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Transcript – Season 3, Episode 2 – The Human Herd, Awakening our Natural Leadership with Beth Anstandig

Dr. Caneel Joyce (00:02):


Beth Anstandig (00:02):

Those around you are going to trust you if you’re taking care of yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not a trustworthy mammal any animal group. An animal not taking care of themself would be rejected from the group. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (00:16):

<affirmative>. Mm-hmm.

Beth Anstandig (00:17):

<affirmative>. So as soon as you start taking care of yourself and setting an example of what that looks like, it allows those around you to do the same and to sync up with that. And, and you’re, you become a mentor or role model, which is what a leader ought to be of how we create a culture around us.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (00:37):

Allowed you are allowed to be whole. I’m Dr. Caneel Joyce.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (00:41):

I’m here to affirm that you are not missing anything. Just imagine with me for a moment that you are and always have been enough. You have always been enough. Imagine that

Speaker 4 (00:59):

When you were born, you were whole perfect. And somewhere along the way you learned that parts of you were not allowed here. What are the pieces of you that you have put into the basement and how can you reclaim the wholeness that is your birthright? You are allowed to grow. You are allowed to dream. You are allowed to be exactly who you are and to become the next version of who you want to be. Start your journey of exploration with me right now on aloud.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (01:29):

You are allowed to be whole.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (01:33):

Welcome to Allowed. One of my favorite guests of all time is here. One of my best friends, one of my partners and collaborators. A woman I know will continue to change my life as she has deeply in many ways already. Beth Anstandig is on the show with us again today. And the last time Beth was here was close to when I just got started with this podcast. I’m so passionate about her work. I, I have directly witnessed, um, the experience of her changing people’s entire trajectory within a number of minutes through this work. It’s unusual, it’s subtle. It’s really, really cool. So, some of the time Beth works with horses. Beth is actually an equine leadership facilitator, trainer, and coach, and she also spends a lot of time coaching executives working within systems and doing organizational design. She’s very excited to share her book, and I’m super passionate about this conversation that we’re about to have.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (02:37):

Beth’s new book is called The Human Herd Awakening, our Natural Leadership, which is the leadership we inherently already all have, and she teaches us a specific set of tools to allow it and unlock it. The human herd details best framework for living, relating, and leading a more empowered life by tapping into our mammalian instincts and bettering our relationships. Beth’s organization is called the Circle Up Experience. She also runs a school called the Natural Leadership School, and her ranch is called Take a Chance Ranch. So lots of really cool names in there. Uh, and her role is, you know, head cowgirl. She’s the owner, she’s the founder, she’s the creator of this, uh, incredible organization. Beth is changing the way organizations, leaders, and individuals use their power. As a lifelong cowgirl writer, university faculty member and licensed psychotherapist, Beth has 25 years of experience developing, implementing, and training people in natural leadership, a model that she pioneered. Natural leadership helps people to awaken their innate awareness so they can live and work with more authentic relationships and connection together with an ever growing menagerie of animals. Beth works with human herds onsite and online. She’s trained thousands of leaders and teams from some of the world’s most renowned corporations, universities, and nonprofits. I’m so excited to share her incredible work with you. Let’s get started. Welcome to the show, Beth.

Beth Anstandig (04:09):

Thank you for having me. I love being

Dr. Caneel Joyce (04:12):

Here. I’m so excited for you to be back here on the show. Actually, you are one of the very first guests we ever had on Allow, and it was in the single digits. Um, I will put a link to that in the show notes. I’m sure after listening to this episode, you will wanna go back and hear the other one, but, you know, I always have Beth on the list of people I can’t wait to have back into the studio, but this is just the perfect time because Beth’s new book, the Human Herd Awakening, our Natural Leadership just recently hit Amazon and quickly shot to the top of best seller list. Um, and this is a beautiful, amazing, and actually really power to change the world level of book. Uh, so we’re gonna talk about the book and how it got created and learn a bit about natural leadership, which is the model of leadership that Beth teaches, um, and has been taught by her horses and other animals. Can you give us maybe even a specific example of a time you saw someone working in the ring with you and what you were doing, what the horse was doing, and what was learned?

