Humans aren’t the only beings who live in relationship with one another. For example, geese live in the community of their flock. Just like many BELONGers, geese take “road trips” together—though geese fly south for the winter instead of heading to an event.

We can learn a lot from geese; see below for five relationship lessons we humans could put to good use. And if someone calls you a “silly goose,” take it as a compliment!

 

5 Relationship Lessons from Our Feathered Friends
Adapted from Lessons from the Geese by Dr. Robert McNeish

Lesson 1 – Achieving Goals
As each goose flaps its wings it creates uplift for the birds that follow. When the whole flock flies in a ‘V’ formation they can all fly 71 percent farther than they could alone.

If we have as much sense as geese: We’ll find people who want to go in the same direction and come together as a community to help each other achieve our goals. We can go farther, more easily, together.


Lesson 2 – Teamwork
When a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back to take advantage of the “lifting power” of the birds in front.

If we have as much sense as geese: We’ll stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We’ll be willing to accept their help and give our help to others along the way.

 

Lesson 3 – Sharing the Load
When a goose tires of flying up front it drops back into formation and another goose flies to the point position.

If we have as much sense as geese: We’ll take turns doing the hard tasks, respecting and protecting each other’s unique arrangement of skills, capabilities, talents and resources.

 

Lesson 4 – Empathy and Understanding
When a goose gets sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to the ground to help and protect it.

If we have as much sense as geese: we’ll stand by each other in difficult times as well as good times. (No goose left behind!)

 

Lesson 5 – Encouragement
Geese flying in the back of the formation ‘HONK’ to encourage those up front to keep up with their speed.

If we have as much sense as geese: We’ll make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, production is much greater. “Individual empowerment results from quality honking.”