Friday, August 5, 2011

Maybe it's the Bloke in Me

I recognise that there are certain aspects of my personality that others may find annoying. I admit many of my qualities can be perceived as negative, such as stubbornness, inability to see things right in front of me & forgetfulness. My wife would most willingly add many more to the list with detailed explanations as to their severity & numerous examples.

I also understand that my gender can present its own dilemmas in such a female dominated profession. The simple art of communication can bring up a plethora of issues. While I avoid stereotypes in most instances there are some generalisations that can be made. Men & women tend to communicate in different ways. They also often have a different approach to various situations.

I am stating this as part of a personal reflection. I am discovering that my actions, body language & tone of voice are implying disrespect, arrogance or an 'I know better' attitude when this is usually far from true. I have worked on the delivery of how I present myself to others, but can sometimes slip back into old habits. I would like to think that I use constructive feedback to better improve how I perform as an individual, both personally & professionally, as well as part of a team. However, whenever I am working changing on how I do something it takes conscious though until it becomes second nature. Even then there may be times when I revert back to my old way of doing things as they are still part of my make up.

I hope that everyone goes through these crises from time to time & I am sure that it's not specific to one gender or the other. Yet I can't help feeling sometimes that I'm being such a bloke in so many ways. Sometimes that's a good thing while on other occasions it's not so pleasant.

I am a firm believer in lifelong learning & so I see such instances as opportunities for me to enrol in the school of life. But I also sense that my inherent maleness leads to a propensity in such thickheadedness. The odd need to knock some sense into me will probably always exist. I can work on various skills till the cows come home, but the crux of the matter is that I cannot change who I am & I wouldn't want to.

I try to be empathetic towards others & inclusive of all colleagues. yet for all my efforts I am aware that I can still be a nightmare to deal with at times. Maybe it's the bloke in me, but I think that's over simplifying it. It's who I am & although I can change my behaviours or work on my skills, the fundamental things that make me ME will remain. I'm not perfect. In fact I'm far from it. I just continue to try to be the best me I can be. I am open to any suggestions, within reason of course.


  1. I think ece is a fairly intense environment to work in emotionally. Small numbers of staff, close proximity, work that creates stress and yet demands total emotional control, lots of decisions to be made but within a highly regulated framework.
    I have often found myself in the kind of trouble you describe. I can be bossy, stubborn, difficult, overbearing, insistent, distracted. When I want my own way I am very insistent. I declare the boundaries of my area of influence, and police them like a terrier.
    I know I annoy people. Sometimes I think I should change. Occasionally I try to. (Though at other times I think they should be the ones to change.)
    It is good to be self-critical. But I think you should be wary of any creeping notion that you should be 'less blokey' in how you work. By all means try to be a good person. Try to be a good man. But don't set yourself the goal to be 'less like a man'.
    If we want more men to work in early childhood, we have to accept them being men as men are. If that means learning to deal with different ways of communicating, then so be it.

  2. Thanks Siobhan for those encouraging comments. I'm not trying to be less blokey though. I'm just wondering if it's my blokiness that is the conduit to such dramas.

    It sounds like if we worked together we would definitely lock horns. But is that a bad thing?

  3. I don't think it is a bad thing, if the goal is to work things through and become better educators. Of course, there would also need to be other moments of calm and generosity and routine working together and alongside. Wouldn't want 100% contest.