You may think that as long as you don’t walk in front of a horse, then this rule does not apply to you. Think again. Ask yourself, how do I figuratively put myself in danger of getting figuratively hurt? Then read this lesson.
- Don’t walk in front of a moving horse
HorseTalk includes two group challenges. In a big pasture there are the other participants, 2 or 3 horses, and challenges to be met, safely.
During the challenge of Billiards or Obstacle Course one of the participants may inadvertently walk in front of a moving horse. Mary was different than other participants. She kept walking in front of 2000 pound Fionn, the Gypsy Vanner, over and over again. Continually I would caution her not to walk in front of a moving horse. A horse really can’t stop on a dime.
My belief and it is a central to the value of HorseTalk, is that how someone thinks and performs in the pasture is the same way they think and perform in their professional life. The more a participant embraces this concept the more the get out of the day long experience.
The more they separate their behavior at HorseTalk from their everyday behavior, the less they get out of the day. When a participant says things like “I don’t know anything about horses” or “I’ve never worked with these people before” as a way to justify their behavior the less the participant will get out of the day.
Usually there are different ways to solve a problem or challenge from a communication perspective. Often there is not a right or wrong way to overcome a challenge just different ways. In this case there is nothing right and there is never going to be anything right about walking in front of a moving horse.
Life and Business Lessons
What was Mary doing in her daily work that continually pus her in harm’s way? I knew that Mary walking in front of a horse was a metaphor for her doing something in the work day that put her in psychological, physical or emotional harm.
In coaching Mary after HorseTalk the connection became evident to me. Mary worked in a non-profit that benefitted from the contribution of hundreds of volunteers on a weekly basis. One of these volunteers would not speak to Mary. Mary kept trying to talk to her, verbally turning somersaults to get this volunteer to talk to her. This was figuratively putting herself in front of a moving horse.
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Mary did not need to continually try to instigate anything more than hello. By doing so she was putting herself in a position to be figuratively walked over. Mary, like all of us, did need to continue to be civil and courteous