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IN A NUTSHELL

Dear readers,

I often muse over the word Men \ o \ pause

Its like men are pausing in life. Yet it's associated with women.

Whereas - And \ o \ pause is associated with men.

mmmm…? read on to find out the reason for this muse -:)

Menopause is one of those subjects that many people find difficult to talk about openly, possibly because they view it as a gender issue or perhaps because it is linked with ageing. But it is a natural process that we will all go through, so this is an opportunity to find out the facts about what is going on, how it can affect work performance and what help is available.

The better informed you are, the easier it will be to spot the signs that someone is experiencing difficulties with menopausal symptoms and to provide timely support.

This topic will also be helpful to you if you have been approached by a colleague who seeks your help managing their menopausal symptoms at work.

But did you know that men in this stage of life can find themselves suffering from mood swings, fatigue, depression and hot flushes. Some men lose their confidence during andropause, which can affect their performance at work and disrupt their careers. Sorry girls we can't even own our menopausal hell!

However if this is the case, why is it not spoken about more? If both genders experience symptoms that influence our lives negatively, then why is it only women who are fighting their corner in the workplace and in the home?

Women going through the menopause (perimenopause) can be very sensitive about comments from colleagues referring to their menopausal symptoms. Some women report being misunderstood by younger colleagues and male co-workers. They may also perceive negative attitudes and criticism from managers when they raise the subject of menopause. All of this can lead to anxiety and lack of confidence and assertiveness.

In male-dominated workplaces, such as the police and the armed services, women have reported being reluctant to discuss symptoms or to seek support, for fear of seeming weaker than male colleagues.

Men sometimes refer to ‘women’s problems’ and make jokes about menopausal women, perhaps because they feel embarrassed. However, these types of comments and banter can be perceived as harassment or bullying. This could be seen as both ageist and sexist.

If this type of behaviour is not addressed by the manager, it can exacerbate the victim’s menopause symptoms, possibly leading to

  • Loss of self-esteem and confidence
  • A loss of performance at work
  • Poor sleep
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression.

The impact on the organisation can extend to

  • Loss of team morale
  • Lost productivity
  • Damage to reputation
  • Higher rates of sickness absence
  • Higher staff turnover
  • Litigation.

Managers need to ensure that they are aware of and enforce the regulations and implement procedures fairly.

So why choose this topic this month? 

I am presently coaching a very successful woman(Ms M), who came to me as she is experiencing anxiety, self doubt, and mood swings and could not understand the reasons why. Yes she knew she was going through the menopause- she had had this confirmed by her GP, along with her physical confirmation of hot flushes. However she genuinely had no idea how the menopause influenced her thinking.

Ms M is used to being in full control, she is a risk taker and able to make snappy decisions. But who now was losing her confidence and becoming very concerned about how this may affect her performance her relationships and how people would see her.

She genuinely felt she was experiencing a breakdown, and she had no one to talk to about how she felt as she feared looking weak and irrational. 

Coaching has allowed her to address and manage her symptoms, to understand her feelings and not be scared or embarrassed. To address this phase as another challenge which she can and will come through successfully.

Ms M's position allowed her to talk openly with her organisation and she has set up monthly afternoon chat sessions, where both men and women are invited. The chats cover work but also family as some people are supporting wives and husbands who are experiencing menopause. 

Ms M 'dared' to turn  her situation around and as a consequence she has helped others to do the same. She 'dared' to address the  stigma of menopause and turn it into an opportunity for her business, her colleagues and herself. 

Are you dealing with menopause? Do you know someone who is possibly struggling? 

I have provided some practical measures in this How Dare She Issue- however nothing beats someone to talk to. So do ask those powerful and caring questions and do listen, you may make that person feel more like themselves again.

Oh one final thing - PLEASE do share this blog with friends, family, colleagues - both male and female!

Wishing you an empowering August being a daring YOU!

Heather 

How Dare She is a network of fabulous Scottish women creating their own empowerment and supporting the rise of leaders across all sectors of society.

We support and inspire women to empower themselves and provide the tools, knowledge and network to lead in a way that integrates core feminine values like connection, collaboration, intuition, empathy and heart.


PS: Please do unsubscribe if you feel that In a Nutshell is not speaking to you. (I won't be offended, but I will miss you) 

Menopause- In a Nutshell
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Want to know more? Resources
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