Our recent conference gave me a chance to connect with like-minded people and reignite my passion for what I do. In these physically distanced times, I think it is so important to connect with others in your field to help them refresh and reignite passion at work.
Last weekend, I was lucky enough to host the Australian section of the IGNITE! Equine Connection conference in partnership with our colleagues in Canada.
For those of you who don’t know, Equine Connection is an academy of equine assisted learning, (EAL) which teaches the techniques we use to train leaders here at Leading Edge Professional Development. We also run courses to train other trainers!
The conference was a joy to host, and not only provided some excellent insight into a variety of topics but a valuable chance to connect with other facilitators. The theme was IGNITE! and it explored topics around connection, collaboration and camaraderie – I certainly feel all these things towards my equine learning colleagues. It refreshed me and reignited my passion for what I do as well as helped me see the way to push a path forward.
“So needed especially during these times and what a wonderful experience to be part of such an amazing community of like-minded women,” one participant, Anita, said after the conference.
“You have definitely reached your goal to re-ignite a flame that could easily weaken in these difficult times,” said another, Marine.
The benefit of collaborating like-minded people
What my feelings and those of the participants show is that collaborating and feeling that sense of camaraderie with others in a similar position to us can be very refreshing. Especially when many of us are facing the uncertainty of lockdowns well into the future and mental health is becoming one of our biggest concerns.
While connection is essential across all aspects of our life, from family and friends through to colleagues and business associates, there is something special and unique about connecting with peers.
As I’ve written before, both horses and humans operate in herds aka teams, families, classrooms. Within a herd, much like a work team or a family, we all have our own roles. Many good leaders focus on functioning within a team and keeping the team harmony. A smart strategy, as research has found that having a strong connection with colleagues acts as a big boost to productivity.
What about nurturing ourselves by connecting with other leaders? Those who have a similar role or skillset? There is value in connecting with people who are able to discuss your work on a higher level. They can understand the particular problems and frustrations you face, as well as relate to the joy you get from your profession. Together, you can generate ideas for collaboration.
The conference reinforced how important it is to connect with others – no matter what is going on – for personal and professional well-being and growth.
I’d be interested to know when the last time was you got around to connecting with peers in your own profession, perhaps from outside your company or workplace. What did you gain?