Sometimes it seems everyone is pulling in different directions, but in fact they are all working on the same goal. Judi Jones was Advertising Support Manager at Microsoft when she began working with me. First, she attended the 2-day Leading with Trust Workshop with her management team. She and her two peers were aware they had trouble working together and had tried everything they knew to improve their relationship. With a new director coming in, it was an ideal time to break old, dysfunctional patterns.
Many of my clients have discovered that with a horse as your coach, you can get to the core of an issue in minutes, rather than the hours it might take with traditional coaching. This was true for Judi as well. “Horses don’t care about politics or prestige,” says Jones. “They only respond to clear, consistent communication. If you ask a horse to start trotting, he will – but only for as long as you keep asking him to do it. The minute you stop being clear and consistent, he’ll go back to walking.”
Turns out that people also share the requirement for consistent, clear communication. “We discovered our problem was our goal had not been defined with enough clarity. We weren’t intentionally working against each other; we just had a different point of view of what our goal was.”
The long-term benefit to the team was that everyone – from managers to direct reports – had new levels of trust in one another. “In just two days we could see why we went astray, had clarified our goals, and developed new skills to keep everyone on the same page.”
For Judi, the insight gleaned from working with horses was strong enough that she signed up for an individual coaching session in the round pen. “Working with Amanda one-on-one was even more powerful. I was not distracted by the group and Amanda was able to give me even more specific feedback about how my body language was not in alignment with what I was communicating with my words.”
Does your message seem to be missing the mark? Perhaps your team is pulling in different directions? Email me to find out how coaching with horses can result in immediate, transformative changes in your leadership style.
Judi’s Equine insights:
- Horses only respond to people they trust.
- Horses give you immediate feedback when your words, tone and body language are not saying the same thing.
- You just can’t it fake it with a horse, no matter how hard you try.
- Horses are very perceptive – they read our emotions that are below the surface.