Fred Boyles
Columnist

“What is the greatest lesson you have learned and applied through being with the men?”

I call men who have left MDI, and I ask them to bring me up to speed on what’s going on in their lives. Then I actively listen. After about 5-7 minutes if they talk that long, I ask them, “What do you think about what you just said?”

Usually they cut to the bottom line of truth and actions they want to accomplish.

Now this next part is unique in the practice of listening to those who are alumni members of MDI. After I ask them what they think about what they’ve just said, their answers are usually brilliant and action-oriented. I say, “Awesome! Great answers. I’ve gotta go and I will call you back soon.”

This is what I’ve learned in speaking with many alumni men. Their action ideas related to their life are brilliant, and the more I share about my life, dealing with those problems, the more I compete with their action plan using my own years of experience and training. My insights reduce their commitment to the action plan they just shared.

My 50 years of trainings can upstage their commitment to future actions.

The best thing I can do for a man that has revealed his life and barriers to me is to get out of his way and celebrate his insights and plans. Then check back in after a couple of weeks.

This is called a relationship between men looking to grow.

The more I listen, the better the relationship.