Same planet  same team

Calzonetti Consulting is Committed to:

“reinforce and add to a world where respect, safety and tolerance exist for everyone, regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation, culture, skin color, age etc.”


Hate Cannot Ever Be Allowed to use Love to Spread Hate

We cannot allow racism, injustice and oppression or the symbols of the same to erroneously and insidiously misuse freedom and civil liberty to spread, inflict or perpetuate the total opposite of freedom and civil liberty.

All symbols and practices that promote or demonstrate hate and racism have to be outlawed and resisted if we truly are a just society that values freedom.


It's OK to Talk About Your Mental Health Issues

Recently Dak Prescott, the QB for the Dallas Cowboys shared in the media his challenges with depression and mental health issues. Dak, whose brother reportedly passed away in April due to an apparent suicide shared how not being able to go out and see people brings him down, and how sometimes he hasn’t wanted to train for the upcoming season.

On Fox sports one of the co-hosts criticized Dak for coming out publicly and sharing his personal struggles. “I don’t have sympathy for him going public with ‘I got depressed’. It is dog-eat-dog. If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spots and it definitely can encourage others on the other side to come after you.”

This co-host demonstrates a shocking and all too common attitude about mental health issues, leadership and males being vulnerable in public.

Dak demonstrates “real men” and good leaders include those with mental health issues. True courage and strength is talking about your struggles and fears openly with others, not in keeping them to yourself and pretending they don’t exist.


Understanding Our Unconscious Patterns and Our Fight and Flight Response

I generally believe we are born whole with a healthy spirit. Sometimes however we get tricked along the way by our “super heroes” (our negative esteemers). Difficult life experiences can cause us to doubt ourselves. Where we go from there can have life long consequences.

Sometimes feelings of being less than can take root in our psyche. In turn maladaptive behaviors driven by unconscious fears and an irrational need to control the external for ego survival can dominate our thoughts and behaviors. At home or at work.

The truly amazing part is no matter what we have experienced life provides opportunities to reclaim who we really are so that we can be all we were meant to be. If we don’t give up, we battle our fears and dig deeper with the help of others we can find our inalienable spirit and our inner strength. There all along waiting for us, never gone, just dormant.


Ultra Independence is not a Strength, it is a Trauma Response

Connection and relationship at home or at work require a mix of 3 factors: Independence, Interdependence and Dependence. One of these may be front and center at any given time. An ebb and flow based on situation and choice.

In our North American culture we overvalue independence and control and undervalue interdependence and dependence. Typically, we might perceive someone as weak or broken if they partner with or worse, depend on others to lead the way in a particular moment. From a fear-based position we think control and independence will increase our safety and success. However excessive independence and control often bring just the opposite.

A mix of Independence, Interdependence and Dependence is a good thing.


Leading at Home or at Work: Empathy is Not Enough

Coaching, parenting, leadership at all levels etc. require an ability to connect, to care about, relate to and sometimes care “for” another person. Important in all this is understanding 3 integral words: sympathy, empathy and compassion.

Understanding what someone is going through on an intellectual level. “I get this is a difficult time for you”.

Experiencing what someone is going through on an emotional level. “I feel your struggle, I relate to it”.

Empathy plus action for the benefit of the other person. “I feel your level of hurt and uncertainty and I want to help you with that.”

Compassion not only helps the receiver more than empathy alone can, it also helps the helper as well. Compassion is more of a cognitive response, a decision to do more for someone than just feel with them. This move to action (your action and supporting their action) can renew a helper’s helping energy/avoid empathy burnout and make a significant difference in someone else’s life. Compassion (empathy plus action) can do much to help someone move past struggle and doubt.


Size Doesn't Matter

There was a post recently on LinkedIn with the caption “IMPOSSIBLE is just a word thrown around by Small Men”. While the theme the impossible is possible is inspirational, it is problematic to me to make the reference to “small men”. The caption capitalizes on and perpetuates the traditional male stereotype. It reinforces to be a “real man” males should have size, strength and power. I think many of us would not support this caption if it said “IMPOSSIBLE is just a word thrown around by Small Women”. At the very least we would know it’s not a politically correct statement to make.

Why is it still acceptable to refer to and generalize males in ways that regularly seem negative and stereotypical? (Are we still talking and joking about size for example?) We all must be better today. We all must be aware of how we limit and discriminate, even against the male gender. Based on our male gender we deserve no more respect, no more right to safety, no more access to advancement in the workplace than females and non-binary genders. However we also deserve no less respect, no less opportunity, no less freedom from harm and discrimination. Until all genders in society come to more fully understand and openly discuss how men can also experience gender based discrimination we are all diminished.

The way we males behave, and to some extent the way we are perceived – is ultimately on us. Brene Brown talks about the importance of embracing our vulnerability. So right on! As a clinician and Executive Coach I regularly experience how male leaders can deny their feelings, especially feelings of vulnerability. Its’s not that the male gender is incapable of self-awareness and emotional vulnerability, it’s just many males have been socialized to not value let alone display vulnerability. While not always the case many males still perceive sensitivity and emotional displays by males to be a weakness rather than a strength.

One of the feelings males need to talk more about is fear. In my view this emotion is predominant in the psyche of most every adult male in our society; fear of failure, fear of dying, fear of letting others down, fear of not being virile enough or good enough, etc. Too many males are not aware of their fears, let alone able to discuss them with others. These fears, hidden in our subconscious mind are still there, just not in focus. In time these fears can find their way into our conscious mind and our behavior, sometimes in a healthy way and sometimes through feelings of anger, resentment or depression. The cycle of denied fears can take a challenging turn. The resulting feelings of anger, resentment and depression can in turn be acted out and expressed in traditional male behaviors: control, isolation and/or verbal or physical aggression. 

Many men have a long way to go in becoming more self aware, especially emotionally self aware. We need more male mentors and male leaders to show us how. We need to help one another as we learn to deprogram the traditional male stereotype that still restricts and hurts us (and others). We need to find our voice (we can learn much from the women’s movement in this regard) and speak out more about how we can feel, and what our experience is like being raised and living as a male today. We need to celebrate not so much what we do, but rather who we are as males, as fathers, as husbands and partners, as co-workers and members of society. We need to stretch beyond our comfort zone and champion who we are and who we want to be without fear or restriction, self imposed or otherwise, so we can be all we were meant to be.

So, in a spirit of celebration of the male gender beyond size, strength and power here’s to males being vulnerable and talking calmly and openly about their fears, asking for help and trying not to do it all on our own. Here’s to males speaking out in ways that are more respectful of self and all others. Here’s to males standing up and demonstrating emotional intelligence and being ourselves as we choose to be, without fear of ridicule or subtle alienation. Here’s to men being seen for who we are and weighed on our individual merit, not prejudged based on our gender either way.