I have to confess, the nearest I’ve been to horse riding was on a donkey on the beach at Weston-super-Mare way back when… however, I was privileged to see the great Monty Roberts in action at the weekend, at Gleneagles. You will probably know him as the “Man Who Listens to Horses”. His goal is “to leave the world a better place than I found it, for horses and for people, too.”
I saw and heard so many parallels between good horsemanship and good leadership watching Monty in action. Here are the highlights I drew from the event:
Violence is never the answer – horses are like people – we all have a need for trust and partnership. (For violence, read bullying)
Monty starts by ‘Joining up’ with the ‘difficult’ horse – in people terms this is about getting in synch with the people you work with. Monty understands and uses the horse’s body language – if we ‘speak the same language’ at work, we’ll build rapport quickly. Talk to me if you’d like to understand more about different styles of communication.
When the horse gets something right, he gets instant reward/recognition; if it’s not right, he gets an instant reminder (shorter reins, certainly no violence).
When they get it right, you don’t take your hands off the reins – do it again and again until it becomes second nature.
One of the key things with horses is to keep on helping them learn – they have a huge capacity for learning, and if they’re not stimulated they become bored and disruptive. Does this sound like some of the people you work with?
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