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Programme that can help dads process their emotions and succeed at work is unveiled
An innovative scheme to help working dads was launched at the Mad World mental health summit last week.
Lou Banks’ Calling Out the Men project aims to help men tap into their emotions. It claims they’ll be able to cope better at home and at work with strategies and support.
Fatherhood is a key moment at which men not only have to deal with a sea of new emotions but also with the guilt of going back to work often just days after their baby is born.
Talking exclusively to workingdads.co.uk Lou said, “Many dads get a hard time for working all the time but they feel that’s what’s expected of them. A lot of our clients actually want to be at home more.
“There’s been too much focus in the past on men supporting women without thinking about the sort of support men need too.
“And men can support women by looking after themselves, husbands and fathers are role models to the women in their life.”
Lou runs Rising Vibe, a learning development and change business that uses emotions to drive success. She believes a men only programme is necessary because men often tackle problems in a practical way and they need a separate space to grapple with emotion and the role it can play in their life at home and at work.
She says research carried out ahead of the Calling Out the Men launch found men struggle with emotional literacy. As well as lacking the vocabulary to express themselves many men apparently equate emotion with weakness. The research also showed men are unwilling to break gender norms around masculinity and are afraid to ask for help.
Lou sees fatherhood as a crunch time for all these issues.
However she claims that her programme can improve things. “When men feel better they do better,” she explains. “If you’re an employer and you want to improve performance among the working dads in your organisation – get emotional with them!”
Calling Out the Men is a coaching and development programme delivered over 6-12 months. And it starts at the upper end of the business, with role modelling a vital plank.
“In a perfect world we could deliver this top down and the once the bosses adopt it the whole company culture would change. In reality we change the culture from the middle, one layer at a time, one baby step at a time. I always talk about baby steps because it’s a gradual process.”
With Calling Out the Men launched with a slick promo video Lou hopes to unveil free resources for men in the armed services and emergency services next year.