How to Be a Man at Work

Working Men

Being a man in today’s workplace isn’t easy. There are always more unwritten and official rules that we must follow. What was okay a year ago might have changed, but I believe the core principals of being a man in the workplace haven’t changed.


The core principals of being a man at work are timeless. I’m not talking about honor and draping your coat across copy toner that spilled on the floor. I’m talking about values that every man should possess in the workplace.


Here are the 12 ways to live consciously as a man at work:


1. Thinks Outside the Box


A man is able to think outside of the normal range of choices to find the best solution. He doesn’t keep going back to the same idea well, using old resources to solve a new issue. He dedicates himself to constantly create and has a willingness to listen to other people’s ideas no matter what level they are within the company.


2. Not Afraid to Make a Mistake


A man who isn’t afraid to make a mistake will be more willing to take a risk and win big. To be a great co-worker or boss a man can’t just do what is expected; he needs to try things beyond his comfort level and fail. Then use those failures as a way to make himself and the company better.


3. Gives Others Credit


He won’t take credit for other people’s work. If he would he knows that it will come around to bite him in the butt (Karma). He makes sure that no matter how good the idea is, he informs the powers that be that he supported the idea, but didn’t come up with it on his own.


4. Regulates His Emotions


A man understands that emotions are a part of working life, but he never ever lets them dictate his choices. He knows how to control his emotions so he doesn’t blow up at a colleague or staff member. All emotions pass and there is no reason to take out frustrations on someone that deserves to be treated with compassion.


5. Trusts Others


A man knows he can’t do it all alone. Whether he runs a one man business or is a CEO of 5,000 employees, when he needs help he asks for it. He trusts that the person he asks will do a good job. If a person or company fails him, he lets them know and if it happens more than twice he lets the employee go if necessary or takes his business else where.


6. Confident


A man trusts his own choices. He uses logic to ascertain the situation then trusts his instincts to come out on top. If he fails, he acknowledges it and moves on to the next pressing thing on his list.


7. Believes What He Says


He makes statements he believes in. He won’t make up information to cover his butt and he sure won’t say that he believes in an idea when he doesn’t. He isn’t afraid to put himself on the line for a good idea, but refuses to go along with a bad idea because the rest of the group wants him to.


8. Looks People in the Eyes


A man always looks people in the eyes because of rule # 6. He is confident in who he is and isn’t afraid to show it.


9. Respects His Superiors but Never Kisses Butt


A man respects his boss’s choices, but never kisses his/her butt to get ahead. If the boss has a bad idea he may voice his opinion, but doesn’t pout as he continues to work on the project that he doesn’t believe in. He knows that he isn’t perfect and neither is his boss, so the boss must be given leeway to make mistakes too.


10. Makes Quick Decisions with the Information He Has


A man gathers the best information that is at his disposal and makes the best choice he can with the information that he has and never looks back. His choices are only as good as the information that he has, so if he makes a mistake he doesn’t beat himself up because he tried his best to make a good choice.


11. Listens to Co-workers Opinions


A man listens to his co-workers before he makes a decision. He believes that there should be input from all levels before a project goes into effect. The collective mind is smarter than any single individual. But if they don’t like what he says then he must weigh out their opinions. If he still believes in his idea then he must go with it; hopefully everyone else will understand his choice.


12. Increases His Wisdom


Every great man improves at work by researching better ways to do his job, whether it be through classes, mentors, conferences, or reading a book. He does it to constantly improve himself and become more valuable to the people who depend on him.



Steve Pavlina wrote an article “How to Be a Man,” which inspired this article. He also threw a gauntlet down on writing a post about “How to Be Woman,” so I took the challenge. You can read my article “How to Be a Woman at Work” right here and don’t forget to check out the comments where I got beat up by some of my readers and defended by others. It was a cool discussion.


With that being said, all of the traits could also apply to women. That’s the beauty of this day an age. The barriers and mental boxes aren’t as strict. We are growing as a working culture. We still have a long way to go, but I love the direction we are heading.


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Image courtesy of jpeepz


11 thoughts on “How to Be a Man at Work”

  1. Hey Barbara, they are both great traits for men and women. I wanted to write it from the man’s point of view because one of my more recent posts was “How to Be a Woman at Work.” I figured it was only fair that men got their article too.

  2. Regulating emotions can be good, even if they are positive emotions. Sometimes people get so excited about good ideas that they burn themselves out and their excessive enthusiasm soon gone. It is great to be excited about things, but keeping yourself on an even keel so that you can harness that energy for the long run is much better than burning out quickly.

    It’s like those investment commercials where the cyclist or jogger goes sprinting by the slower group, but it is the runners or cyclists who pace themselves that prevail in the end. Same goes for emotions and energy; moderation is the key.

    Now, I’m not implying not to get excited or show a lot of enthusiasm for a great idea. great ideas deserve to be enthusiastically supported; just make sure that the idea comes to fruition because you have enough emotional energy to support it throughout development not just at the start.

  3. Communicating assertively is sort of covered in this phrase: “If a person or company fails him, he lets them know and if it happens more than twice he lets the employee go or necessary or takes his business else where.” People have a tendency to say things behind other’s backs instead of to their faces. If someone does something that you feel violates your boundaries in some way, it’s important to address the issue with them directly, honestly, and calmly. I think a real man doesn’t engage in “water cooler” talk (which to me is bad mouthing your boss, your co-workers, and/or the company you work for).

    Marelisa’s last blog post..The Elasticity of Time (Part 1)

  4. Hey Marelisa, it’s important that we are open and honest with the people we work with. By creating a dialog with someone you disagree with they understand how we feel and we understand them a little better. By understanding each other a little more we can create the environment that makes both people comfortable.

  5. Hey Jason, great point! We never want to let our emotions get out of control because we create a roller coaster effect. This emotional up and down is exhausting for co-workers as well as the person acting emotional. We do want to show emotion, we just need to make sure that it’s balanced within the situation.

  6. Giving others credit and Trusting others are very important for me because I know that I can’t do it alone. Knowing how to delegate at the right time to the right people is key.

    Chris’s last blog post..Go Ahead, Ask Me

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