Beth Anstandig (05:23):

When a person and, um, a horse enter the round pen, which is, you know, a ring enclosed space where they can freely work together, the horse is loose and it becomes a little relationship laboratory, and those two mammals become a herd of two. So it becomes a relational system that’s brand new and a clean slate. And, and it, it, there’s a space there for whatever wants to be co-created. And in any mammal system, we immediately start to explore what kind of relationship this is going to be. And

Dr. Caneel Joyce (06:04):

So, and for the listeners, what they’re, what what this actually physically looks like is one person standing on, you know, the dirt and one horse standing on the dirt. There’s no riding of the horse. And, um, and the, the idea is for the, the leader to see if they can just interact with and lead the horse and kind of just see what happens and learn from the horse and find out what, what is it that I want from the horse and what does the horse seem to want for me? And can we like, navigate the relationship? And this is all happening, by the way. Everything she’s describing is about five minutes long. You know, it’s, it’s in, you walk in, you see the horse, horse sees you, and, and then there be this interplay. The sinking up of nervous system is, is pretty instant

Beth Anstandig (06:55):

As prey animals, they have a way more sophisticated limbic system than we do. Hmm. They can hear our heart rate, they’re picking up on our hormonal state. They, they, I mean, they’re sensing, they can smell our adrenaline like they’re picking up on and they can feel we have the capacity to be able to pick up maybe not the, to that degree. And we’ve evolved past a lot of those senses, but we do have the capacity to pick up on a nervous system level what’s happening with others. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we’re just underutilizing it. So what happens in the ring that you described is that the horse, like I said, in herd life, self care, how I take care of my own, I show up with my own self. Leadership begins to define what the herd experience is going to be. So if the person is tense, but they don’t show up with any self leadership of that, the horse will step in and say, well, then I’m going to lead myself and us.

Beth Anstandig (08:00):

And so it isn’t so much about wanting to overpower, so it’s not a hierarchical move mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s someone needs to lead this experience for our best interest. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> for our herd to be safe and stable and exist, someone’s gotta step in. It’s really a neat thing to see how, how do people take care of themselves in these unknown situations? Do they know how to work with pressure of unknown? And what happens when, um, they don’t step into self leadership? What’s it like when others like a horse step in and start to interact or take care of you mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you start to see what a human, how a human operates in a herd. And so a lot of times people that I work with have never had any experience with horses. And so they’re, it’s a brand new experience to be in a ring with a loose horse and people don’t know what to do.

Beth Anstandig (08:58):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and they’re big and humans do not like to not know what to do. <laugh>, we wanna know what boxes to check so we can feel competent. And that some of that has to do with we’re a little over domesticated, and so we have lost some of our curiosity and creativity and ability to just play and explore. And so people get really rigid in that space usually. And it isn’t so much about fear of the horse mm-hmm. <affirmative> sometimes it is, but, and when it is, that’s an interesting thing because people won’t say that out loud that they’ll sit there by themselves holding that fear. And then usually the horse will come in and try and soothe them. Oh. So because they’re good herd members, they will notice that there’s some, some fear there. And they’ll do, they’ll take the lead. Oh. And the lead is about who can stabilize the system fastest. That’s what the leadership is about. What

Dr. Caneel Joyce (09:57):

Does it mean for the system to be stable? What does that mean?

Beth Anstandig (10:00):

It means that the nervous systems in that relational, that that two, that two mammal herd have reached a place of balance or homeostasis mm-hmm. <affirmative> so that they’re not, they’re only using as much energy as they need. Okay. They’re not in a state of stress. So they’re in, I call it ease. Yeah. Or calm alert. Yeah. So they’re not like asleep, but they’re also not dysregulated. And that’s really our optimal place to be operating. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when we enter the ring with the horse, the mammal part of us and the mammal of the horse, our our are right away starting, you become a two, A two being relational system and your nervous systems are communicating with each other. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And because we don’t have language at our capacity, all we have are nonverbal experiences we’re we have to start to flip those switches on.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (10:55):

So what I, what I think is, is possible through, through your work, as you know, dramatically increased capacity for leaders mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because, um, it frees up so much energy when you’re actually listening to allowing, listening to and attending to your needs and the needs of others.

