Here is a challenge for you, can you guess which well known book this passage is taken from...
'The pain of the great cart whip was sharp, my mind was hurt quite as much as my sides. To be punished and abused when I was doing my very best was so hard, it took the heart out of me...a lady stepped up and said: "I am sure he is doing all he can, and the road is very steep. I am sure he is doing his best".
"He must do something more than his best" my carter replied
"But is it not a very heavy load?"
"Yes, yes, too heavy, but that is not my fault"
"You do not give him a fair chance; he can not use all his power with his head held back as it is with that bearing rein; if you would take it off I am sure he would do better…and if you will speak kindly to him and lead him on, I believe he will be able to do better." I put down my head, and threw my whole weight against the collar; I spared no strength, the load moved on and I moved it steadily up the hill, and then stopped to take a breath. "You see, he was quite willing when you gave him the chance"'.
Did you guess? There are many clues - it is from 'Black Beauty'!
Today most of us are not working with horses but like in this story our loads are heavy, the climb is steep and our work often requires more than our best. If you are leading a team today consider how you can 'loosen the bearing rein', drop the whip and speak kindly. You will be amazed what your team can do for and with you.
Developing a habit of kindness flips the script and is something we can choose and practice every day. It is Mindset 5 of an #OctagonalMindset.
Though Morgane (our rescue horse) and Kalif (our baby) do really like carrots (here they are in this photo with me) I find a good kind gentle plan is better than a whip or a carrot in every and all situation - even with these two!
Would you like to try a 21 day kindness challenge? Just try and give it a chance. Flip the script. I'd love to hear how you get on.