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Rewards:  The Final Chapter of the Jazzy tale!

This is the final chapter of our story that started back in September 2007 when Jazz & I grabbed the brass ring together!  The lessons I wrote about were:  


1.  Clarifying your goals
2.  Developing Trust
3.  Learning from mistakes
4.  Finding and accepting support  
5.  Myself


Today's final chapter is about Rewards.  I know this is not the last lesson Jazz will teach me but merely the beginning! 


Rewards have taken on a whole new meaning for me as I trained Jazz and myself to work together in a partnership.  Our goal was to "Ride on trail as one!  Safely, comfortably, relaxed and secure in our individual abilities as we enjoy our environment and continue to develop and deepen our relationship."


In developing our relationship we learned to communicate with each other in new ways.  It wasn't easy, but it was a great journey!  

During our lessons it became clear to me that I needed to notice when Jazz was "trying to do what I asked".  I needed to pay attention to the small "tries", the shifts in her attitude and behaviors, and any movement that was different in her.  Each time she tried to do what I requested lead us closer to making our goal a reality.


When I noticed Jazz's try and rewarded her for giving me something different, her effort, her contemplating doing what I was asking, Jazz continued to try harder to figure out what I wanted.  If I missed her try, it took longer to complete our lessons for the day.   The rewards were simple, I would let her rest after a good try, scratches behind her ears, pay on the shoulders or when we finished a good day of learning I'd let her graze in the lush green grass, brush her extra long, a big juicy carrot or a day off from work.  Jazz loves all of these things, rightfully so, a reward should be something desired.  


My lessons from Jazz relate so well to the business world and in training people in a new job or additional responsibilities.  Some business people believe that people should just know what to do and how to do it after they've been show one time.   


Do you remember the last time you tried to do something new?  How long did it take before you got the hang of it?  How long before you became proficient at it or felt good about the job you did?  Learning something new takes time and repetition; efficiency comes after you have learned the task.  


I've heard business owners and managers say "People are so slow and complain so much, they should be happy they have a paycheck and a job".  In these challenging economic times that may be true, however, people deserve to be treated with respect and trained properly too.  Training and rewarding people for doing a good job builds loyalty and trust, and reduces turnover.

In one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization of over a million employees and 80,000 managers, they came up with a surprising finding.  In a book called "First Break All the Rules", authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman write "People leave managers not companies." 


Have you heard the saying "praise pays"?  Or "No good dead goes un-noticed?" Helping someone achieve their potential is the job of any owner, manager, and trainer (be it of people or horses!).  It's not just a good business practice; it's an honorable human quality. . 


How often do you miss the "try", the willingness of someone doing their best?  How often are you so blindly focused on the FINAL outcome that you miss the efforts, the beauty and the opportunities presented along the journey to the goal?  Reward the try and build the potential, you will reap the rewards in return!

Watch leadership in action as horse and human blend together as one.  Take 6 minutes out of your day and watch Stacy Westfall show the beautiful possibilities when we take the time to reward.  Go to the Video, scroll down and click on Bareback/Brideless video.  I promise you will enjoy it!


April 2008  ISSUE

Tired of talking about your problems?  Harness the positive energy in your life ~ learn from our herd! 

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Unharness Your Leader-Self
May 15-16, 2008 Learn More
Leadership, TeamBuilding and Personal Development using horses! 

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