Mary Loyer: Founder of Red Lipstick Inc.
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April 4, 2010
In the last several weeks, I’ve outlined the four steps in the Harmony Process for all of you strong, confident women out there who may wonder why men seem so clueless sometimes. These four steps have saved me much frustration and have helped me to achieve a state of Confident Harmony, in which I experience the men in my life being my heroes. In the moments when they are doing something I might think is stupid, this process has helped me to always get what I need. What a relief I have felt when I don’t have the burden of doing everything myself. I admit it hasn’t always been easy to follow these four steps, especially when I’m in a stressful situation, and my patience is in short supply.
I finally found an easy way to remember these steps and a way for me to catch myself in these moments so that I can reveal the heroes in my life, rather than over-look them, and continue to be frustrated by their supposed acts of “stupidity.” Use the acronym, H.E.R.O below to start using the Harmony Process in your own life, and watch all the heroes in your midst strive to give you what you ask for.
His Behavior: Identify the so-called “stupid” behavior without evaluating what it means.
Expectations: Get clear on your expectations. What were you expecting him to know or do?
Request What You Need: Clearly request what you need and how it will make you feel.
Offer Appreciation: Appreciate his efforts to give you what you need, and behold your hero rise up.
Recently, I remembered the steps in this process with my Dad, and I was so happy to have seen him be my hero, after feeling disappointed by him for much of my life. Before dinner with my parents one day, my Dad was asking me twenty questions about my new job, and his questions were all about the facts, and detailed data about how each part of the company operates. At first, I felt overwhelmed, and thought he was being clueless—even stupid to think that I should know all these facts. After-all, I’m not the President of this company, and why does he need to know these details anyway?
In that moment, I remembered, H.E.R.O, and reminded myself of the following:
His Behavior: My Dad was asking a lot of fact-based questions. Rather than evaluate the meaning, I remembered that by nature, men use facts and data-based information to form opinions about things. He needed to know these facts in order to know his daughter found a good company to work for.
Expectations: I expected my Dad to know that I wouldn’t know all this information. I also expected him to know that I just got home from work, and rather than interrogate me with questions, I might just want to relax, and tell him what I liked about my new job. It made me feel like he didn’t care about me, and that he wasn’t listening when I exclaimed how tired I was after work that day. I reminded myself that he had no idea I had these expectations of him.
Request What You Need: I took a deep breath and smiled as I told my dad, “I know you are interested in all the details in my job and want to make sure I am working for a great company. However, It makes me feel interrogated when you ask me so many questions at once. It would really help me relax, if I could have thirty minutes to unwind from my busy day, and then I’d love it if you would just ask me, “How was your day at work?” That one question will have me share everything with you. If you forget to ask, is it okay if I ask you, “Can I tell you about my day?” At first my Dad didn’t seem to understand how I could be overwhelmed by all the questions. To him, they were essential. He still agreed to my request, because I clearly explained how it would help me. He said, “Oh, I don’t want you to feel interrogated!”
Offer Appreciation: The next time we had dinner, I was so delighted when my Dad came to me about thirty minutes after my arrival, and asked, “So, how was your day at work?” You can only imagine the smile on my face! I felt so free to share what I wanted to share about my day. I saw a huge smile on my Dad’s face too, as I continued to talk and give details—even some facts about the company I work for. Thirty minutes later, I thanked him for asking about my day, and for helping me relax after work.
After that experience with my Dad, he continued being my hero! The next time I saw my Dad, he was on his way to the drugstore. He asked me, “Do you need anything from the store?” At first I thought, “I need facial cleanser, but he may not get the right one.” I just gave him a list, and let him get it for me. I thanked him later for thinking of me and for saving me the trip to the store.
This might seem small and trivial act, but since then, my Dad has approached me many times wanting to help and provide for me in various ways. I encourage you to continue practicing the Harmony Process with the men in your life. Behold the Confident Harmony you feel, when you have faith in the different strengths of those around you, and get what you need with a lot less effort! Enjoy!