Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another comment from a business women on the Men's Inquiry Audio CD

"I applaud the Men's Inquiry Group. It provides an open forum and exchange of men's views on a myriad of topics including individual integrity, communication between the sexes, the issues of trust and keeping your word, the definition and traits of a "good person", relationship dynamics with self and others, and the journey of self-exploration. I encourage men and women alike to listen to and learn from this interesting dialogue. Martin's soon to be published book Finding Our Fire - Enhancing Men's Connection to Heart, Passion and Strength was inspired from his facilitations with the Men's Inquiry group and I am sure it will not disappoint!”

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Monday, May 08, 2006

As a birthday gift I requested men participate in the 1st live recording of The Men’s Inquiry meeting.

As a birthday gift I requested men participate in the 1st live recording of The Men’s Inquiry meeting. This will be a complementary product to the upcoming book “Finding Our Fire”. The recording is in processing now and will be available on CD at the end of May. Following is the comments from a remarkable woman on hearing the draft of the first live recording The Men’s Inquiry:

It was amazing how engrossing this discussion was in the disembodied fashion of listening to the sound tracks alone. There was no distraction to the listening since there were no faces, body language, or gestures to vie for attention. I heard honest communication almost entirely free from defensiveness. Your point in the introduction about not offering solutions because they can raise defenses was interesting and, I confess, hit home with me. It was amazing how on target and true the discussion stayed while flowing very naturally. It was also interesting how the men respected the rule about each other's speaking time. The voices seemed stress free throughout the comments. By this I do not mean uninvolved or unconcerned, I simply mean I did not hear the tension of immediate stress in their voices. There were a number of fascinating insights brought out in this discussion. Listening/checking in with what a person heard, voice tone, the importance of recognition, the importance of and what it means to give and keep one's word and the wisdom and courage to know when to break that word - and the recognition that both men and women have the responsibility to own positive (I am avoiding the term 'good') traits. The recognition that it is okay to say no was a good one. I think sometimes women think we are the only ones to 'over commit', so it is interesting to hear men wrestle with this as well - or recognize that they need to deal with it more effectively and positively. It was also interesting to hear men discussing that it takes commitment from both parties to make good two-way communication (even mundane communication) and to have an abiding relationship. What also caught my attention is that there was no 'posturing'. The men seemed to speak from where they were, not where they thought they should be or where they perceived the world thought they should be. This really is a huge thing! As one man said, it was amazing to him that what was going on in his head was going on in other (men's heads) as well - this despite the fact he came from an apparently different background experience from at least some of the other men - a sort of we are different, but we are the same kind of thing.It seems to me that maybe men learn to 'protect' themselves (or is it protecting their concept of masculinity?) to "hold their place in society" in ways that vary by their cultural influence while women learn to protect themselves to "gain a place in society" in ways that vary by their cultural influence. With 'shields of all sorts up' with all of us, effective communication can be a daunting task - men to men, women to women, men to women, and women to men - yet communication is the key to good personal relationships to successful work outcomes, even to honestly knowing yourself. Your Men's Inquiry Group gives an open forum for men to practice those honest communication skills for self understanding, all kinds of interpersonal relationship development, and even to promoting active achievement recognition. What a mission you are on!!It took me over an hour to write these few comments because I kept having to reflect on something else I heard in the discussion. It also is now about 2:30 AM so that may have affected my thoughts! I don't know that you expected comments, but I simply wanted to share a little of what I got from hearing an unexpectedly powerful "ordinary' discussion among men. Thank you for the honor - and dare I say trust? - in sharing this with me. It has given me greater insight into your work and appreciation of your very special skills.

- Professional business women that had build and sold success businesses. (Name withheld)

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