Building on my last editorial post (Out With the Old, In With a New BOLD for Effective Business Communication), I want to answer an interesting question asked by one of our SagePresence blog readers.
What does ‘Command and Nurture’ look like? Can you share an example?
Well I found one, and like a lot of life, what you’re looking for isn’t always where you’re looking.
I’m reminded of the old adage, “It was in the last place I looked!” Well of course, why would you keep looking after you found it?! I think it should really be stated, “I found it in the one place I didn’t think to look.” This is that case.
The backstory is that I’m a weight lifter. Not a big one. A little one in fact, but I love lifting weights.
Another thing about me – I don’t want anyone telling me what to do.
I’ve never had a weight trainer, because I imagine an oversized, meaty alpha male type, barking instructions, telling me I’m doing it wrong, swaggering his über confidence around like a mallet, and hitting me over the head with it. I don’t want that in my free time, so I’ve never had a coach.
This New Year’s, I didn’t have a resolution, but there was a New Year’s special with a weight trainer who my wife found online. It happened to dovetail with a Facebook post of a friend of mine named Kevin, who said he’d been reaching new heights with a weight trainer. I decided, what the heck. If he starts yelling at me, I’ll say, “F-Off!” and go back to my weight room at home. But I was at a plateau.
So I took the January deal and signed up with Airion Britt of Dungeon Strength and Conditioning.
Airion is the classic package I was trying to avoid. Competitive weight trainer… barks like a drill sergeant… classic “guy-guy,” right down to the potty mouth and Superman tattoos. This guy has either an extra Y or the Y he has is double-sized. He’s everything I avoided having a coach for.
But I love going to this guy.
WHY DO I LIKE BEING BOSSED AROUND SO MUCH?!
Why is that? He’s all masculine. He’s what I say I don’t like. But I’ve gone back with excitement nearly every day since signing up. He pushes me when I want to stop. He corrects me out loud, harshly, from across the room in front of everyone. He’s crude and harsh (and darn it, he’s right, so you can’t get anything past him.)
Why do I like this? Especially when I normally hate this kind of treatment?
Airion Britt has a balanced, full-spectrum vibe – a masculine male, with a “Command and Nurture” balance!
God help me! Is this an example of The New Bold I’ve been speaking about?
The answer is yes. The old school promotes “command and conquer,” but this guy is “command and nurture!” This man is a balance of the masculine and the feminine, although you’d almost never see it. (In fact, I’m probably going to get a talking to from him for even associating him with the feminine side… later tonight probably.)
Airion has latitude to be harsh, without making you feel bad. He can literally yell at you and you’ll feel cared about. He corrects you and you don’t feel any shame. He criticizes you and you feel worthy.
What the hell is this guy doing? I mean, geez! He’s a muscle-head. He’s not the kind of guy who would have this strange balance. But he does, and better than most of the business professionals I know. He speaks like a weight-lifter, but carries himself like a proud, loving parent.
Airion is a Jedi. But not like Yoda, the trained, schooled Jedi. He’s more like Rey, the woman who came out of nowhere, from nothing, who somehow walks naturally with the grace of the Force.
So what’s he doing? How’s he doing it? And how can I apply it to business?
Airion is doing a very simple balancing act, a Yang/Yin balancing act, that all of us can learn a lesson from.
Being is feminine (Yin). He always smiles at you. His eyes tell you he’s watching over you. He enjoys you. His emotions soothe you, and encourage you, and silently, he tells you that it’s going to be okay.
You see, Airion may possibly have never uttered the phrase, “Emotional Intelligence,” however he is extremely emotionally intelligent. He’s tracking your emotional state so that he knows when to push and when to support. Airion’s body language is always telling you he loves and cares about you. He’s building trust, and his voice tone assures you there’s every reason to trust him, and no reason to fear him, even if he yells at you. You trust his feelings, which bend the meaning of his words. With that, he motivates you to your next higher place – textbook Jedi!
Instructions are an expression of your thoughts. Actions are an expression of your decisions, that create results. Body language is an expression of your emotions.
How is this not the same in business? We need to get people to do stuff. We need to take strategic action to hit our bottom line. And we need to inspire others to feel good about what they’re doing.
How is this not the same as selling? We need to inform and educate our customers. We need to enhance action through products and services that create outcomes. And we need to motivate prospects to take action to better themselves.
How is this not the same as leadership? We need to communicate our decisions so our teams understand why. We need to align people around unified action. And we need to inspire them and affirm them so they trust and follow us.
Folks, ‘Command and Nurture’ works. It requires a Jedi balance of strong and sensitive. It requires a valuing of the masculine and feminine. Both enhance the other. Why not have them both in you and run your life and communication to others in a full-spectrum way?
And if you want to see it in action, where you might not expect it, check out Dungeons Strength and get stronger and more shapely than you ever thought you could be. In the process, you’ll see a professional who holds nothing back while being extremely delicate regarding the emotional experience of your progress.
I’m getting results fast, and I love it! In fact, I bumped into my friend Kevin there. Turns out I picked the very Jedi Master who was helping him, and found my first example of the new bold – very bold, very nurturing. I could stand to see more men like this.
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