Friday, 11 March 2011

You can't bullshit a horse

This morning I went on a taster morning of Equine Guided Creative Leadership Training.  Many moons ago I remember a fellow director showing me an advert for just such a training and giggling madly at the absurdity of it.  A few weeks later I spotted the same ad in Pseuds Corner in Private Eye.  The world and my world have moved on a little since then.

The exercises with these horses are simple and incredible effective.  They are about learning how you lead and what works.  They challenge and illuminate both your ideas of yourself and your notions of how you lead and follow.

The horse doesn't care what your job title is or how many degrees you have.  It responds only to your body language, tone of voice and energy levels.

I learned that I really didn't need to do that much for the horse to respond and follow my lead; the rope could be loose and trust could be established quickly when I was most myself.  I was reminded what a waste of time over-thinking was.  Different approaches and styles were appropriate to different horses and situations.  The discussions after each exercise among our group teased out our assumptions and difficulties with aspects of leadership.

Ultimately the power of the process is that it is experiential and non judgemental (horses might not always follow you but they won't be rude).

And it was fun.

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