Reaching the men behind the mask for accountability, compassion, and authenticity can be challenging. You may be trying to effectively engage men as a parent, partner, kindergarten teacher, therapist, coach, or Title IX coordinator. I love helping those trying to reach men be more effective in their efforts.
The purpose of these workshops is to help folks in their work with men to:
- understand them with empathy
- reach them with compassion
- hold them accountable more effectively
- help them become the men they aspire to be as their authentic selves.
These conversations often begin focused on men in their work and quickly turn to men in their lives.
- “I’m worried about my eleven-year-old son and what he is about to encounter. I don’t want to lose him.”
- “I miss my dad. This helped me understand him so much more. I wish I could hug him and say, ‘I love you’ again.”
- “What questions can I ask my fifteen-year-old son so he will let me behind his masks?”
- “I always thought my husband just wasn’t very emotional. I now see he is just not expressing it as I do. My heart aches for him.”
- Hope. Hope is critical to our engagement. Without hope, we might give up or disengage. We also can fall into cynicism, which is often a fancy way of justifying our disengagement. Just like gratitude hope is not an emotion to wait for but a practice to cultivate.
- Listening and Being Good Company for the Journey. One of the big lessons for me from my research is how transformative deep listening can be all by itself. Listening is just one of the ways we can be good company on the journey others are making. We can think of learning as like a bridge we cross. Some bridges seem pretty safe and secure, and others are frightening. How can we be good company to the learners on this particular journey?
- Accountability. Effective accountability is critical and can quickly go astray by falling into blame. We can focus on the behavior and not on whether they are a good person or not. The first can foster guilt to fuel change and the second can foster shame, hindering learning, growth, and change.
- Trauma & Healing. “While our unprocessed woundedness can harm others, our processed experiences of woundedness can be useful in helping others to heal.” What healing do we need to do to better help others through their traumas and in their healing?
Key Lesson for Keith
In these workshops, it has been clear that both accountability and empathy are needed, and too often our approaches to men offer one but not the other. We need accountability to hold men accountable for their transgressions, learning, and growth. We also need empathy to connect with what they are facing and experiencing.
Let’s connect if you want to learn more about workshops to help those working with men (social workers, therapists, coaches, educators, and more). You can use this contact form to send me an email. We can find time to discuss a virtual or in-person workshop like this.