Review: For winter, I have formed a book study to improve skills and knowledge even when it is too cold or footing is too icy to ride. Solo Schooling by Wendy Jago discusses coaching strategies within the context of Neural Linguistic Programing, (NLP for short; NLP is a positive way of perceiving and acting/coaching is a positive process for guiding & motivating). Though this book was written for riders, it is applicable to the general navigation of life. It discusses strategic ways to reach goals and be successful. I found the discussion about relaxed focus to be fascinating, (p35). Relaxed focus is when you allow your subconscious to solve the thorny challenges that seem to elude the conscious mind. In books about metacognition & problem-solving, one is advised to take a break when one is stuck. Somehow this relaxing break allows the brain to process on a different level to explore novel solutions.
TRUTH, ASSUMPTIONS, & PRESUPPOSITIONS, (P23) We think of our beliefs as true; examine whether the belief come from facts or a theory. Assumptions are patterns of experience or learning in which we reflect on the past, navigate the present, & anticipate the future. These are guiding assumptions, or (NLP- ”presuppositions”).
• When things aren’t going well, question what assumptions are guiding your thoughts and decisions
• Then ask, is this assumption -specific? (ex from book- my horse is lazy); -generalized? (ex- all horses are lazy); or -globalized? (ex- people lack motivation unless they are pushed)…
ENABLING PRESUPPOSITIONS, (p24) are assumptions that improve communication & achievement:
• Effective Communication, (25)
- involves dialog & negotiation, with our horse, ourselves, our trainer; strive for win- win
- for the horse, we show sensitivity to how the horse receives & understands, which requires rider flexibility & refinement
- Be aware of internal dialog- powerful; is it in conflict with goals? Focus on positive approximations when pursuing goals, (be satisfied with improvement before excellence is achieved); be flexible in adjusting focus, strategies, agenda, etc
• States, (p26) Yours & Your Horse’s: determine what you can achieve; comprised of emotion, physiology, & mental processing. These states have characteristic postures, tensions, reactions. (This how how horses are able to “read” you.) Know your state & your horse’s- leave emotions aside/horses pick up on riders’ states.
• Representing Issues to Yourself- know how you process.
- FRAMING (p29): Solve problems from your preferred learning modality- what kind of learner are you: visual, kinesthetic, auditory, etc?
- FILTERS (p31): know your strengths & weaknesses, (examine your assumptions). Know your “meta-programmes” or modus operandi- your personal methods of operation- your predictable behavior patterns. Know your horse’s meta- programmes.
- MODELING (p32): detailed information, key to skill development; model both correct & incorrect for deep understanding; know/experiment with what works and what doesn’t. Combine modeling with framing to learn and to solve problems through your learning modality.
- FEEDBACK (p33): all is valuable. When it is wrong, it is not failure. Use mistakes to reach goals: ask questions & focus on HOW when giving feedback, (see ex p34). Feedback is “feed-forward” when you use: questions, curiosity, & exploration.
- use questions instead of statements, (statements limit & questions expand, so control is regained) Ask what happened, how it happened, what could be changed?
- curiosity (exploring how) shifts focus from success & failure; (avoid the “praise/blame frame.”)
- explore by asking search questions (p35); When you haven’t information at the conscious level- engage your mind to process beyond awareness at the unconscious level, trust in your ability to solve problems with “relaxed focus.”
- LESS IS MORE (p36): strategies to ride in lightness: Become aware of how you aid using precision, timing, & a light touch. Become aware of how your horse responds. Explore how “quiet” you can be to develop a light horse.
GOAL: Quiet precision (me) yields exquisite, animated precision, (Monarch).