Copyright 2006 Mary Foley
In June we celebrate Fathers Day, a day when its ok for all men to be a guy. Scratch, sniff, or click, its all acceptable.
When it comes to men, Ive been around plenty. Starting with being surrounded by guys in engineering school, then my 10 years at AOL and now as an entrepreneur, I’ve had lots of opportunity to interact with and observe men. Ive come to appreciate some of the ways men operate that serve them well in business and in life.
What?! I hear some of you saying. Thats right, but read on.
I’m not about to adopt ALL of mens behaviors. No way! I like my female attributes. And, besides, I can’t be a guy nearly well as men can; they have that born-with-it advantage. Still, a little testosterone goes a long way. So, in celebration of Fathers Day, here are some of men’s “testy” behaviors that bodacious women could benefit from stealing:
1. LET NEGATIVE WORDS BOUNCE OFF: Men have a wonderful ability to not allow negative sticky notes to well stick to them. “John, that report is missing a key conclusion.” “What do you mean you can’t get it done by Friday, Frank? Don’t you know how important this account is?” These kind of words seem to roll off their back. I say seem because I’m sure they have some impact but men don’t show it. They dont absorb these words into their very being. Instead they decide if the words have merit. If they do, it’s a problem to solve, not a huge character flaw that requires counseling.
2. SAY NO WITHOUT GUILT: Men dont seem nearly as concerned about making others happy as they are about taking care of their needs. Sound selfish? It doesn’t have to be. Consider that if they were so concerned about everyone else’s needs they couldn’t provide financially, emotionally or otherwise to those they care most about. They’d disperse their efforts to the point that they’d be ineffective. The only way to keep focused is to freely say no to anyone or anything that’s not enabling you to achieve what’s most important.
3. ACT AS IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOURE DOING, even if you’re not quite sure: I have to admit, I was alarmed and disturbed when I first noticed this behavior. “They are lying through their teeth!” I thought. Then I took a second look. These men were delivering on what they said they would. And they acted so confident that I assumed they knew this stuff like the back of their hand. A male friend revealed to me that he didn’t always know how he was going to accomplish a project; he just believed he’d figure it out. I finally realized it was a matter of believing in yourself and being resourceful. Lying had nothing to do with it.
4. FEEL FREE TO TALK ABOUT YOURSELF AND BELIEVE HOW WONDERFUL YOU ARE: I immediately think of a couple on their first date. He wants to impress so he tells her all the wonderful things about himself so she’ll admire him. Sometimes he’s successful, sometimes not, but one thing I do admire is that he’s willing to proudly show his colorful feathers. That’s risky; he might get rejected. But he knows he’ll never get recognized if he doesn’t try.
5. DONT READ MUCH PAST WHATS THERE: Most women think men are a bit dull and simplistic not to notice all the hidden messages in Sue’s tone or David’s words. And compared to the typical female radar, they are! But, this also allows men to not get caught up in all the energy draining sludge of what-ifs and hurt feelings. As women we can’t completely go against our natural wiring but we can stop it from working against us. Differentiate between the facts of a situation and what else you intuitively picked up on that may also be true. Don’t jump to conclusions about these ambiguous items; just keep them on the list of possibilities. Above all else, mentally move on to the next thing.