Did you know that up to 90% of all communication is nonverbal. As leaders in the workplace how we use this information is critical in relaying information and sharing our vision with our co-workers. You do not have to be the boss to be the "leader". There are many situations in the workplace where a varitety of employees will be given a task that requires a leadership role, and those who succesfully communicate their message to the team are more likely to accomplish the goal set out in the task. If we rely entirely on verbal communication to share this vision then we are at risk of only communicating 10% of that plan.
In 2011, creators of the iPhone 4S took speech recognition software to the masses with an “intelligent” assistant named Siri. Siri responds to all kinds of verbal directives, Siri looks things up on the internet, makes restaurant recommendations, keeps track of your schedule, asks clarifying questions, and learns, to a certain extent through continued use. Some people find Siri amusing; others find her useful. Still others find her annoying and turn her off. And then there are those who joke with her like my husband.
Dominance is one of the most misunderstood roles in nature and in the corporate world. If you follow the dictionary definition of dominance, to be dominant you have to be: commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others. Unfortunately this definition of dominance is in it’s immature form and never matures to be truly useful.
Time to put what I learned about myself into action.
On the third day of the workshop, The gifts of the Horse, we finally had the opportunity to evaluate what we had discovered about our leadership characteristics from day-one and day-two. Armed with this new information about our emotions and how to interpret them we were faced with our largest challenge yet. Before I get into the details of the final challenge the 3rd day of the workshop dished up some other useful tidbits.
In the first day of the workshop we covered a lot of awareness related topic. The body scan is important for identifying the symptoms of an emotion we may be experiencing. Once armed with this information we can address the symptoms and ask ourselves some key questions to help get those emotions under control and prevent an intensification of that emotion (See The Message Behind the Emotion).
As a new employee in the Lodestone Leadership family we decided I must experience one of our leadership workshops first hand to fully appreciate what it is we do here. On paper Lodestone Leadership offers leadership training using Equine Facilitated Learning (working with horses). The concepts taught were curated by Linda Kohonav, a best-selling author of The five roles of a Master Herder, an expert on EFL and founder of eponaquest. My goals for this workshop were simple, get through it and pick up all the features and benefits I need to go out into the corporate community and effectively sell this service to business leaders.
Humans most often seek an absolute definition of leadership. We want a concrete technique or job description to go with our leadership role. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that simple, if it always worked like that? As leaders we would be completely on task all of the time and never miss a beat.
The Master Herder Professional Assessment is designed to measure which of the 5 roles of leadership roles you employ in various professional settings. Linda Kohanov, author of “The Five Roles of a Master Herder”, looked at behaviour patterns in large, powerful social animals like horses and saw parallels in human behaviour. The Master Herder Professional Assessment was created to help you understand which roles you tend to adopt in your environment. While doing the assesment it is important to do so with a specific organization in mind. If you hold multiple roles in your professional life you may want to perform the assesment multiple times focusing on how you would respond to each scenario in each of your roles. This assesment is designed for work, education or community related situations.
Emotions are information
To horses, emotion is simply information. In studying with Linda Kohanov I have learned many things about how the horses use this valuable information. Because horses are preyed upon in nature, these sensitive, mindful creatures have maintained a highly developed ability to respond to subtle changes in stance, muscle tension, breathing and hence the general arousal level of other horses as well as predators, an ability they easily transfer to human beings.
Emotional intelligence. Our society has become so good at thinking and solving problems in a logical way that we have ignored the emotional side of being human.
The message your feelings and emotions send you are simply providing you an understanding of the things that are going on around you and often the things that are going on inside you. Pay attention to our emotions and learn the message that they are sending. (Ignoring them is like covering your ears when your spouse or friend want to tell you something important.)