In today’s EVOLVE or Decay episode, Kimberlie Dykeman continues a 4-part series on this concept of what characteristics help a guy become a better man, sharper leader, more communicative spouse, more compassionate friend, more inspiring father and more courageous human being. Adding on communication to connect with empathy and honesty and courage to take risks and lead by example.

So, if you’re just jumping into the mix- this is Part 2 of the 4 part series, Building Blocks to Becoming a Better Man.  What do you mean, Dykeman??  I’m hitting on perspective-shifting topics that equip you to reassess your current reality and define what truly matters to you as a man NOW; and 2) it guides you with an unwavering compass through a building process to becoming a better man, sharper leader, more communicative spouse, more compassionate friend, more inspiring father and more courageous human being.

Today we’re taking on the topics of COMMUNICATION and COURAGE.  Building on the blocks we laid out in Part 1: a revival of the real, authentic YOU and practicing the work of forgiving yourself.

So let’s start with communication to connect with empathy and integrity. To become a better man, you must embrace communication. Throughout history we have always remembered the great communicators— MLK, Jr…JFK, Henry Ford, Emerson, Lincoln John Lennon- the thought leaders and game changers who have been had a command of language to adjust discourse to connect with any and every audience and impact people’s minds, hearts and actions. But what stands out about them—and perhaps even the anonymous folks who have left their mark on you—isn’t just the message they delivered to fulfill their agenda; it’s all the countless fine elements that created a bond to and with you.

Language is what connects us. Period. As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. proclaimed, “Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.” Yet the words are simply the projector of the heart, soul and mind of the speaker.  The more people you engage with and peel back layers for deeper connection, the more approachable you are seen- the more appreciated you become.

All you Alphas and tight-lipped men listening, note this: Allowing work or immediate family to set all parameters by which you act and interact, is fertilizer for isolation, estrangement, and confined thinking.  Your office or homebase cannot be the ultimate breeding ground for meaningful relationships and needs in life.  The experiences and issues that weave the threads of your life together warrant both attention and discussion… with strangers and folks who really DO want to know you- and go beyond work, weather and sports chatter.

I gotta say, one thing men could learn from women is that sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings with freedom opens more doors, creates stronger, deeper relationships (both personal and professional), and creates a two-way street for learning more about life, business, the world around you, and even own past, present and future.

Choosing to become a better man means losing the façade of solo artist, quit observer, intimidating stoic.  Friends, you violate the truth in your own feelings and fears with silence. So tell your story, ask random questions, invite a stranger to coffee, stand on your soapbox and preach, expand your curiosity in others and ask them to do the same.   

Oh, but I do know that open the veins and venues of communication takes courage. But what a great stepping stone?!  Even the great orator Churchill esteemed Courage as the first of human qualities…because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

To become a better man, you must embrace courage. The concept of COURAGE is one that forever tingles my spine- to seek the fuel for bravery to take risks—both big and small— and lead by example for others to find inspiration. The cause-and-effect formula never fails.  But nerves, tattered egos, and past failures can get in the way to leaping.

Each day you have the opportunity to broaden the valley of your vision for a life of greater discovery of all that makes you a man.  And when you accept a challenge to face the decisions that stare you down at bridges and cliffs, the opportunities to prosper and expand your influence are indeed greater each time.  Courage is a call to action at crossroads of defining moments – whether it’s to leave someone or run to somewhere new; to stop a habit or learn a new skill; to edit how you speak to loved ones or how you stand up and ask for respect – hell, it takes guts to ask for help, say I don’t know and show that you indeed love.

But as you choose to live more authentically, walk light in self-forgiveness, and create a wider and deeper means of connecting, courageous thoughts morph into actions more readily. As you evolve into a man who no longer hesitates, or holds his cards too close, or procrastinates til the cows come home… all the titles you wear – leader, parent, sibling, worker bee, spouse, maker, friend, educator, motivator, listener – shine on your lapel even brighter.  Courage puts you in the driver’s seat of change and reveals new territories of delightful evolution on your terms.

Never Stop EVOLVING.  ~ KD

©2016 Kimberlie Dykeman

Sponsored by Kimberlie Dykeman Enterprises– Executive Performance Coaching, Retreats & Wingman Support for Gentlemen.

This is also featured on the global platform The Good Men Project where Dykeman is a regular contributing writer.