*This content is brought to you by Tracking Success
By Alex van den Heever & Grant Ashfield*
Using an ancient African practice as a modern-day guide to life and business.
In the last essay you learnt how trackers deal with a losing track in the Tracking Success Pathway. We now look at how trackers handle the final stage of an encounter.
Activity five – The Encounter
The defining moment in the tracking process is an encounter with the animal.
It’s the tracker’s reward. Their opportunity to see the animal they’ve been following.
The shadowy figure of an elusive leopard resting in a tree stirs emotion. Especially one whose trail you’ve been on for hours.
The tracker wants to find the animal without changing its behaviour. Without causing it to flee … or charge.
Neither fight nor flight is a good ending to the tracking process.
The encounter must take place without animosity.
Expert trackers are vigilant and sympathetic to the animals’ needs. They move quietly, with sensitivity and respect. They use the encounter as their opportunity to build empathy and a relationship with the animal.
Expert tracker Renias Mhlongo often says, ‘I put the animal in my heart’ – referring to his empathy for the animals he tracks.
With this approach negative and unsafe encounters are few.
The mindset here is gratitude and respect.
This mindset ensures it’s an ethical encounter which builds trust between the tracker and the animal.
This in turn sets the foundation for future tracking success.
The trap is ego and complacency.
Trackers (and humans) who fall into these traps risk turning the encounter into a dangerous confrontation.
Ego and complacency put safety at risk. Over confidence and bravado quickly follow.
Wild animals (and most humans) don’t react well to bravado and disrespect.
What should be virtuous now becomes a threat. Instead of nurturing the bond it frays and weakens it.
We have ‘encounters’ at work every day. In the corridor, at sales calls, and in meetings. How aware are we? How impeccable is our conduct?
Is gratitude and respect creating leading the way?
Or is ego and complacency running the show?
See http://www.trackingsuccess.tv to learn how you and your team can adopt the mindset of a tracker.
Image credits: The Encounter – David Dampier*
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