Let's just get this out here, right out front: We women are not allowed to be angry.
It scares the men.
And when they're scared, we get frightened too! Frightened that the we will be seen as unlikeable, unattractive, unlovable. Frightened that now we are "too masculine." Frightened that the reaction could be physically more intimidating. Frightened because we don't know how to handle it ourselves, so we
keep the situation recognizably friendly, we back off of our anger, we smile, laugh, and explain. We don't - yet - have the training to allow ourselves the human emotion of anger, and ways to express that anger that are transformational to the situation and to our self-image.
So I have a question that I have been asking myself for some months now, as I started this business. I am one hell of a coach - my work is transformational for the women with whom I work, and it is lasting. And I am trying to figure out where my initial core message fits: my core message that arose from arguably the very least "feminine" emotion: anger. While I don't espouse angry torch-bearing, I do espouse the using of the energy of anger as a propellant to creating the life, the business, the direction, the voice that you (and I) want to bring out!
Let me do a bit of explaining here, in case you're sitting back, looking at the screen and going, "Whaaaaa?"
Have you ever known that you really should clean your apartment, but you've been just too damn lazy for weeks, and now someone is going to be coming over to visit. So you use that anger - that "Dammit! I'm GOING TO MAKE THIS PLACE LOOK DECENT EVEN IF IT KILLS ME!" anger to get yourself movin'!?
That's the kind of anger I'm talking about. Here's another kind.
Have you ever been in a conversation with a boss and the conversation takes a bad turn? You get incredibly heated up - inside - but you don't say anything because all you really want to say is something that will absolutely get you fired? So, if you use that anger to find a new way to communicate your, er, displeasure with what the boss said, you are going to change the dance, I'm tellin' you.
My belief and my experience as a coach is that as one gets to the heart of her core message, peeling away all the niceties and simply being able to say, baldly, what one believes, thinks, and wants, that is when the true powerhouse message, presentation and business is born. After that is when the finessing begins, and not before.
This business was in utero for a long, long time! And the impregnation, if you will, came from an exercise given in a 400-person workshop I attended about 8 or 10 years ago in San Mateo, California which focused on niceties-bypassing questions like "What would you say to your clients if you could say it without getting fired instantly?"
That clued me in to what I was going to call my business. It also clued me in to the life-enhancing qualities of anger, if only we can stop fearing it long enough to hear it.
Listen to the messages you are receiving from your own emotions, and you will find the new ways forward in your life.
And if you need help doing that, well that's why I'm here.
Women's Leadership Coach and Speaker Lori is the author of Call Center Crazy and The Human Solution: Human Solutions to Every "Unsolvable" Business Problem,
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