patterns moving forward that I can be more aware of

thank you for arranging this masterclass it was so interesting. I’m loving lockdown is giving me the opportunity and access to learn new things and bring more self-awareness. I will be keeping track of my mood to understand my phases and my transition points between masculine and feminine sectors

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