Find Your Dale

Find Your Dale

| Tina Bakehouse

Last May, I made a commitment: try something new every month.

From hot yoga to a colors assessment, I stretched myself into uncomfortable territory and learned more about doing the difficult and challenging my brain to embrace the unknown.

This August, I ventured to a horse farm outside of Earlham.

My goal: learn leadership and letting go of control.

After observing the pasture space, I’m asked to select one horse to groom and become more acquainted.

I opt for the stand-offish horse, Dale. During my time with Dale the Horse, I learned more about myself, my leadership and communication style.

I admitted to Dale how tough networking events have become for me. 

How I want to connect at a deeper level than elevator speech after elevator speech. 

How I want to let go of the need to sell me, my business, and perform.

How I want to step back, communicate my needs and advocate for others.

Following my two hours with five horses, Leadership Coach Kim Gratny of Full Circle asked, “What piece or nugget of learning are you going to implement when you go back to your business and Bakehouse life?”

To lead, I must emotionally regulate myself.

To communicate, I must let go of the performance and be myself.

To connect, find the Dale. 

Choose to be fully present, calm, and take on the role of listener; being for the other feels good.

To connect with others, you must connect with yourself.

Choose to navigate your thoughts and feelings and reframe the networking experience or speaking performance into a conversation.

Rather than being tired before the communication begins, choose to show up without expectations other than observing and being.

The Dale in the room doesn’t want surface-elevator conversations but in-depth connections. 

You get to choose what you want the communication to be.