Last year, we had a man attend one of our team development programs who was very task-oriented and a high achiever in his role before he moved into leadership.

However, it was clear to us right away that the team he was now leading did not find him approachable. This was because he was so singularly focused on tasks that they were hesitant to raise issues that fell outside the immediate project at hand.

He had no idea this was the case, and had become frustrated because he couldn’t work out why nobody seemed to connect to him as a leader. However, when he started working with our horses, it was like a mirror was held up to his unconscious behaviour.

You see, horses are very in-tune with people’s approach to them, and if you do not respond appropriately they will not feel safe or comfortable. They may refuse to work with you by standing their ground, (and you can’t budge a 600kg teammate) or they may walk or back away from you.

💪 Making him conscious about how he was coming across to those he was managing ultimately lead to stronger leadership and a happier team overall.

Think about what behaviours of your own might impact your approachability. Do you have a short fuse when you’re stressed? Are you welcoming when approached? Do you get so focused at times that people think they can’t disturb you?

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