As I shared in the vlog this week, I attended a really interesting networking last year with a group called Company of Women . For this particular month it was an event hosted just outside of Barrie at an Equestrian Farm where we were lead through group and individual activities with a horse ‘in tow’! The experience taught and refreshed skills on building teams, leadership, getting outside of the box of some of our innate and wired ways of thinking and so much more!
I was blown away at how much I learned. Most especially I saw how accustom I was to communicate in a specific way and the exercise allowed us all to stretch outside of ‘comfortable’ ways that we are used to. We had to get creative; sometimes we were leading the horse through obstacles and had no instructions, just certain landmarks to pass with the horse or restrictions. The horse followed our every move when leading through so if the horse was supposed to walk over a bar and we as the horses guide went around the bar, the horse would follow. It was a great lesson in leading by example and ‘walking the walk’. Being in integrity with our actions and words in all areas is so important and if we expect something from someone in our lives, we also have to be open to doing what we expect of others.
After the individual exercises, as a group we had to lead the horse through obstacle courses. One in particular, we all had to be attached by one hand and each team member had a sense taken away. One blind-folded, one with ear plugs in and one was not able to speak and had to use other gestures…. all the while we had to be connected to each other with either our right or left arm. It was hilarious and a great ‘obstacle’ to tackle!
One big awareness from the activity was how noticeable it was of the group members who wanted to take charge and lead the group vs. the members that followed direction from others and flowed with the direction of the person(s) who took on leadership roles in directing us through the course. Another big ah-ha for me was how we were so focused on the instructions and one set way of achieving what the instruction card was asking us to do. At the end of the exercise (as I explain in the video too) we hadn’t realized that there were other ways of achieving what the card asked. We took the instructions very literally! The idea was to get the horse’s foot onto a small patch of turf grass. A massive, heavy weight animal onto one tiny piece of turf and we couldn’t all be within the parameter where the grass was. In a nutshell it was a big task (literally!!). We weren’t successful in getting the horses foot on the patch of turf but the learnings blew my mind LOL.
After each activity, the instructor debriefed with us and we recapped our thoughts and take-away’s from the activities. From the last one mentioned, she brought our attention to the fact that the turf grass was moveable and we could have gently lifted the horse’s foot off the ground and placed the turf patch underneath it…. mind=blown!!!
I took that lesson home with me and can apply it in so many areas of business, relationships, and so much more. It made me realize that I can be open to alternative ways of achieving the goals and vision that I set out for myself. That the relationships I have do not have to be contained to a one-size-fits-all box. We as humans are unique and no one person is the same. What works in one relationship, doesn’t work in the next. What process I use with one client works wonders for Client A, for Client B the same structure and process would not apply.
Being flexible and adjustable to pivot and change methods in a project, in a relationship, or other ways I may not have thought of, has huge value. Allowing the ability to broaden and expand goals and vision. Is it possible that there is another way to achieve the goal you set out, that couldn’t initially be seen based on the knowledge and experience when starting out? Once a project, goal or vision is underway and you can see what is working and what isn’t, it can spark a revised plan, an opportunity to pivot to achieve the same goal, just in a slightly different direction that you once weren’t aware was possible.
I encourage you to think about this concept this week, is there an area in your life where you have put certain ‘rules’ in place or a plan that you must follow, even if it may be proving to not be getting the desired results? Is there an area you can adjust, pivot and try a new approach? Release a rule that has been holding you to something that no longer serves you?
Expand, release and have a great week!!