Apha Leadership

More than man’s best friend?

Cesar Milan calls himself ‘The dog whisperer’. And has good right to call himself such. You may be aware of the film entitled ‘The horse whisperer’ whose main character, played by Robert Redford was a horse trainer with exceptional abilities. Like the character Robert played, Cesar Milan has an exceptional gift with dogs and being a ‘Pack Leader’.

To be more precise Cesar Milan’s gift is that he has a superb and delicate appreciation for the subtle non-verbal signals that animals display. Driven through years of learning since a child on his grandfather’s farm in Sinaloa, Mexico, he ties in the social arrangements of dogs as pack animals, how they respond to each other and their ordering and roles within the pack and how we as humans can easily understand, respond and communicate with them given the right tools.

Get Inside The Dogs Head

To understand the dogs and their social interactions between them and their owners, Cesar imagines himself ‘inside the dog’s head’. From this he says he is able to ‘anticipate the dog’s next move as well as control it.’ In our NLP Programmes people learn this same skill through what is known as ‘Second Position’ that is being able to see through the eyes of someone else. This skill is one of the foundations of basic communication between people of all levels and also becomes the starting block for building rapport.

Cesar helps to develop with the owners the ability to establish them as ‘the pack leader’. This in his opinion is one of the key factors that is missing in the relationship between owner and pet. This is also one of the key factors that tends not be present in communications skills in many people. Not just being a leader in a group but in social circumstances.

Aside from (for dogs mainly) workouts and exercise that help work off energy, Cesar regularly states that a pack leaders role is to ‘provide working boundaries and discipline structures amongst the pack’. This helps to keep stability amongst pack members. The same goes for balanced groups of people. The role of the leader in a group is not necessarily about future visions and plans, but more importantly about keeping a group ‘well balanced’. Therefore each individual knows their role within the pack and then in turn becomes leader when and if required.

Learn Their Language

The importance of the role as pack leader in humans with their pets cannot be understated. The dogs live in our world and as such need to know what they can and cannot do. We also have to learn about their world if they are to live in ours. It is therefore important to know how to use communication skills that dogs understand as they cannot speak. It has to be non-verbal. Conversely the same is true in parenting. Adults need to understand the non-verbal communications a child presents as well as how to communicate what they wish the child to do in a way that makes sense for the child in their world.

As a generalisation, it’s recognised that about 93% of the meaning of our communication is non-verbal. While the validity of this statistic may be argued, the fact that the meaning of our communication is weighted so heavily towards our non-verbal communication leaves us in no doubt that to be excellent communicators in any field we must be able to read and respond to non-verbal’s correctly. This means we must make sure our communication is clear and has been understood.

Unfortunately what tends to happen is that most people will misread the non-verbal signals and then create their own meaning from what has been said. This causes, as I am sure you have experienced, countless confusion in communication.

Like Cesar having the sensitivity to non-verbal communication and being able to fully understand where someone is coming from helps to create the kind of skills that pack leaders need in order to effectively communicate in a universal language that others can understand.


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Seek First To Understand To Be Understood

Consider if you will, especially for someone who is a parent, that children have a different way of looking at the world. They don’t know why something is good or bad until they experience it. Conceptual understanding is a much later development in childhood. Being able to step into their world and appreciate it from their point of view helps us as adults to know what and how to communicate back to them. In other words, step into their shoes and you match their world and in turn they will listen.

The same funnily enough also applies culturally as well as in business. Cultures have different values and ways of doing things, as do businesses. We can even take each of these cultures and find sub-cultures ad infinitum; and the common theme between them all? Non-verbal communication.

This is where NLP can change your life. Rather than having to rely on chance, luck or other mystical charms for understanding we have a perfectly brilliant way of being able to learn the art and science of communication. Like Cesar, NLP teaches people what they do already, but puts it into a context where it makes sense, turns it into a conscious understanding and is suddenly very useful and effective. I remember a teacher once saying “if only my students knew NLP it would make my life allot easier” and then promptly said. ‘If I did, it would make theirs easier too!”

NLP isn’t about being a good teacher or student, nor is being a good pack leader. It is about having enough flexibility and adaptability to any situation. There are no weak pack leaders!

Being A Good Pack Leader

Being a good pack leader means being able to communicate effectively so that that your pack are prepared and willing to listen and then act. It is being responsible for your own communication and ultimately the responsibility for the well being of your pack.

We are very little if different from our beloved pets and need to create well balanced families and groups that we connect to, work well with and live comfortably with. Becoming a pack leader is not a right but must be earnt and with this comes the rewards of living the life that helps to foster what we desire in the first place. Our NLP programmes help people develop their own ability to be pack leaders. By utilising the same types of skills that Cesar Milan demonstrates in his training, it teaches skills that make a difference in communication with people, dogs, cats, horses and more and provides the missing link between self and other and of course that of pack leader.

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