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This is a continuation of my blog from the other day. About the book The Male Factor, written by Shaunti Feldham http://www.humanfactorresources.com/ .

I found the chapter title “She’s Crying – What Do I Do?” interesting. I have never been a huge fan of crying at work. I saw it as the ultimate sign of weakness. So of course it was discouraged at all cost. Now, however, not sure if it is pre-menopause or the fact that I never cried in corporate America but I find myself crying constantly – at commercials, at movies, at TV shows, at stories, etc. Weird, oh but I digress.

Anyway, more about the chapter …

“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and men have no idea what to do.” Leslie Murray.

This chapter talks about how crying is perceived at work and how men deal with it. They don’t like it. It makes them uncomfortable. As in previous chapters, Mrs. Feldham describes the brain functioning behind the differences in males and females. Her interviews shed light on why crying is tolerated (from women) but is highly discouraged.

In explaining the brain science behind the differences one of the things she said was that “men have less brain infrastructure to handle emotion” therefore it is more difficult for men to think clearly in highly emotional situations. So, she goes on to write, men assume the same for women. When a woman is crying or emotionally charged she is not thinking clearly and therefore is cause for concern in males. Perhaps not true, that is the general thought process.

So, what else do men perceive as getting emotional in the workplace? (Remember, women, we are not supposed to get emotional at work.)

  1. Becoming tearful
  2. Getting upset or defensive too easily
  3. Overreacting, or “Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill”
  4. Jumping to conclusions
  5. Holding strong opinions/refusing to be swayed
  6. Personality conflicts
  7. And….. (wait for it) Anything else they don’t understand.

Men think emotion is unprofessional or unbusinesslike. Why? (Remember the brain differences?)

Displaying emotions in the workplace, according to men:

  1. Demonstrates the person is not thinking clearly
  2. Perhaps will cause details to be missed
  3. Can be contagious
  4. And, of course, serves no business purpose.

How do men think emotions should be handled? We need to harness them. We need to restrain them. We need to redirect them to create value. What do you think? Is this true?

I am writing these blogs as part of my self-discovery about my career. Mind you, I have been hugely successful and had opportunities not available to many others. I traveled the world in a consulting role working in every possible industry imaginable (banking, insurance, mining, meatworks, airplane manufacturing, rubber plants, telecommunications, distribution, can plants, personal products manufacturing, just to name a few). I have been a VP in two different Fortune 500 companies. But I have also made mistakes. Mistakes I don’t want to make going forward. Thus my research and approach to learning.

The Male Factor opened my eyes to a number of my previous stumbles. What this book told me is that moving forward I will be better off if I do the following:

  1. Be aware of my emotions and ensure they are purposeful
  2. Use my emotions, when necessary, to add value
  3. Manage my emotions and be less sensitive
  4. Manage the perceptions others have of me
  5. Head off any inaccurate or negative perceptions
  6. Turn my perceived weaknesses into strengths

I know much of this is easier said than done. I know also that I will be better tomorrow than I am today. How about you? What are you going to do differently tomorrow?

Thank you for reading.