Australia is no stranger to bush fire but the 2019-2020 bush fire season is proving to be one of the most intense and widespread in the country’s history leaving devastation to many -including Australia’s unique wildlife. Millions of animals have perished and many more are injured with nowhere to go (New York Times, 2020). Among the countless animals that have been impacted by the raging fires are farm animals including horses.
Horses are heralded by humans in a number of ways – food, travel and transportation, sports, and companionship. They also serve as great teachers and personal development partners to build better leaders and teams. Being the strong and powerful creatures that they are, working with horses provides the opportunity for people to overcome their fear and build confidence (Petplan, 2018).
Linda McGregor, Founder and Director of Four Legged Sages, part of the Career Money Life Supplier Community, offers a unique learning approach that allows people to connect with horses. Learn how a Sage experience can build yours or your people’s leadership skills and confidence in a different way.
This article is written and submitted to us by Linda McGregor. You can view the original article on her website.
I’ve heard the sigh & comment from many a CEO, MD or team leader I’ve consulted to, after a tough pitch, tough financial year or loss to the competition. And as an expert in human insights for nearly 2 decades, I finally believe I have and am sharing the answer; talk to horses, learn to listen and then to “whisper”. To which the incredulous reply and question is often:
“What do horses have to do with better corporate leadership ?!?”
So this week, after some heavy articles about Incongruence and Emotional Intelligence, I thought I’d do a short, sharp answer for all those people and my followers, as we enter our peak seasons.
Firstly, horses and people have a lot in common. They live & work in herds, us in families or teams at work. They have value and value strong, fair leaders as do we. However, as prey or flight animals, horses have far greater senses of sight, hearing, smell, higher EQ or Emotional Intelligence and it’s simply not in their DNA to lie, be biased or hold back honest feedback. All adding up to some of the best coaches of people you can possibly work with (assisted by us mere facilitators who help the magic come together).
It’s been said, and our clients agree, you learn more leadership interpersonal skills for a few hours working with a horse (versus riding it!) than you do from a year of traditional coaching. This was how Founder of networking group, LBD, author, speaker and leadership guru, Janine Garner, summed up her session with us:
“Probably one of the most incredible lessons in leadership and connection that I have experienced”
So here’s my top 5 points to open your mind to the idea of engaging in a horse Sage experience to get you or your people’s leadership skills to the next level:
- They’ll take you out of your comfort zones – and habits – allowing you to soak up new ideas & insights
- It’s experiential so you can feel & see the impact your “leadership” behaviour is having, instantly and experiment with changing your behaviour to get the results you want
- Horses do talk but largely in a non-verbal way. So a session with them will raise your self-awareness; of your body language & energy projection (which makes up over 85% of human communication but we still focus on verbal comms improvements first)
- Horses will call you out if you’re not being genuine or authentic. That includes if you’re sending mixed messages for whatever reasons (earlier articles I’ve posted for more on this)
- You’ll feel, love and laugh whilst you’re learning, even if you think you’re scared of horses (which you’ll quickly learn you’re not, you just didn’t meet the right ones)
So, that it’s. Not a sales pitch but rather some of the best advice you’ll get if you want to test, fine-tune or develop your leadership soft skills. Recent research shows that the top 5% of achievers rate highly on EQ or soft skills – and this is one of the fast track ways to acquire that craftsmanship.
I’ll leave you with a pic or two of what a Four Legged Sages classroom looks like – certainly not boring or death by PPT.
Come learn what it’s like to be chosen to be someone’s leader, rather than be foisted on them!