Soft or Hard Support

Soft or Hard Support

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? One or more team meetings

WHY DO THIS? Teach a basic team technology

WHAT SUPPORT IS NEEDED? This list

WHO CAN HELP? Hero and Wingman

WHAT IS THE TEAM’S ROLE? Open minds

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Background

This process is geared to the heart of what every NOM men’s team needs to do well in order to be an elite team, provide great personal support. This hard of soft option process can be utilized for one or two meetings to broken down into sub parts and used for several meetings.

Providing excellent personal support is much like working with a woman’s “g” spot–what works one time with a particular woman may not work another time with the same woman, and what works for one woman may not work for another. Hence great persistence and finesse are required to give good support and to give good “g spot”.

In general we have two broad categories of support, called “hard support” and “soft support”- and a long and potentially worthwhile team discussion can be had on the distinction between them and the benefits of each. The various adherents to each type of support can make a good case for either- but again, what I have found is what works for one man or one situation may not work for the same man in another situation and what works for one team (or teammate) does not always produce good results for another man.

Here are rough working descriptions of hard and soft support.

  • Hard support is interactive, with the men on the team asking probing questions, trying to clarify details and extract information that is being withheld or not communicated clearly.

  • Soft support is less interactive, with the men on the team mostly listening and the man being supported mostly sharing.

  • Hard support tends to involve two or more men working in tandem to help the man being supported see what the team thinks he needs to see more clearly.

  • Soft support tends to involve the man being supported speaking trying to get the team to see what he thinks needs to be seen, or speaking to clarify his own thoughts.

  • Hard support lends itself to an outcome that is very action oriented- the man being supported will be directed to commit to an action plan that is clear and measurable and aligned directly with the result he is seeking.

  • Soft support tends to be more process oriented, the man being supported will decide on his next course of action, if any. (frequently there is no action expected- the team is more of a sounding board and the outpouring of empathy and compassion is often all the support the man wants)

  • Hard support tends toward an accepted set of values for a man on the team–values that the team generally holds and in fact imparts on new men. It often involves explaining how the world works according to a firmly held set of basic beliefs. the assumption is that the man’s life is not working because his values are feminized.

  • Soft support tends to adopt the stated values of the man being supported, typically operating on the assumption that all values are personal and equally valid.The basic premise is that the man’s values are fine and his life is not working because his tactics need to be improved.

  • Hard support is often men in warrior mode, battling with the man being supported, yelling, cursing, fuming, and intensity are all very normal aspects of a meeting geared to hard support.

  • Soft support is often men in lover mode, tears, tenderness, gentleness, hugging, long moments of silence are all normal aspects of a meeting geared to soft support.

  • Hard support tends to work best when the man is clear on his core values and is struggling to overcome his resistance to living according to his own stated standards because he is repeatedly taking action that is inconsistent with his stated values. Likewise, when a man is struggling to actualize his life according to his own standards then hard support can give him the kick in the pants he needs to get back on track.

  • Soft support tends to work best when the man does not seem clear on his values and is confused about his life, struggling with his lack of direction or the absence of clear choices.

  • Hard support sessions usually result in the man being told what is best to do.

  • Soft support sessions usually have the men on the team share what they did in similar situations as the man being supported is dealing with, and leave it up to the man to determine what, if anything, he will take on.

The hard or soft option process just involves the team talking at depth on these subjects… finding places on the team of agreement or disagreement. The goal is to learn to utilize the type of support that will best suit the situation and to aid the team in coming to consensus as to what type of support will be most helpful.

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John Butler

Momentum is a local, not-for-profit men’s community.

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