Beth Anstandig (11:13):

Exactly. If, and that’s what I study. I live with a heart of horses. There’s two components to herd life that are essential. Um, one is that individuals, they’re taking care of themselves so that they can be viable herd members and they may be the herd member that senses a need or senses danger and, and actually alert the others. And the other is the, the other core component of herd life is that we need each other. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so, but you can’t need each other if we’re not taking care of ourselves. And horses will not sync up with an unstable nervous system mm-hmm. <affirmative> because it’s not in their best interest to be overutilizing energy around a lot of drama and instability. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative> and infighting. That would be a, a waste of precious energy. So they just won’t do it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> <affirmative>. And so this piece around really tuning our own instrument, it is the, the core of trust mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And if we’re not doing that work, people might surround you and go along with what you’re doing, but they’re not necessarily trusting your leadership. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (12:30):

So the horses are exceptional teachers of this. And what I’ve been really impressed by with your work is how quickly, like instantly, um, they give you very, very clear feedback about if they trust you or not.

Beth Anstandig (12:45):

That’s what I value about the horses, is they’re completely honest about their needs. And so, and they are honest about how they perceive us. And so we get immediate feedback about how we’re showing up on a nervous system level. They pick up on incongruence and they pick up on pressure within us that we’re holding or tension. And if, if we’re a mammal holding unnecessary tension, that does not feel like something that feels safe to sync up with mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it, the same is true for human mammals. It’s just we’re not used to tuning in on that level.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (13:25):

And, you know, the work we’ve done together has been largely with, you know, high level executives, um, leaders of institutions, um, CEOs of companies, but it is incredible like how quickly you shift their whole approach to leadership.

Beth Anstandig (13:43):

Those CEOs or anyone who comes here that has, that have, you know, people that have had those, those natural capacities condensed or compressed or contorted or

Dr. Caneel Joyce (13:55):

Suppressed mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Beth Anstandig (13:56):

Um, and they’re used to living in their heads and they’re used to living in that cerebral, intellectual, high performing space. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> are, we’re missing this huge energetic force within us mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so all it takes is a little bit of time to let that part of us have some breathing room, and once it’s online, you, you get a feel for it mm-hmm. <affirmative> and start to learn to bring it to the party. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, bring it to the table, bring it to the conversation. We don’t really wanna put it back in the box.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (14:29):

Yeah. We don’t, I think of it as we have, um, we have lots of places that we receive intelligence from and that we learn from mm-hmm. <affirmative>, our gut, our heart, our head, and also, you know, I think there’s some the field, right? Yeah. Which includes each other and all of the energy around any environment. Um, but shutting off any one of those we’re, we’re kind of, we’re really, uh, short circuiting the computer that is our resource for making choices.

Beth Anstandig (15:02):

You just said that so beautifully. I don’t even know what to do with myself. <laugh>.

Beth Anstandig (15:06):

No, it’s really exactly right. It’s like we have, we we are absolutely. I always think about it as like cutting off blood supply mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, it’s like putting a tourniquet on one of your limbs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I love the way that you put that. It’s, and that it’s a, one of our senses is being able on a nervous system level to pick up energetically on what’s happening within between and around us. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and we don’t really talk about it as one of our senses mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but it is the mammal sense and it, and it’s picking up on our needs and the needs of others and how to balance those mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when we are cut off from that, we’re cut off from an essential survival capacity.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (15:49):

I hear an objection coming up through the, the, the lens of, you know, the imaginary avatar I have of a leader who might be listening to the show and thinking, do I really care about this? And why is this relevant for me? You know, this is touchy-feely stuff, I don’t have time for this. Like, why does it matter taking care of others’ needs? So I just wanna, I wanna name the objection mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, um, and give you some space to, to respond to it.

