Has a sentence ever hit you over the head like a ton of bricks? Isn’t it interesting the effect a sentence of words can have in a split second? We often think we have to talk someone into something, or the more we say the convincing we will be to our audience. This is as true if your audience is an audience of one or one hundred. Can we take a minute to reflect on the power of the right words, said at the right time, in the right way? The right way usually being a question.
The Equine Experience is Miraval’s signature offering. People literally come from all over the world to experience the experience. In small groups of people, most of whom have little hands on horse experience, each person is asked to perform what seem like simple tasks.
A horse is what I refer to as an honest mirror that happens to have 4 legs. A horse is a mirror for our actions and intentions. The phrase Miraval has made famous is that “it is never about the horse”.
Each two people get one coach to guide, question, probe and offer advice when asked.
The first task is to pick up a front hoof and a back hoof and lightly clean it out.
I have probably cleaned out 20,000 hooves in my earlier life. Imagine my utter disbelief when nothing short of an act of God could help me lift this horse’s hoof. I turned and asked the guide what I was doing wrong. He asked, do you think everything is your fault?
The horse/person relationship is like any relationship: each half is responsible for 50%. I’m responsible for 100% of half of the relationship. I’m not responsible for the horse and me.
As a business owner I do kind of think everything is my fault. I at least have to look at every aspect and question every aspect. The good and bad of having your own business is that you don’t have a bad boss or owner to blame other than yourself. What I learned was that to question responsibility is not to assume all responsibility.
A second horse lifted his hoof and then tried to pull it away from me. I eventually gave in and gave him his hoof back. But I didn’t move, I was recalculating my next move when the guide said, do you always give up? POW. Wall of bricks again. I didn’t think I was giving up because I didn’t move to another hoof or another task. In communication our audience decides not the speaker. Apparently it looked like giving up to my audience. As a Taurus, I never give up. My Dad used to say about me, all guts no brains because I didn’t know when to give up.
After the hooves is a seemingly simple leadership walk. You walk a horse around a fenced in area. I decided to make circles and figure eights. The guide said to me, you were working harder than the horse. Do you always work harder in relationships?
Again I felt that ton of bricks. Yes, I do work harder. I work harder at giving my clients value than they may work on their relationship with me. I work harder at giving an audience value than they invest in getting value.
Than ton of bricks left me a little bruised.