Get to the heart of the matter with Equine Assisted Coaching
Whether traditional coaching approaches aren’t delivering the results you need, or you’re looking for something a bit different to inspire as well as deliver, the emerging field of Equine Assisted Coaching could be what you are looking for.
Equine assisted coaching isn’t about riding or horsemanship. It’s about creating a space in which structured contact with horses acts as a powerful stimulus for feedback and coaching leading to actions which can be immediately implemented back in the workplace.
If you haven’t come across equine assisted coaching before (and the chances are you may well not have done) it can be hard to understand how a horse can help you deal with the challenges you, your business, your team are facing. The reality is that it’s actually a far more immediate and effective way of drilling down to the heart of the matter than more conventional coaching techniques.
The key is the way horses work as individuals and as pack animals. They react to what they sense without that sense being clouded by social niceties, without fear of ‘upsetting’ someone. If you try to make a horse follow you somewhere you don’t want to go, the horse will sense this and no amount of cajoling will persuade him otherwise. Using this intuition is the key to equine assisted coaching, and it achieves some startling results. Time and again, we see horses pick up on the ‘real’ issue – regardless of attempts to conceal it. Equally startlingly, because this feedback is delivered without judgment, we see those being coached respond and embrace the feedback far more readily than in more conventional coaching scenarios.
Horses provide instant feedback – there’s no pussyfooting around an issue. As coaches working with the horses and with teams or individuals – business leaders, entrepreneurs – we are trained to understand and interpret the reactions the horses display in any situation, which in turn facilitates open discussion. Results that might take a number of sessions using conventional coaching and paper-based assessments can often be delivered from one, tailored, equine assisted coaching session.
Crucially, equine assisted coaching the way we deliver it is structured and tailored to the challenges you are facing. We discuss your issues and objectives and plan your session accordingly. Our human coaches, and our horses, are flexible and professional and can reshape the session in real time if the answers that are coming out highlight that a different issue needs to be addressed.
You can find out more about equine assisted coaching from our governing body the International Association for Horse Assisted Education http://www.eahae.org/, and we’d be delighted to answer your questions about equine assisted coaching and benefits for your business.
Whatever your political views, whether you voted Remain or Leave in the EU Referendum, there is something we will probably all agree on. Immigration, economic stability and collaboration with Europe aside, there is a more fundamental issue here. Trust.
Distrust in the system, the establishment, the politicians, the EU. Whatever you want to call it, the problem remains the same; the challenges we are facing now have largely been brought about by a lack of trust.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship. It takes time to build yet can be destroyed in a heart beat.
Trust in who is leading us – whether that be our country leaders, the CEO or MD of the business we work for, the person leading our team – and of course, trusting each other.
In business, the performance of many teams is eroded because of a lack of trust between team members and/or their leader. Repairing trust takes time and if your team has significant trust issues, it is likely that you will need outside help to repair the damage before moving on.
But how do you know if your team do have a good level of trust?
· Well, first of all, open and honest communication amongst the team exists. This is paramount. People need to feel they can air their views without fear of reprisal, blame or ridicule.
· When the going gets tough, people back each other up. They may disagree with a decision but they will still support it. This is called ‘cabinet responsibility’.
· It’s not only each other they get along with, it’s other departments and stakeholders too; team members who trust each other will work well with other teams and are seen as co-operative.
Once this base level of trust has been achieved, it becomes a platform upon which to build mutual responsibility and accountability and to take your team to the heady heights of being a high performing team.