Vulnerability

Do you believe that if you are vulnerable, others will think you are weak and they will take advantage of you? Every time I sit in circle with other men and women, this toxic belief surfaces its ugly head. Brene Brown is a college professor who has studied vulnerability and shame and produced some of the most popular talks on Ted.com. In this talk, she is back, talking about the price of invulnerability.

Shame and Guilt

I have staffed over 40 Mankind Project New Warrior Training Adventure weekends and helped initiate over 1,000 men into mature manhood. The theme that I see over and over is some variation on, “I am not good enough, not worthy, not lovable”. I kept asking myself, what is this all about? Where does this toxic belief come from? Several years ago, I discovered Brene Brown’s, “Listening to Shame” which has now been viewed on Ted.com over 7,000,000 times. There’s a clue here. Paraphrasing Brene Brown, the messages I kept hearing are shaming messages. They echo a core belief that says “I … Continue reading

Empathy vs. Sympathy

Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow or pity for the hardships of another while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Although compassion is often welcome, sorrow and pity do not enhance connection. All three are reactions to the plight of another, but empathy is sitting down with someone and feeling remembering the experiences you have had in similar circumstances. When my brother’s wife died of cancer, I felt sorrow and compassion, but because I had not yet lost someone so close to me, I could not empathize with him. All I could do was sit and hold space … Continue reading

ConneXions – The Back Story

In 1990, I was hired by Microsoft as a Director of their Core Consulting Team for Microsoft Consulting Services. I sold my house in San Jose and moved my family to Redmond, WA in September and dove in. It didn’t take me long to realize that the powerful currents at Microsoft were pulling me under and I was into a political situation that was way over my head. My boss also realized that his team wasn’t working well, so the whole bunch of us went off for a weekend to do some “team building”. During the weekend, something profound happened … Continue reading

Today’s Paradigm Shift

Shift Happens I ordered some clothing from a website in April and by early June, most of the order was still missing. I was angry with the vendor and had some pretty clear judgments about the obvious problems with his business so I called him today and brother, what a lesson I learned. I told the man in clear terms that there were real problems with his business, and his response was, “Yes, and I am the problem.” “How is that?” I asked.