Beth Anstandig (16:20):

Well, Caesar Milan says that humans are the only animals that follow unstable leadership.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (16:26):


Beth Anstandig (16:28):

I am a student of mammals and what I know is that the nervous system doesn’t lie. And though you may have people that are going along with your program, and I’m using quote marks here mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but following per se, you know, like following you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they trust you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> believe in you and are really truly on board. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that’s it. What’s one of the problems in the human, um, community in our human herd is that we, we don’t live in full honesty around how we actually are experiencing people. So we’re not really giving honest feedback about how we’re experiencing others, but the nervous system doesn’t lie. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so we are wired to sync up with the most stable nervous system available to us. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So on a leadership level, if we are growing and developing and honing that self leadership, or how am I taking care of myself on a nervous system level, naturally those around me are going to want to sync up with me mm-hmm. <affirmative>

Beth Anstandig (17:37):

Because it allows their nervous system to feel stable and calm mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we’re wired to get to that stability and ease mm-hmm. <affirmative> as fast as possible mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s not like the best version of mammal life. Yeah. That’s just the way that we’re wired. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, I like to think about like, well, we can talk all day about our leadership style and what kind of power we have or don’t have, but we also wanna look at what actually happens when people are around us. Yeah. And so are we inspiring people around us to want to be with us doing what, what we have in mind? Yeah. And feeling psychologically safe mm-hmm. <affirmative> and being able to have ease, or do we have people around us that are in states of stress mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I think our answers lie and what we see behaviorally

Dr. Caneel Joyce (18:29):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I’d love to give an example of a client that I, I I recently worked with, uh, with you Beth, and I think you’ll remember this scenario where I really got to witness the power of the very rapid real time feedback that a horse provides. So I witnessed a client that has been receiving feedback around the way that he interacts with others, um, that did sometimes create friction, um, or intimidation, um, from his intensity. And I got to see, um, an interaction with him and the horse. Now, ba Beth basically said, Hey, just do whatever you would like with this horse. He was approaching and coming up closely. He was walking up to this horse again, no saddle in the horse at all, just in the ring and kind of trying to invite her, this horse to him through his eyes. And, you know, Beth asked, what, what is it that you’re wanting right now?

Dr. Caneel Joyce (19:38):

Simple question. I’m wanting to connect with the horse. And he was really just enthralled and taken with the horse. Yet interestingly, the horse almost seemed disconnected from him all of a sudden. And Beth pointed out that the horse’s ears were actually pointing backwards at the big open field behind this ring. Uh, which she explained is an indication that the horse’s attention is actually on the environment. And while the horse was tuned into the environment and my client was tuned into the horse, the horse experienced that mismatch of I’m now having to hold awareness alone of something going on back there. And so Beth asked the question of what do you think it is that the horse is paying attention to if it’s paying attention to something behind it? Oh, well, it’s paying attention to, like, I hear, I hear some noises, maybe it’s hearing those noises sounds like there’s, uh, you know, an animal, um, calling off in the distance.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (20:41):

I, the wind is blowing in those trees. Uh, so there’s some activity going on back there that the horse might be curious about. As, as soon as he began to notice the environment, the horse almost like looked up at him, got a little bit closer, and you could see almost like the, the relational field between them, like the warmth grew because he became willing to take on the awareness of this, of the environment so that the horse was not alone in that awareness. What was fascinating was him having this recognition like, oh, when I’m overly zoomed in and I’m wanting almost to force, you know, and this was extremely subtle forcing, but almost to force that kind of a no, you pay attention to me kind of a relationship, but then you’re not sharing awareness and you, you lose a little bit of connection or trust with the very thing you’re trying to connect to.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (21:38):

I, I think what he realized is that the more he was zoomed in on really his own wants and put his own want to have the horse kind of submit to him, um, over the needs of the herd to be aware of the environment, the more it actually pushed away this horse from connecting and created the exact opposite result that he wanted. This was a massive breakthrough for the client. And after doing this work, we, we quickly saw just a turnaround and his understanding of, oh, you know, when everyone’s coming and they’re saying, Hey, I’m really concerned about this, about the future of our business, or around this technology, or around Roe versus Wade, or this thing happening on the macroeconomic, um, political sphere. Right. Um, when I’m like, yeah, but don’t worry about that stuff. We’ve got that handled. Here’s the plan. I just want you to focus on execution.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (22:46):

Like when you, when you disregard those environmental concerns, you are that you are not doing anything to actually help people focus on the present moment, you’re actually saying, Hey, you know what? You have to hold awareness of that on your own. And so it was this new, um, understanding of if they’re concerned about something as a leader, me saying that concern is valid and I will help you hold that. We’ll help them move toward me. So when a leader can take into account the needs of everyone in the room, the felt subjective needs of everyone in the room, then they can build trust, and the trust will result in followership and connection. And when there’s a, when there’s a glaring need that is not being noticed, attended to or seen as valid and real, then disconnection happens simply because as animals, we need to make sure that we are holding awareness of all of these four things in order to stay safe. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s a very real tangible thing that you can feel and see and experience in that context. And once you know it, and you can learn it through the book, you can learn it, you know, by, by working with the horses. But that’s certainly not essential because you actually can see it all around you. But once you know it, you can practice it in, in a corporate context, in an institutional context.

