Let’s talk about “Masculine Courage“ in the professional world…

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Let’s talk about  “Masculine Courage“ in the professional world…

Historically society regards courage as very much a female topic, whether it be with reference to one’s private or professional life. An enormous number of events, seminars and speeches are offered specifically to women on this topic worldwide. In addition, there are a variety of books, blogs and films that target the female part of the population, motivating them to be courageous. Which is fair enough, given that from a diversity point of view, women certainly need to stand up more for their rights.

Now, what about the lack of courage from the male gender?  

Having worked for many years as Human Resources professional and career & executive coach, I have witnessed a lack of ‘masculine courage’ on a few occasions. In this blog, I have chosen to relate the topic only to the professional world.

I could tell you countless stories of many male professionals, who find themselves trapped and disadvantaged due to lack of courage. They feel unhappy, frustrated and fearful. Not daring to venture into the courage zone, they watch their colleagues putting the powerful virtue of courage to good use and they observe how others move forward and become successful.

They wish they had the courage to make their point, to speak up, to show up, to volunteer to lead a project, to do the work they really want and to realise their visions. 

In more ways than one they suffer by being disadvantaged. It’s not uncommon that they find themselves being sidelined for a promotion or a reward that they badly deserved. All this, just because they were not loud enough, they were not confident enough and they lacked the courage to sell themselves and highlight their achievements and contributions.

However, this seems to be rather a taboo topic. Men usually feel ashamed to stand there and say: “ I lack the courage to…” There are no events, seminars and speeches designed specifically for them. Naturally, most of them would usually not allow themselves to attend the female events. They just have to find ways to overcome their fears and move forward by themselves. 

So I definitely support the courage topic in the professional world for both genders. Personally, I do not only view courage as a character trait, that one either has or doesn’t have, but I also go along with Ruth Gordon the American actress, who states:  “Courage is like a muscle, it is strengthened by use”. I am fully convinced that anybody can work out and strengthen their courage muscles, just by regular training.

My appeal to employers, leaders and managers: Do not neglect those quiet voices and hidden qualities of your rather less courageous male employees. Keep an eye on them and an open ear too. It might cost you a bit more time and attention, but it will be worth it.  It’s not uncommon that some of your less courageous employees possess real, valuable and sustainable qualities that they would readily make available to be used for the success of your organisation. This, of course, applies to your female employees as well. I just feel that male employees in this area are being neglected and I wanted to give a voice to the less courageous male workers.

My appeal to male employees, who are rather reserved and less likely to draw on their precious courage resource: Make it yours. Don’t let courage be available only to others. It is a free and available resource. It’s just a question of starting to use it. Try to take one small courageous step every day. Over time it will become easier and will do wonders… So, take the courage to move forward!