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Gearing Advantage

Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Father Factor - Jun 18, 2006

Father Factor

June 18, 2006

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, CBS 11 News

Today, as America celebrates Father's Day, many of us know that our fathers play a vital role in our self esteem and personal life. But a new book reports that fathers also can have a profound effect on our choice of career and how we perform in our jobs. Here to tell us more is psychologist, Dr. Sylvia Gearing.

Q: What does this book say about the impact fathers have on our lives?

Dr. Sylvia: This book argues that your father can create either significant deficits in your career or stunning achievements. We learn the "ways of the world" with our dads, and that knowledge translates into whether we enter the workplace well-prepared or at a loss. This author argues that the father's parenting style is the template that creates beliefs and expectations about how successful we will be and how far we will go.

Q: Why is the father impact so vital when the mothers are often the primary caretakers?

Dr. Sylvia: The workplace continues to be based on male psychology. The American workplace is primarily hierarchical and consensus is rarely achieved. Learning how to navigate the workplace and all the implicit rules inherent in such environments is central to how careers are begun and flourish. Men and women who are close to their fathers have a tremendous advantage in life because they were mentored in the unspoken rules of male success.

Q: Does the father have an impact on your career from early in life?

Dr. Sylvia: The father absolutely influences your life from childhood on. How you are fathered can exert a tremendous effect on how you see the world and especially upon your career development. Whether your father embraces or rejects you can determine much of how your life goes.

Q: What are the fathering styles?

Dr. Sylvia: The author lists five fathering styles. They include the following:

1. Super-Achieving Fathers: This style emphasizes appearance and achievement. They motivate their kids to maintain sterling appearances, achievement and success. Kids grow up knowing that they must look good, perform well and always win. Money, position, and power are all emphasized.

2. Time-Bomb Fathers: This style is based on fear, intimidation and emotional instability. Without hesitation, the father will lash out toward others and these outbursts are terrifying for young children. Threats of leaving, of abandonment and of violence may be common. Keeping the peace and managing your father is all that matters. Your parent is emotionally unpredictable and you become skilled in soothing others.

3. Passive Fathers: This kind of father showed love through his actions, not through relating or though verbal statements. He was stable, consistent, hard-working, calm and emotionally reserved. This man would never engage in unkind behavior and is a peripheral member of the family. Emotional distance is the hallmark of this type of father. Children of this type of dad doubt their ability to communicate and to have deep professional relationships. The legacy of emotional distance haunts them. Around 50% of baby boomers grew up with this kind of father.

4. Absent Fathering Style: The absent father is "missing in action" and has abdicated his role and interest in his children. This type of father may often simply disappear following a divorce, considering parenting too cumbersome a burden to continue. Paternal rejection is horrific, and these children harbor pain and resentment for a lifetime. Even in the case of marital dissolution, a child wants her father to fight for her. If he walks away--no matter what his rationalization may be--the child is left deeply scarred. The child concludes that she is not important to him.

5. Compassionate-Mentor Fathers: Although this is the dad we all want, only around 10% of all fathers are in this category! He spends time with his children, nurtures them with attention and understanding, and is, above all, emotionally connected to his children. He empowers his children to pursue their dreams, triumph over setbacks and envision their success. Children feel safe and adored.

Q: What are the benefits to these fathering styles in our careers?

Dr. Sylvia:

  • Super-Achieving Fathers: Strong work ethic, ambitious, leadership abilities, Excellent Entrepreneurs.
  • Time-Bomb Fathers: Sensitive to Others, Excellent people skills, Avoids conflict and anger, Skillful with difficult employees.
  • Passive Fathers: Understands the Importance of Commitment, Stable, Doesn't Upset Easily, Reliable and Faithful.
  • Absent Fathers: Loyal, value hard working and values stamina in others, Great Leaders (they understand the value of supporting others).
  • Compassionate-Mentor Fathers: Capable of healthy, balanced, compassionate and successful relationships in both the workplace and in their personal lives.

Q: Are father styles changing in today's generation of fathers?

Dr. Sylvia: Without a doubt, they are changing. We are witnessing an unprecedented interest and loyalty toward their children in today's father. The compassionate-mentor father is the prototype most men strive for, and millions of fathers are rising to the occasion. Especially with girls, fathers are becoming interested, supportive and excellent mentors.