Looking To Horses To Improve Leadership In Uncertain Times
How Can Horses Help Us Improve Leadership?
As human beings, we rarely look to the animal kingdom for tips on how we might live better. That is, unless, like me, you happen to be a human who works closely with animals in their natural surroundings. As many of you know, I work with horses and have observed how they interact and how they live harmoniously with each other. This is much like how leaders often need to improve leadership skills to lead their team harmoniously, for the greatest efficiency and productivity.
Because of my interest in horses and their interaction with each other individually as well as in a herd and how they interact with humans, I was inspired to bring horses and humans together as often as possible in a natural learning environment. We humans have so much to learn about ourselves and each other from horses, particularly when it comes to leadership.
When it comes to life – or as it relates to leadership skills – each of us has individual strengths and weaknesses. Same in the equine world.
Each of us is affected differently in our lives by different things. What might appear as a threat to one person may appear to be something delightful to another. Each of us deals with uncertainty differently too. And, without a doubt, these are uncertain times in which we live.
One of the things I find so interesting is how humans and horses behave so differently when each perceives danger. When horses perceive danger, they come together in order to help and protect each other. On the other hand, humans scatter apart when they sense danger. They isolate, become anxious and try desperately to control things. In other words, they attempt to make things other than they are.
Horses remain focused on their priority of safety for the individual and the herd simultaneously. I’ll talk about the various roles different horses play in the herd in my next article. In the meantime, you might determine how you react when feeling threatened in your workplace. Do you isolate and put up barriers in order to feel safe? Do you try to join with others who are also frightened and commiserate on your unlucky circumstances? Or, do you naturally think of the safety of everyone on your team or in your department?
If you would like to further explore how horses can help create more effective teams and leaders, our team at Medicine Horse Ranch designs custom equine-guided experiential programs for specific groups, businesses and organizations around any number of relevant issues and/or topics.