Spanish men face up to fear

October 15, 2004

Spain's ESCI business school is to run the country's first men-only course on fear management and communication.

The four-day course will run next month at the school, which is part of Barcelona's Pompeu Fabre University. It follows a successful course for women held last July.

Carmen Garc!a Ribas, course coordinator and lecturer in communication at ESCI, said many highly successful men were, privately, terrified of failure.

"This fear can drive them to sabotage their surroundings by bullying, treating people badly or stifling new talent and creativity in others," she said. "Unfortunately, they end up failing because they end up being bad managers."

Ms Garc!a Ribas described this behaviour pattern as "the Manolo syndrome", shorthand for the stereotypical Spanish male who is loud, overbearing and has little respect for the opinions of others, particularly women.

Fear is a natural emotion in all human beings, but men and women are scared of different things and react in different ways, said Ms Garc!a Ribas.

"Women are scared of not being loved. They find it hard to handle disapproval or rejection and so will often try to please even when it goes against their own interests. Thus women in positions of power may find it hard to take unpopular decisions." As a result of this "self-sabotage", many women fail to fulfil their potential in the workplace, she said.

Complaints of bullying bosses making people's working lives a misery are widespread and affect the overall health of an organisation, as well as individuals. Companies that take action and invest in this kind of emotional management training can increase profitability by up to 15 per cent, according to a recent academic study of Spanish management .

Jaume Garcia, director of ESCI, said:J"If you create good dynamics in the workplace, you can do as much as in a traditional company and more."

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