Beth Anstandig (24:17):

Absolutely. Our, our meetings are full of mammals, and so this is about mammal life. It’s not about horses. The horses are a fast track back to that mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they, they’re, they’re absolutely willing to teach us about this. And very grateful, I think when we can stop talking and learn from them mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but, um, but once you have it, yeah. You can take that everywhere you go. You can take that new lens, that new way of experiencing yourself and picking up on nuances around you. Those concepts are, those have always been there. And, and that’s why I call it our natural leadership because it’s, it’s the part of us that’s innate. It’s, it’s right there. It’s, it, it’s intact and it’s, um, accessible and portable and usable in everything we do. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (25:07):

<affirmative>. So, um, it’s just, it’s amazing the timing of this, uh, of our session here today. Because last week, you know, the sky started falling in, I think a lot of industries and for, you know, a lot of, a lot of us because of what the stock market is doing and just macroeconomic things and conflict, there’s a lot of pressure on the system right now at this time where we have a lot of pressure in the system. It feels like there’s a lot more energy that needs to be moved and attended to. And at the same time, I feel like a lot of, um, employees and followers really are desperate for clear leadership, like clear, decisive leadership where to go.

Beth Anstandig (25:59):

Right? And you’re bringing up these like two levels of awareness. One is on that macro level of what, what’s going on in the system around us that impacts each of us, but also impacts us on a mi micro level. So how does it impact your family system, your work system, um, your community, and then, you know, looking at like these global systems and we, we experience pressure on all of those levels. We’re already, we’ve already in some ways, perhaps wrongly accepted that we’re going to suppress internal pressure. But then it’s sort of like, if you imagine that there’s only so much pressure that you’re being can hold and you’re going, going to, you’re gonna decide to hold a whole bunch of pressure within yourself and then unknown things in the environment happen that introduce new pressures, you’re already maxed out or close to maxed out.

Beth Anstandig (26:56):

And what happens is that you end up with an inflamed system and that starts on an individual level. So I, I like to think about it as inflammation. That, too much pressure, it builds up and it becomes this inflammation. And so then I take my inflamed system into all the systems that I operate in, whether it’s with my, in my personal life or my professional life, or I take it everywhere I go, take myself and my fully cranked up pressure system everywhere I go. And so we are actually making a decision every day to participate like that unless we decide to start listening to ourselves. And that’s an all day everyday decision. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, and it’s starting to tune in to what does the mammal part of me need right now? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what is my body trying to tell me? And I’m actually going to listen to it, even though I’ve had so much training and domestication around ignoring it, I’m actually gonna begin to listen to it. I’m not gonna judge it, and I’m not gonna take a whole day off. I’m gonna stand up mm-hmm. <affirmative> for two minutes mm-hmm. <affirmative> and stretch and walk outside and get some fresh air and then come back to my desk. I’m gonna take the drink of water, take the restroom break. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’m gonna close my eyes for five minutes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’m, you know, I’m gonna go stare at a tree and just take, let the wind touch my skin. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and then I’m gonna go back to what I was doing. All of those micro adjustments matter

Dr. Caneel Joyce (28:29):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it comes down to, um, you know, personal responsibility that are you choosing to show up into your life in a way that’s where you are really not available to attend to what is happening. Um, hey, or are you going to make a choice a different choice? And, and again, these do not need to be dramatic choices. Um, but it, you know, we, we often think, well, I have to go, I have to go meetings back to back to back to back back and one bumps right into the next. And we rarely think I could say, I’d like to end this meeting five minutes early. And that’s, I mean, for think for, for people who have control over, um, you know, public companies Yeah. To think that you can’t ask for a meeting to end five minutes early. That’s just such an, it’s such a habitual thought that I’m stuck in this box.

