Learn to lead from wolves
24. February 2014. At 13.00 we leave Vienna in the direction of northern Lower Austria. The aim of our trip on this sunny sunny spring day is the Wolfsforschungszentrum Ernstbrunn. There an afternoon awaits us among wolves. A direct contact, in the middle of the enclosure.
The Wolf Experience was created by the profiler Patricia Staniek from Vienna. Together with the Ernstbrunn Research Center, it enables managers to have direct contact with wolves.
The wolves are waiting ...
With every kilometer, my positive excitement and tension rise. I wonder how it will happen? What kind of feeling will it be to enter the enclosure? How will I react to the wolves or - more importantly - these to me?
In the research center Prof. Dr. Kurt Kotrschal, the head of the research center, and Patricia Staniek, the developer and coach of the Wolf Experience. We are a group of ten people.
Create eye level to the wolves
The visit starts in the center's seminar room with information about the behavior of the wolves and a few safety instructions. We should avoid hectic movements, move us confidently. If we want to build real contact, standing-up does nothing.
We have to make an eye out by hitting the ground and touching the floor. After a last security check - sticking out long hair, everything plush or fur is removed from the clothes, removing the jewelry - we march with the experienced staff of the research center around Prof. Kotrschal and Patricia Staniek go in the direction of the enclosure. The wolves are waiting.
First direct contacts
As we approach the fenced large area, immediately trot three wolves. They come close to the fence and watch us. Very intense looks are that, from beautiful yellow-brown to green-speckled eyes. Now I have a slightly queasy feeling, but the joy of being allowed to make a borderline experience here outweighs it.
In single file we enter the enclosure and set up - as instructed - in a semicircle. Now the wolves get used to us, and we to the wolves. The first "brave" of the group are already squatting. I follow this example.
Just expect nothing
Suddenly I am overcome. I do not expect anything, am quite at the moment, enjoy the sun and close my eyes for a moment. Suddenly I feel a touch on my outstretched hand, a wet snout has dived up and sniffed at my fingers.
I open my eyes and in front of me stands Nanuk - the lead wolf of the pack. He looks into my eyes, I into his. What an incredible moment. Instinctively, I have done what is right in dealing with the shy beings, the wolves are now times. Do not expect anything, do not put dominance in the days, do not want to attract them. Do not want anything. Let go and be at the moment. Then they approach each other.
The wolf as mirror of our personality
What a lesson! And that's what this wolf experience is all about. We may learn through the wolves that we do not determine what happens. Wolves caress and spend a beautiful afternoon is not the real goal of this experience.
Rather, it is about getting to know our own behavior in society and business. The wolves, with their shyness and sensitivity are here a perfect mirror.
Whoever tries - I want, I want - to try to get the wolf contact, probably will not get one. Regardless of whether managers or well-known politicians, PR consultants or journalists, in Wolfsgehege, we are all one. The wolves decide whether they want to come near us or not.
My personal hourly hour this afternoon: As a wolf approaches me and puts his front paw on my left outstretched hand. I am not afraid, just great joy about this trust proof. Rarely have I felt so one with nature and above all with myself as in this moment.
The animals live in highly complex social structures and work perfectly in the team due to excellent communication.
Executives can learn a lot about the interaction of their employees in the workplace and for successful company management. Central questions are: how do wolves cooperate, how do they solve conflicts and problems, how does a pack reach a goal?
5 Things that managers can learn from wolves
- Attention: By focusing on this extraordinary situation, people are temporally in the present. Through the attention you get very consciously what happens with the wolves or with the others!
- Interaction: The participants learn to behave appropriately in dealing with these shy animals. This knowledge of inner and outer attitudes, - being aware, attentively and appropriately behaving in the situation, is an essential learning for everyday working life.
- Experience and integrate knowledge: In short theoretical input sequences of Prof. Kotrschal and Patricia Staniek the participants learn a lot about the behavior of the wolf and the humans in the pack, which they can then observe in themselves, the wolves and the behavior of the group!
- Feedback and reflection of a different kind: The wolves show you how you are! In the encounter, through the interaction with the wolf, you get your behavior mirrored. Patricia Staniek, professor and coach gives you honest feedback, shows you your behavior, helps you to change your inner and outer attitude appropriately in the communication context.
- Experience and effect: The Wolf Experience is perceived very emotionally by the participants in the positive sense. The memory of the Wolf Experience is sustainable, the metaphor and pictures are taken to the everyday life!
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