Friday 26 February 2016

On learning... ??

So, seems a bit off topic, but I'm reading a book just now on psychotherapy. Lots of ideas in there for anyone who is teaching/coaching, for example the importance of relationship between teacher and student -  creating and maintaining an environment in which the student can learn rather than , say, trying to push information into them regardless!

Over the years, one thing I've had to work on is saying less! The desire to give someone 'useful' information and help them leads you to do and say too much, where often giving them the space to work things out is more productive.

But the bit that really caught my attention - a story about a man who had been coming for therapy for months, mostly about his failing marriage, but had not revealed he was having an affair with another woman! His desire for the therapist to have a good opinion of him was stronger than his desire to work out his problems and change.

So, this obviously isn't about horses, but my horse-obsessed brain draws parallels... I have suffered from something very similar when getting help from people whom I respect - I very much want them to have a good opinion of me, so consciously or not, you try to hide what you think are the 'bad bits'. You don't ask the 'silly' questions for fear of sounding stupid, you maybe don't ask to work on the weakest bit of your riding because you know its a big mess, and you'd rather work on something that looks at least passably good!

Being aware of this tendency (if you have it), being aware that it isn't helpful and will actually slow down your progress, and also being aware that a good trainer/coach/teacher will not be judgmental and think less of you for being willing to expose and tackle the weakest areas, but will be pleased to help you through them... all very important.

As usual, not quite sure where I'm going with this, have nothing profound of my own to add, but may strike a chord with some of you, as it did with me, whether you are teacher or student...