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How can horses help train future leaders?

Trainer and coach Isabelle Hasleder reveals how she uses horses to teach leaders to build better relationships with their teams

Source | | Justin Harper

There are a whole host of different courses aimed at nurturing leaders, but ones that involve horses must be few and far between. But that’s exactly what horse trainer and coach Isabelle Hasleder does. She recognises that successful leaders are constantly looking for growth opportunities, and they know that they have to push themselves outside their “comfort zones” in order to get better.

So why horses? ‘’A horse reflects the behaviour, emotions and intentions of a person in one second. If you are leading the way correctly, with energy, confidence, direction as well as an encouraging conversation with the horse this will be a simple task’’.

‘’But if you lose focus, trust, energy or some doubts are coming up in your mind the horse will respond in the same second, stop or turn another way. It’s powerful to see the impact of your own actions and get immediate feedback,’’ she says.

When we look at this scenario in a corporate context, a leader might communicate a task to their team clearly. But if the desired results are not delivered they often blame the team or other external circumstances for the failure. One of the explanations could be that the “encouraging conversation” from the leader was missing?

Hasleder adds: ‘’The big challenge in a corporate environment is that we see the impact and results of our actions much later, and it is really difficult to get constructive feedback – that’s why innovative leaders take feedback from horses and adopt effective strategies in the process of the workshop.’’

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