Women as Managers of Men?

diane keatonAs a motivational speaker on relationships I am on the constant look-out for ways to strengthen the bonds between people, especially in love relationships. Accordingly, when I ran across this quote by Diane Keaton (one of my ALL TIME favorite actresses in the world), it really made me stop and think.  And I ended up with way more questions that I did answers. So I'm posing these questions to you, my favorite blog readers. I want to know what you think. I've got a bazillion swirling thoughts, many of them contradicting the ones that went right before…

About her failed romances with Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino, Ms. Keaton said, "Managerial skills are necessary to handle men like that, and I'm not the managerial type."

Please, oh wise ones, help me process this. What do you think she meant by this? Specifically, does she mean by managerial skills? Can you help me define exactly what "skills" she is referring to? What would an example be? Do you think good managerial skills are needed in a relationship? Or are they just needed to handle "men like that?" And when she says "Men like that," does she mean difficult men?

I'm sooooo curious. What do you think?



Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. This has my brain swirling too.

    I know what she means about managing men – I've seen many woman who have made controlling men an art form. Women who go to great lengths to manipulate their man so that they get what they want. In my humble opinion, manipulating people is not healthy. While it often works, it's not a partnership. I believe that when someone goes into a relationship (love, work, managerial, etc.) with the intent to control someone else – then it will always be a power play. I believe that you should enter into a relationship with a servant's heart – aiming to lift up the other person, serve their needs over yours, and seek to create a partnership where both win. Yes, even if you are the CEO. I know – MUCH easier said than done. And as a wife I struggle with the whole serving my husband thing. I pretty much suck at it. But just because it's hard, doesn't mean we shouldn't try it.

    And, yes, there will always be "men like that" – men who don't want to hear from a woman, men who thrive on being the one in power and holding that power over women. In fact, that's why I have such a hard time as a motivational speaker speaking to men. I had to break past the idea I had formed that men don't care what I have to say. And that's just wrong. Just because I feel it doesn't make it true.

    I've met (and married) plenty of men (no, I only married one) who don't abuse their power – who cherish women, and treat them as equals. Not fair to lump men into broad categories. That invites trouble.

    Great discussion, Linda. I think we could dive even deeper into it. Don't you?

    • I agree Kelly – more discussion! One of my BIG areas of focus as a motivational speaker is communication and I guess this whole topic falls under that. Everything we do or say (and even what we DON'T do or say) and HOW we do it (or don't do it) communicates something. (Whew, that was complicated.) Anyway, I think you interpreted her words to mean "controlling" men. Is that right?  And when I think about it – I guess that may be very well what she means.

      But don't we sometimes endeavor do that in relationships? I know I "manage" what foods my husband eats and what he wears when we go out. Is that "managing?" Or is that simply taking care of him. There would be some men who would fee like it's managing and resent my input. He doesn't – most of the time. But then sometimes he doesns't seem happy about my suggestions. And maybe I am actually being controlling. Whew. I'm exhausted thinking about this.  I guess a lot of this depends upon the agreements (spoken or unspoken) that have been made between the two people.  

      More thoughts from our community please?

  2. Linda, I remember reading the same quote and wondered what she was thinking too! Was it her way of avoiding a specific answer or saying that men like that have a HUGE ego which requires managing (my first interpretation). Based on her choices, I feel she is comfortable living without partnership and perhaps doesn't enjoy the drama and emotional roller coasters love can bring. Does bring. The interviews I've seen of late have always been all about her young children she brought into her life, later in life. Another spin could be that to be a manager requires incredible patience and strong communication skills to "say it in a way others can hear." Maybe she likes to just blurt out her truth, so was commenting on that aspect. Either way, thanks for encouraging me to revisit her quote. All I know is when I'm controlling (and I certainly have been know to be), my relationships suffer.

    • Yes, Colette, I sort of thought what you thought. It was reflected in my question, "And when she says 'men like that' does she mean difficult men?" I don't have a clue really. You pose some very intriquing considerations though. I particularly like your thought that maybe she likes to just blurt out her truth and was commenting more about what SHE does that doesn't work for them. Geez. Also, don't we have to do exactlly what you say and "say it in a way others can hear?" And when we do that, modify our communication style in order to be heard, does THAT qualify as "managing" the other person?

      See, I'm going around in circles here.  Sigh.

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