Horses and Authentic Leadership
And this above all, to thine own self be true, and thou cans’t not then be false to any man. – William Shakespeare
Unlock the Leader within . . . Discover your inner potential and uncover what kind of leader you are. Do you lead with Clarity and Intention? Do you use too much pressure or not enough? Do you display Character, Confidence, and Conviction? Are you Congruent . . . Does your body language match your intention? Are your able to evoke loyalty within your team even in the face of crisis?
Horses can teach us to draw on our innermost self, bring out our true character and enhance our ability to lead with authenticity and clarity. Horses, being animals of prey, live in the moment and react to their environment immediately and honestly giving direct feedback to the intentions and actions of those working with them.
Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things. Working with horses teaches how to approach a situation or team member using intention, and nonverbal communication to get to the solution effectively and congruently. As herd animals, horses respond to the leader for the betterment and safety of the entire herd. Horses size you up within a few seconds and make the decision to trust you as their leader or not — they are very clear and immediate in their feedback. This gives us humans a unique opportunity to uncover our strengths and weaknesses and discover in no uncertain terms how our intentions and actions reflect our leadership abilities – also allowing us to bring about the change we seek by changing our approaches.
Are we Authentic in our intentions and motivations? Do we lead with Emotional Intelligence? Horses Help us understand how our emotional energy is translating to our work effectiveness. Dynamic learning experiences teach us how to focus through clarity of thought and intention to achieve our personal and business goals.
Horses mirror and respond to human behavior. Being herd animals, they rely on an acute stream of sensory data to sense safety or danger; horses are so “in tune” with their surroundings that they have the ability to hear the human heartbeat within four feet. Research on heart-rate variability indicates that horses have a profound ability to synchronize their own heartbeat with that of human beings.
When interacting with horses, the horse will respond to what we are actually communicating, not what they think we are communicating. Horses know our intention in a very “intuitive” way, often before we do. The horse will pick up on any inconsistencies between our actions and our emotions, they will respond honestly to our communications and give us undeniable and immediate feedback into the consequences of our interactions.
Horses quickly educate people about how effective their actions are, how consistent they are in communicating, and how clearly they define their goals. Horses do not care about our perceived power or position, they posses the ability to provide us with the unique opportunity to gain profound insight into our authentic self…… a gift that is very difficult to learn from any other relationship.
Authenticity is a very poignant and important lesson we encounter when working closely with horses. Being with horses provides a method of validating how we can and must communicate with integrity and authenticity in order to become effective and successful leaders.
To learn more about how Equi-Power Solutions can help bring Authentic Leadership to your company, either in team or private sessions, please contact Deirdre Hamling at 845-987-6965 to book a consultation.