I recently had New York Times bestselling author Monty Roberts and his Vice President of Business Development, Debbie Roberts-Loucks, on CLI’s BlogTalkRadio show. Monty is “The Man Who Listens to Horses”, and is a world icon promoting non-violence for horses and people. What’s interesting about his work is that people who are not associated with horses are more impacted by his work than the horses that he works with.
Recently, Monty completed another tour in the UK where he worked with a handful of horses in front of huge stadium audiences. “I have to ask, who is benefited more, the few horses I worked with or the thousands in the stands? We are doing amazing things in Brazil, in South America. We are transforming the way that country looks at violence culturally and with horses, and building a Monty Roberts Learning Center there,” Monty commented on our show.
This is a curious thought. What are the compelling reasons that people read Monty’s original book, The Man Who Listens to Horses or follow his work? We interviewed a pool of 52 people to ask that question. What we found was that the life lessons coming out of his original book resonated with the readers. Here is what we found:
- People valued and were inspired that Monty sees his life as purpose-driven.
- Everyone has experienced adversity-and people recognized Monty’s ability to leverage learning from adversity as a hopeful way of looking at their own setbacks.
- People reported that there is value in seeing compassion and affirmation as a way to support the human condition of vulnerability.
While people outside the horse world have been captivated by Monty’s work for decades, it is only recently that his working models of starting and communication with horses have been transferred to leadership and personal effectiveness arenas.
Debbie Roberts-Loucks and I co-wrote the eBook, Life Lessons from the Man Who Listens to Horses to focus on the central learning themes in Monty’s writing. The book is a short read, and is intended to be a companion to Monty’s original work.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
In his book, How Full is Your Bucket? Author Tom Rath talks about the value of affirmation and the impact it can have on relationships, productivity, health, and longevity. He makes the case that many of us have a metaphorical bucket. Others can “dip” from or “replace” our buckets, leaving us emotionally depleted or charged-up. We do the same for others. The point is that validation, recognition, and affirmation build and stabilize self-worth. How often have you forgotten to do for others what Monty suggests: “Catch your horse doing something right?” A simple comment, a voiced approval, a note of thanks. These small but emotionally significant gestures serve as emotional reference points. From Chapter Seven, we learn that after years of struggle, Monty finally received his own bucket-filler.
CASE STUDY: On the Need for Validation and Recognition
In April 1989, I was invited to go to England to give a demonstration of my work in front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and the Queen Mother. The impact of this visit on me can be imagined. It was as though I was finally allowed out into the daylight, blinking a bit in the fierce glare of publicity — but with my work recognized as valid and genuine. It wasn’t long, it must be remembered, since I’d built the viewing deck above the round pen at Flag Is Up; before that, I didn’t show what I could do to anyone, because I thought it had been proved to me that people wouldn’t accept it. Now, one of the most important figures in the horse world –and I mean world – was actively taking part in promoting demonstrations of my work to members of the public.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
- What effect did the Queen’s invitation have on Monty’s sense of personal validity?
- Has anyone affirmed you in a way that made you feel personal validation?
- Are there people who could benefit from your validation?
The book is a great fire-starter for thinking about your own life and values.
Listen to the broadcast on Thursday, March 14 at 11 AM CST by going to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/corplearning/2013/03/14/catching-up-with-the-horse-whisperer-monty-roberts.