In honor of our anniversary, we've invited some very cool men to share their views. Dawjelene (Dr. Dawj) Sangster invited guest blogger Ryan Hodge. Enjoy!
I preface this blog by stating that I am no expert, but I have learned to communicate effectively and develop relationships.
Being in sales for 10+ years, most people think I do a lot of talking, and I do. However, there is a time to speak and a time to listen. I don't speak a lot during the sales cycle unless I am explaining the product and service, and only after I have already posed certain questions to the client to understand their needs, and, determine if I can fulfill them.
The same goes for relationships; asking and listening for understanding is important to the effective communication process.
Recently, I posted this question on Facebook:
Top Female Responses
1. Leave me alone when I'm PMS'ing or you will get cussed out!
2. I can't do it all. You should do things around the house without being asked like washing dishes, cooking, or helping the kids with homework.
3. I need you to understand the what, why, and how about my feelings.
4. Sometimes I just want to rest, as in get some sleep!
Single Male Response
1. I am only human; learn to forgive me.
While there were many female responses, I don't think we need any more responses from the men. I believe the response this guy submitted shut it down, and summed it up in one quick, short sentence. The question really has no answer in my opinion, because we are all human, and we will make mistakes. However, understanding cannot take place without communication, and then it still takes years and years to truly understand one another.
Here are my responses to what the women posted:
· Regarding response #1- Most men have had a mother, so we understand that you are having menstrual pains. However, we don't usually complain when we have a headache or our stomach hurts. We just keep it going. Thinking about it, my head has been hurting for two days now, but it hasn't stopped me from getting things done, albeit at a slower pace.
· Regarding response #2- I don't know many men that really think a female should do it all, but I would do a disservice to all if I didn't bring up Proverbs 31:10-31. I don't want this to turn into a battle of what the Bible says or doesn't, but it is what it is.
· Regarding response #3- Well hmmm- How are we men suppose to do this one? All I can think of is WONDER WOMAN! Maybe instead of the truth lasso, there needs to be one of those "Feel what I feel right now lassos. However, I guess I will refer back to Proverbs 31 Virtuous Woman again.
· Regarding response #4- It goes hand in hand with the one response we received from the guy- she wants to rest- and he just wants you understand he is human- and the last time I checked, sleeping is human.
A good way to practice effective communication and understanding is to ask questions. When I talk with folks- I always ask:
1. What have you done for someone else lately?
2. Do you know how that other person is feeling?
3. Do you even care to ask how they are feeling?
In relationships, it is important to know and understand the value in exhibiting care and understanding towards others, just as you want to receive it. I want people to understand that while men and women are different, in the end, we all want the same things; happiness, effective communication, and someone to simply understand and love us. We men call this the Jedi Mind Trick- don't hurt me men but it is what it is!
Ryan Hodge is the Founder and CEO of The BFHS Network or commonly known as Black Folk Hot Spots,