Q: Why Are Men So Complicated? (no it’s not what Bill Clinton and John Edwards said when they said: “It was because they could”)
A: Welcome to the Not in Control Zone
Just because you’re “not in control,” doesn’t mean you are out of control
Men feel that not being in control is being out of control. Any woman who has been humbled by how little control they have over a two year old (or their aging parent) learns to accept and live with being not in control.
Since men always need to be in control they see things like listening, asking for help and even sincerely thanking and complimenting others as losing control. What they don’t realize is that only when they start to do those things and do them sincerely do they become free of having to be in control and let go of control. At that point people really open up to them and they really have the opportunity to influence others.
When men feel in danger of losing control or much less being “not in control” they often manifest what is referred to as “fearful aggression.” People who train show dogs know that term because when their dogs are afraid (remember: Best in Show) they growl and that needs to be trained out of them or else they will never win Best in Show. But as with these high performing dogs, high performing mens’ fearful aggression is experienced by others as aggression, when in reality it is often a man’s attempt to remain in control and feels that his being in control is being threatened.*
In your meetings with any and all men, if you can look into their eyes and see their need to be in control and their fear of losing it, it can help you be less frustrated by them and with them. At that point you have the chance to talk “with” them in a way that causes them to be less on the defensive.
What I have discovered from meeting, Doc Barham, CEO of Xtraordinary Outcomes is that my secret sauce is that I appear to be “in control” but am fortunate in that I don’t appear to be controlling. When Doc drilled down further about what I notice when I sit down with others and about myself is that I “listen into people’s eyes.” Doc is a “black belt” in people modeling and someone who helps people identify their “secret sauce” and for those truly extraordinary people, their personal genius. Xtraordinary Outcomes** is a company that helps extraordinary individuals, companies and organizations identify their secret sauce “X” factor that enables them to get extraordinary measurable results. Helping identify it for them enables them to do it more consistently, with more of a focus and most importantly teach others to do the same. In essence it helps give the best to the rest of a company.
From meeting with Doc I have also become aware of that when I listen into people’s eyes, I look and listen for their deepest hurt, fear and even terror and do my best to communicate with my eyes that: a) I will not hurt them; b) that they will make it through it; c) that on the other side, life will really be better beyond their belief and beyond anything they thought was possible. BTW Xtraordinary Outcomes tagline is “Results Beyond Your Imagination.”
Over the years some clients have told me that when our sessions were at their best they: a) felt “felt” by me and less alone in their hurt, fear and terror; b) felt more understandable to themselves and less confused and crazy to them.
And thanks to Doc, knowing my “secret sauce” and coming from it has helped me feel more centered and become less controlling when my complicated man-ness complicates matters.
* Men would do well to be aware of their tendency towards fearful aggression (and many women possess it as well). That is because if it is operating, there will be a disconnect for them. When they think they are just trying to make a point or stay on track, others will view them as being aggressive and hostile. In truth they are often just being on guard and then become defensive when they feel anyone is trying to take control away from them.
** I was so impressed by Doc’s “personal genius” that when he asked me to join Xtraordinary Outcomes as its Chairman and Co-Founder, it was impossible to say, “No.”