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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day 696: Consistency in Communication

One thing I learned very clearly with working with horses is that your actions must be consistent in order to establish an effective relationship with a horse. Because you cannot speak words that will be understood by the horse that will explain to them exactly why you are doing what you are doing, especially if it is different from what you have done before. All the horse sees is someone who is consistent or someone who is inconsistent. This translates into things like inconsistency meaning that you sometimes allow a specific behaviour and other times not - how is the horse to know where he/she stands within the point? Your inconsistency will lead to their uncertainty and, more often than not, them exhibiting that behaviour whenever the hell they want to whether it puts you in a compromised position or not. Consistency on the other hand is where a specific behaviour is allowed or it is not allowed at all - simple as that. When you are dealing with a half ton animal something like this can make your life much easier and safer. The horse knows what is acceptable behaviour and what is not - sure, they may test that on occasion, but that is certainly better than developing a bad habit on permanent display.

As I developed this consistency within myself - of always being the same no matter what - I realised exactly how INCONSISTENT people are. It's not like we're sometimes inconsistent with some things, generally speaking we are pretty much never consistent. We behave differently on a whim, in a mood, depending on what we were just busy doing (dig a little into priming), based on whichever personality is currently activated, depending on how you're physically feeling - anything and everything! Something as small as one thought can change the way we respond in a moment. The way we look at things will determine how we will process the information and act - I mention this because we CAN change the way we look at things.

It's no wonder that most relationships between people are so shallow and breakable - no one knows what to expect from anyone else. We're always waiting for the worst to come out simply because sometimes it does.

The first time I noticed the effects of my change in becoming consistent was in the animals around me - our relationships became closer and they became more comfortable with me. The reason is simple - I am the same, I do not change, I do not act differently - no matter what happens or how I feel. The animals know exactly what to expect from me which creates a form of trust and willingness to be comfortable with me. I obviously enjoy this immensely.

Working with people is definitely different - we are much more prone to having our buttons pushed. When we react we change. We say, feel, think and do things we otherwise would not if we were in a calm and rational frame of mind. The key here is simple to grasp yet difficult to do: Get back to center. Get back to your calm and objective self - dare I say your TRUE SELF. When you feel yourself veering off course or spinning out of control, stop. Take a moment. Take a few moments if necessary. Breathe in and breathe out. Do not say or do anything to anyone until you have let go of the reaction. Tell them you need a moment. Breathe. Only when you are able to speak from a calm, objective and fully considerate starting point should you speak or act.

Sound crazy? Sound preposterous? Maybe we need some crazy ideas - it's evident that what we have been doing is no good - time to change. The only way forward is one step at a time.

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