What is more important to have when partnering with your horse, horse smarts or horse sense? Put another way, is it more important to have intelligence or trust? Perhaps both?
A "human" study was conducted by Amy Cuddy, psychologist at the Harvard Business School, on the topic of first impressions. She found that in human interactions, upon first impressions, people answer two primary questions:
* Can I trust this person?
* Can I respect this person's capabilities?
Cuddy found that 80% to 90% of the first impression is based on these two important traits. Interestingly, the research shows that trust is the most important factor. All too often, it seems there is a premium placed on the importance of competence, IQ or intelligence. Cuddy's research shows that in order for competence to matter, people must have a level of trust. In addition, if there is no trust, competence actually works against you.
What does this have to do...
“The best moments are when you are alone with a horse, because that is where truth abides.”
- Allan J. Hamilton, Lead With Your Heart
I often speak to the correlation between horsemanship and leadership. The inspiration for the Horse Empowered™ Programs was rooted in the discovery of what challenged me in my career and in my life were the same things that challenged me in my relationship with my horse. Leadership is influence, in its simplest definition. Leadership and horsemanship are elegantly aligned because both require an awareness of how we influence the outcomes we desire.
At the core of effective leadership and horsemanship is the concept of Trust. Trust is foundational to the success of any relationship, including your horse. When trust is high, relationships of all kinds can be fluid, built and sustained. When trust is low, communication breaks down and relationships can be destroyed quickly. In Stephen M.R....
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