In this Expert Insight Interview, Jude Jennison discusses how working with horses can help us develop and nurture our leadership skills. Jude Jennison is the author of a book called Leading Through Uncertainty. She works with teams and businesses to help with leadership and team development.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- Jude’s journey from being afraid of horses to loving them
- The importance of non-verbal communication
- How horses can help us become better leaders
Horses as Leadership Teachers
Jude used to be frightened of horses, and it was in the process of overcoming her fear of them that she learned about how to work with them to build leadership and confidence skills. Before that, she had a lengthy corporate career in a whole range of leadership roles.
Horses used to be alien to her as a species, but since she’s gotten to know them, she’s grown to love them. They are hugely sensitive animals and respond based on non-verbal communication and behavior, which is why they are a great asset for learning leadership and communication skills.
There’s a tendency to think that we use our words to influence, yet our thoughts, feelings, and intentions are often displayed through non-verbal communication. We think we can hide our energy, emotion, and internal rumblings well, but it oozes out of us.
We all know this deep down because most of us have walked into a room where there’s been an argument just prior, and you can sense the tension in the air. And although we feel the tension, we often don’t speak about it. What horses do is respond based on non-verbal cues, giving us a chance to be curious about our non-verbal communication.
Clarity, Direction, and Freedom
Horses want what people want, and that is clarity and direction. Are you clear about what you’re asking them to do? If so, they will be calm and cooperative. They want a strong relationship based on trust and mutual respect. Another thing that horses want, just like humans, is the freedom to choose whether they’ll do what you’re asking or not.
These three things need to be in balance, so if you’re focusing too much of your time and effort on one aspect of the relationship, the other two will suffer. In most instances, horses are better leadership teachers because people will go with you even if your leadership is not entirely on point, out of politeness, whereas horses won’t.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.