Powerful communication requires yielding, not force

When men pretend to be confident it’s easy to spot. One way they do it is they tend to push their communication harder than they need to. If you’re trained to observe this you’ll see it in harder inflections as they speak. It’s almost like they ‘bark’ at least once per vocal utterance. It needn’t be an aggressive bark; it might be a jocular one, but it’ll sound like a bark as it rises in pitch and volume above the other words. You’ll find some good examples in the classic movies of 50 years ago.

If you look into their actions you’ll see that there too they’re all about push, about force, about making a mark, having an influence, knowing more, doing more, solving more. But like their bark, their actions will be brief flares, like sun spots, before they retreat back to their place in the pack. They’ll step into an argument, loudly make a statement, then back off.

The gentleness required of men cannot be staged or taught;
 it can only be accessed through being

There’s a different way of expressing confidence. It’s the way of the gentle martial arts, like aikido. It’s the way of giving, of yielding, of moving in towards your centre. When you speak in this way you soften your tone, drop your inflection. To a man learning this, it feels wrong – too soft, a little naff, because you have to tap into expressions of feeling. Yet the men who truly know how to move people, who touch you, who are authentic, centred, powerful and you can’t quite put your finger on it, they have this softness in their speech.

Of course, it can be staged, but then you’d feel uncomfortable with this kind of man, like there’s something about him you don’t trust. True softness is an ability that can’t be staged or trained. It can only be accessed through being. Being gentle, being yielding, being willing to step back from the fight and the show, from always having to be right. Authentic being cannot be staged, it’s what’s left when the ego has been dissolved.