Beth Anstandig (29:18):


Dr. Caneel Joyce (29:19):

And, and the set of tools that you present is, um, it suddenly, it, for me, it, it makes sense of a lot of the things that Yeah. Do sound sort of touchy feely and perhaps nonproductive in crisis times. It’s like, actually there is a way that, that I can start regulating the system around me. There is a way I can do that, that is friendly, appropriate, needed, overdue, effective, inspiring, powerful.

Beth Anstandig (29:57):

Absolutely. And it does start with an act, an act of self care that is noticeable because those around you are going to trust you if you’re taking care of yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not a trustworthy mammal, any animal group, an animal not taking care of themself would be rejected from the group. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (30:21):

<affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Beth Anstandig (30:22):

So as soon as you start taking care of yourself and setting an example of what that looks like, it allows those around you to do the same and to sync up with that and, and you’re, you become a mentor or role model, which is what a leader ought to be of how we create a culture around us that’s sustainable and stable and safe. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so if we’re limping along, we are, we, we might think we are appearing that we’re over-functioning, but everyone in know around us knows that is not true. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, no one will tell you because we’re trained to put that feedback in a box as well. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we bubble wrap our leaders and don’t tell them how, how they’re actually coming across mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so if you, but if you just start with how am I taking care of myself and does that allow me to have more presence and stability and trustworthiness about how I feel about me?

Beth Anstandig (31:22):

And if so, I am taking that into the system. So when we get to that point where things get inflamed or we like those irritations, they’re part of our alert system, that it’s time to take the development to the next level that’s part of our mammal system signaling to us that something’s outta balance. And so that’s, that’s a wise part of you that has like a, it’s a little spicy part of you mm-hmm. <affirmative> that wakes you up Yeah. With some irritation mm-hmm. <affirmative> to say, Hey, something’s outta balance again. It’s time for them to step it up even more.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (31:58):

Yeah. So I, I think you just illustrated, um, the thing that is so different about natural leadership than like any other model of leadership I’ve ever come across, which is any signal you’re getting from yourself is welcome and wise. Yep. And your job is to listen to it,

Beth Anstandig (32:20):

And it’s not, it’s not telling you something’s wrong. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So we don’t, we don’t approach this pathologically at all. We look at it systemically and try and understand what is the signal telling us about an imbalance. Mm. And it’s always telling us about needs and so something’s needed or it wouldn’t be happening. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (32:41):

<affirmative>, can you gimme some examples of needs that are not, um, you know, obvious nael need, not bio body care needs, but other needs that we might observe in the workplace that leaders are better at picking up on after this.

Beth Anstandig (32:56):

I look at things from a dialectic model, and so if we look at things systemically and we look at how things fall out of balance or fall out of a state of equilibrium, we look at like, what are the two opposing forces? And there, so in any situation where something feels a little off, we wanna try to identify at with some scope at a high level, what is the thematic need that is happening right now? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s, that, that’s signaling to us that something feels off. Mm. And a lot of times, one of the core, a core mammal need or two opposing needs, one is the need for autonomy and independence and freedom to, to do what we want to that rebel in you. That’s like, I need to be able to take care of myself. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the opposing need is the need to be able to feel connected to others.

Beth Anstandig (33:53):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so a lot of times in workplaces, there’s an imbalance there. And when you’ll, you’ll see, and it, it might look a little bit like someone’s, um, they’ve got too much independence and so they’re not feeling supported enough. And the symptoms of that is they’re dropping the ball, they’re in silos, they’re in their own world. They’re like, you’ll start to see splinter teams and they’re not, they don’t actually have enough connectedness mm-hmm. <affirmative>, or you’ll see a team or a group or a person who’s like very stuck and they are kind of immobilized and maybe even a little embittered. And that’s like a group where there’s too much micromanaging, too much control, too much connectedness and oversight mm-hmm. <affirmative> and they don’t have enough freedom to breathe mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so that might be, when we look at things from a natural leadership point of view, we’re trying to understand like, what is the core need that’s not being met mm-hmm.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (34:52):


Beth Anstandig (34:53):

And or where’s it out of balance.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (34:56):

So this model actually simplifies, I think the way to look at and understand a company where something like that is happening and it, and like you say, it takes it out of a pathological lens and out of like, oh, just this one person, like blame them and more how are we all co-creating this and, and what, what wants to shift here between us and we all be willing to look at it and name it mm-hmm. <affirmative> and attend to it

