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Non-verbal communication

Horses aren't the only animals to teach us non-verbal communication! This is Amy. Amy is 16 and has been with us for 12 years; long enough for us to be well bonded and understand each other (mostly).

Three years ago, Amy lost her sister, so now she asks us (the humans) to meet her emotional and physical touch needs.

This is usually demonstrated by a meow to get your attention, then when she has it, trotting off to the sofa to indicate she wants strokes.

There's something similar for food, and then there's the meowing to get me to stop working if I'm on the computer late at night!

Seeing as the greatest proportion of body language is non-verbal (body position, body tension, movement, tone of voice and general vibe) if we want to get along with people better, reduce conflict and increase comprehension, we do well to hone our non-verbal communication skills.

Communication in the workplace

My enhanced skills from years of growing up with animals is why I got curious about the benefits of communication skills in the workplace. I seem to understand people better than most, and this enabled me to pitch my interactions with clients and colleagues more skillfully.

To check whether this was a universal horse owner skill, I checked in with other horse friends. To a greater or lesser degree, I saw that they too had developed great relationship skills, plus others such as greater compassion, empathy, open-mindedness, boundaries and assertiveness.

Therefore my journey into the benefits of being around horses and animals for enhanced soft skills therefore started well before I found myself on the training programme in 2010.

Completing the EAHAE Train The Trainer in 2010

So thank you Amy and all the other animals in my life for making me a better listener. Inadvertantly, you have helped me help so many people, and for that we are all grateful!

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