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Musings & Thoughts on Business Coaching, Experiential Learning, and Horses and How They Intersect.

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Welcome Back to the Corporate World!

IMG_0234.JPGLast week was a re-entry for me into the corporate world. While I have continued coaching and consulting with some businesses over the past year, my main focus was the Equine Assisted Coach Training Program and the Attract the Perfect Clients through the Way of the Horse program, both of which begin in February.

As of December 2009, I knew this was going to be a different year. My corporate clients began calling in numbers; a good sign for the economy! However, now that I was completely established in my work with coaching and horses, where and how did the corporate world fit it?

To my complete amazement and delight, it fits in just perfectly!! For example...

I hosted members of a global coaching and consulting firm for a few hours in Florida before leaving for NYC to facilitate an off-site for a major pharmaceutical company. I knew I had only a few hours to share the power and potential of Equine Alchemy with these people.

One of the most common questions I hear is how to hold a successful demo. Well, the following is what I did. It was steeped in true coaching; I had no agenda. I created the space for what wanted to happen to show up. I have learned through working with the horses that if I connect to my energy, I will connect to my client's and I will then know what I need to do and say. Here is how it unfolded.

  • I began by asking them to come prepared with something they might like some coaching on. This was easy for them because they were on their way to a team development of their own, so any issues were fresh in their mind. Asking them to come with something in mind sets the context for 'consensual' learning--both of us learning together vs. I am the teacher and they are the students so I need to provide everything. It requires them to be actively involved in the session before they arrive.
  • After welcoming them, I took out my trusty Tibetan Singing Bowl and did some sound, space and energy clearing. 'Coincidentally', the places on their bodies that were cleared were the places with stuck energy, according to them. This work is so important for creating a clear container for the work. It also is a small step for them to experience the energy work without the horses first. This will better prepare them for their equine experiences.
  • Then we chose a card from Linda Kohanov's Wisdom of the Horse book and card deck. Again, the cards spoke directly to their issues. These beautiful and powerful cards were a way to meet them where they were by shifting their 'corporate' context gradually. The cards also provided a way of exploring their issues through another lens in preparation for the work with the horses. (This is also for the health and well being of my horses. I do not want to expose them to such abrupt energy if I don't have to!)
  • All of this preparation created the space for very powerful team and individual coaching. It wasn't until then that I knew how I would bring in the horses, I had some ideas but I didn't really know. Here is the difference between facilitation and coaching. Facilitation has an already set agenda that the facilitator brings and manages. Coaching is based entirely upon the client's agenda which then provides the window into what needs to happen with the horses.
  • Since how they related to each other in the team as well as their clients was a big issue, the energy and boundary work that is the heart of Epona was the first work we did. This work is powerful in creating awareness of our own electromagnetic fields and those of others and how they inter-relate. They were amazed and delighted at what they felt and learned.
  • Because their role with their clients was a leadership role and the fact that most of their clients contacted them for leadership coaching and consulting, naturally a leadership exercise with the horses was in order. Whatever their idea of leadership when they began the work, it was clearly changed as a result of the experiential and kinesthetic learning from this exercise. They began to see a different 'leadership light'!

      Now I come to the part where words fail me. What happened for these people as a result of 2.5 hours with a horse and their authentic selves was nothing less than transformational. For those of you who already work with horses, I know you know...For them it was unprecedented.

      The hope is that this morning together was not only valuable for the participants, it is a way to further evolve Equine Alchemy in general. As I mentioned, the participants are a global firm that work with leaders in very high places. When we spoke about the potential of Equine Alchemy at the end of the morning, I felt like I was 'preaching to the choir'! In fact, the horses went with them to their corporate team development by way of Linda's book and cards. They asked to borrow mine and pulled a card each morning of the 3 day meeting! I am thrilled to say that this was a powerful step in the journey of Equine Guided Education.

      As for the pharmaceutical company...that's for the next blog.

      With ease and grace,

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