Beth Anstandig (35:28):

From the natural leadership perspective. We are, the core commitment is we have to stay together. And so if we get too far apart, those, those opposing forces can’t be imbalanced. Mm. And so it requires everyone to come and look at the whole picture together to see your part. Mm. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So where do I need to shift a little so that all needs can be met. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it does require that whoever is gotten too far away off on their own, they have to come in a little mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it requires those that have gotten too tight knit mm-hmm. <affirmative> to make some space for them mm-hmm. <affirmative> and actually bring them in even though there’s some inflammation in there mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so Yeah. You’re, you’re spot on there. It does require that we all look at, we, we get out of blame, we get out of the pathology and just look at how did we get out of balance mm-hmm. <affirmative> and how, what do we need to do to get back into balance? And then how can we prevent that from happening going forward mm-hmm. <affirmative> or get quicker. Yeah. Just get faster at noticing it so we can make those adjustments. Yeah.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (36:32):

Yeah. It’s, it’s in the moment is the ultimate adjusting in the moment.

Beth Anstandig (36:38):

Yeah. And that’s what the horses do. And if you stay with the herd for a period, you know, stay with them and graze and observe, they’re making all kinds of micro adjustments as they move together so that they can give each other feedback around how to share space. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how to be in proximity, but balance out those individual needs and group needs. How do they conserve energy and stay in a state of ease? How do they respond to environmental changes and then come back into a state of ease. So they’re showing us and modeling for us how that’s done. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and how it’s done very efficiently. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

Dr. Caneel Joyce (37:18):

<affirmative>. Yeah. And I, I’ve seen ease, um, with, you look like it can have a lot of energy and action and motion in it. It’s not at all about slowing down, stopping, like laying down, it might be, but mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it could also look completely different and a lot of motion and movement.

Beth Anstandig (37:36):


Dr. Caneel Joyce (37:37):

Beth, uh, I’m, I’m sure that our listeners are wondering what else you’re up to, what’s next for you and how they, you know, how they might connect. Can you tell us about what’s, what’s going on in your world?

Beth Anstandig (37:49):

I adopted a wild Mustang from the Bureau of Land Management who had been, um, she’d been captured, um, gathered from her herd and never touched by humans. And I went and picked her up in Idaho and brought her to my ranch and have had this transformative experience forming a friendship with her. And, um, I learned within the first 24 hours of meeting her and being with her that she had a lesson to teach me about self-preservation that I had yet to learn. Hmm. I’d been learning about mammals, but there was, I, I’d been learning about them, um, through my domesticated animals and I hadn’t, this was the first time that I was going to get a relationship going with a wild animal, and she felt very wild. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, she still does in some ways. Um, there’s a difference there in her. And, um, it’s been, it’s been the experience of a lifetime, being around that energy and learning from her what it really means to take care of oneself. And it motivated and sparked within me some changes in my own life that I, that I needed to make. And so I’m writing the book about that, that story.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (39:17):

Beautiful. Uh, where can people find you and, um, connect with you if they want to?

Beth Anstandig (39:25):

The circle up You can go to my website and learn all things natural leadership there. And then my ranch is in the San Francisco Bay area. And, um, people can contact me directly if they wanna explore, you know, their own unique experience.

Dr. Caneel Joyce (39:44):

Great. And we’ll put all those links and info in the show notes as well as, uh, a link to the Human Heard, Beth’s brand new book, <laugh> same G. We’re both holding it up to the camera and as published by Morgan James Publishing. And, um, you can find it on Amazon, you can find it other places as well. So we’ll put that, those links up there for you to choose. And, um, Beth, thank you so much for being here on the show. I love spending time with you. It does, it really does. Regulate my nervous system a lot. I definitely feel that. So thanks for leading, leading. I love being in the herd with you.

Beth Anstandig (40:20):

I love being in the herd with you. Thanks for having me here Loud.

Discover experiences that give your life purpose in your Zone of Genius

Executive Coach Dr. Caneel Joyce reveals a life-changing framework that can help you overcome self-doubt, uncover your hidden talents, and radiate with confidence, one small step at a time.