founder of naked leader
What Willow Knew…
What Willow Knew…
Rosalind and I made a new friend last month, and wow, did he (or she) teach us a thing or two about non-verbal communication.
We had heard there are feral, stray cats in Center Parcs at Longleat Forest – and we are not talking about the lions here – although we had never seen one.
On the second day of our holiday, Rosalind got the shock of her life when she saw a cat sitting just the other side of our glass patio door, staring at us. We slowly opened the door to say hi, only for Willow, as we subsequently named her (or him), to run away to the corner of our villa, turn around and watch us.
We put a small piece of chicken out.
The hungry cat, 10 yards away, was watching, a nice piece of chicken awaited him.
Why didn’t Willow come forward to enjoy the chicken?
We started to close the door and he moved towards it then we stopped (to see if we could get closer or take a photo without the glass) so he stopped,
so we closed the door a little more, then he advanced, then we halted – so did he.
This went on stopping and starting with us as we slid the door closed. It was a game of statues!
When it was fully closed, Willow ran over and ate the meat, watching us carefully throughout.
And so this went off and on for a week…
Willow chose when to arrive.
He would only eat when we had closed the door – it was perfectly clear what he wanted and what his terms were. And all of this through non verbal communication.
Rosalind and I realised how this cat survived. Willow went from villa to villa until finding some cat friendly people. However, he (she) could never fully trust any of them, so we all played the ultimate game of statues teaching us the power of actions over words.
And, if a stray cat can learn that, and obtain what he needs because he has to, just imagine how powerful action-led communication can be for us as humans.
Do this with a loved one, a work colleague or within your team – see if you can communicate with each other at a meeting, or for 10 minutes, or whenever, by body language, eye contact and signals alone.
With my love and best wishes to Willow, and to you all
Please add your thoughts in the comments below
Thank you for all your comments on previous weeks
This reminded me of an exercise we did at our 2013 coaching conference – https://youtu.be/Mmv9-82PvDs
Wonderful story as ever.
Willow, what an intelligent cat and a wonderful story.
They are really all knowing creatures.
Thanks for sharing that with us, David.
We are enjoying our first evening here, just been visited by a tabby cat. Took a photo and played the same game with grated cheese. They sell cat biscuits in their supermarket. We bought some! This place feels like home.
We are at Center Parcs now and literally just fed some food to a lovely tabby cat.
We’re currently feeding a family of cats. The Dad is super in charge and always feeds first, then along comes Mum with now only two kittens, the beautiful black kitty has not been seen for the past two days.
They are loving the milk and tuna that I am leaving them and are partial to brown seeded bread and obviously, Amy meat we have left over from BBQ. We’re not even cat lovers and have a dog at home, but they really are fascinating.
Two cats have visited us. One older and more cautious than the younger boy about a year old. The handsome little fella came in to our villa but was quite nervous though appreciated some attention. I think the parent cat was checking out we were ok. Since only the younger one has come along. He is in perfect condition. His markings are tabby style with continuous stripes on his back with bronze brown colour.