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Progressive Man(7 Posts)
I'm a male executive coach who is doing some research on the impact of helping men to develop greater emotional awareness.
History suggests that many of the issues of our past have been due to men and a limited emotional capability.
Grayson Perry suggests we would be far better off if men were to adopt the following Men's Rights;
Right to be vulnerable, weak, wrong, intuitive, not to know, uncertain, flexible and not to be ashamed of any of these.
My own experience is men have been conditioned into thinking they are unable to express themselves in this way and have taught themselves to suppress their emotional side.
The traditional view of masculinity and the style of leadership that has dominated is ineffective. Women's rights have correctly been campaigned and we are starting to see the benefit of this but should companies ignore helping men to be more 'emotional'?
Please let me know your thoughts.
I believe that if you campaign for the rights of women- effectively you are normalizing and investing in the non-stereotypical patriarchal male school of thought which would result in a less repressed workforce.
If somebody were to ask me to be more emotional at work I'd laugh in their face. I am a professional woman, I have a job to get finished- I don't have time to sit around talking about my emotions.
Companies don't have to 'help' men be more emotional. Companies need to be supportive of families and individuals needs without discrimination and with repurcussions for those who are closed minded or boorish.
Thanks for your response. You make a great point and it highlights a core reason why this is so important.
Companies do need to be supportive of families and individuals without discrimination and this is everyone's interest, particularly the companies, as this will create a more loyal, creative, energised workforce with results to match.
The question is how is this achieved. We can sit and wait for the benefits of equality, diversity etc to take effect. However, I would argue that we can accelerate this by working with the root cause - men.
Helping them to be more 'emotional' (and I don't mean sitting in a room talking about emotions but using coaching methods to introduce styles of leadership, team work and communication) will ensure that they learn new skills that benefit everyone, including themselves.
I know this works because I have seen it - we need more employers to want be involved.
There is a danger of making this into a Male issue because if you arent careful it may imply that Females in the workplace are emotional, vulnerable, willing to admit they are wrong etc etc
IME this is not the case. I would go so far as to say Females in leadership roles in the workplace are frequently lacking in emotion, empathy and ability to see alternative perspectives. The very traits you are hoping to mitigate against in Males in the workplace.
In short be clear about what assumptions and strongky held views you as a researcher hold, so you don't introduce researcher bias into the equation.
Thanks - I agree with your comments.
One of the reasons behind this work is the employer that commissioned it has identified that they have invested significant professional support for female employers but have nothing for men.
I have been asked to develop a programme focussed on overcoming some of the issues that organisation has identified, some of which may reflect my own experience or otherwise. Apologies if I seem biased.
Out of interest, you mention female leaders displaying a lack of emotion etc (I share the same experience) - do you think this is because they have had to adopt this behaviour to succeed? Or, it reflects the style of the people hiring them? Or, leaders have a tough job and in some industries being 'cold' is the best option?
Thanks - really appreciate your input.
Without empirical evidence it is impossible to say with any certainty what is going on. Any social and organisational psychologist will tell you, people respond to environmental factors so if placed in the hostile working environment of most companies nowadays they respond accordingly. Theere is the 'Nature' elemrbt of course, as they will naturally be driven people with a strong extroverted personality and fierce intellect to boot.
Companies need that genre of person who exhibits resilience, a degree of brashness and fearlessness.
The notion of men being in touch with character traits that used to be stereotypically in the female domain but less so, the more the 'equality agenda' matures, is something that needs to be tackled carefully.
Thanks again. Very keen to learn more about your opinion on the last paragraph?
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