Didn’t you love the Olympics coverage of all the equestrian events? What? You didn’t see any? No surprise, really. Unless you are seeking them out, it would be difficult to even know which events are covered, when, and who is involved. Even worse yet for me—my primary interest is Dressage and even my husband finds that deadly boring in person! But while watching the coverage, a lot of lessons keep coming to mind that applies to people. There is wisdom in horse/animal training.

Horses will do incredible feats for humans when asked. You’ve heard of hero horses in wars, in horse races and rehab situations. Just like with humans, horses know when they are in a relationship with someone who is the “wind beneath their wings”.

Don’t we all love to work with someone:

  • Who listens and tries to understand us to get our best performance?
  • Who helps us identify our weaknesses and coaches us to conquer them?
  • Who has high expectations that we will give our best?
  • Who is patient and kind while coaching us?
  • Who avoids negative judgments?
  • Who understands that we need to try things and master them on our way to success?
  • Who makes what we are doing fun?
  • Who encourages us to go forward in a free manner?

Ben Atkinson is an example of what can be done with total positivity. You should see his video clips!

When we are stuck in a relationship with someone who is the opposite of this, who has a negative, threatening energy or who sets a tone of fear, freedom to act is lost. This could be with peers, clients, or leaders. It’s true with horses (and dogs, porpoises, etc.)

Imagine the uproar, when we saw/heard about the German horse coach/trainer who was caught on video punching a horse that refused to perform in the pentathlon. She received a “black card” and was disqualified from the rest of the games. She is not alone in the horse training world but fortunately, these exposures shed a light on the bad behaviors. It was suspected that the horse may have been physically hurt or ill, but who knows? It could have picked up on the rider’s (who was also hitting it) and the coach’s negative energy. Even though we know that physical force and negative treatment has been proven time and time again to NOT WORK, we all lose our tempers sometimes and say, or worse, hit something (hopefully, an inanimate object only!) to vent.

I haven’t seen any landscape professionals throw temper tantrums, but I have heard some tales about the old days. I have seen people from the corporate world do all kinds of threatening and negative things. It never makes a winner.

If you’d like to further discuss whether you have biases in your current thinking about buying, selling, or exiting your business, let’s have a conversation. In addition, we can help you determine your readiness for sale, selling, or buying a company, or help with an existing acquisition. I can be reached anytime via email: [email protected] or phone at: 224-688-8838.

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Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio