Have you ever sat down after a long day of leadership training and wondered what exactly you did or spent all your money and time on? You aren’t the only one — especially if the training isn’t out-of-the-box enough. Contrary to popular belief, more than 90% of human communication is non-verbal, which explains why many of us find it challenging to retain the information we learn when traditional teaching methods are employed.
Enter equine assisted learning, where leaders learn by sitting, listening and actually doing as well. Let’s take a closer look at how and why horses benefit leaders looking to improve themselves and their organizations and why EAL is head and shoulders above other experiential training methods.
- Emotional Intelligence – One advantage of utilizing horses in leadership training is that they react instantly and without judgment to human emotional states, allowing us to develop our sense of emotional intelligence. Horses reflect emotions, body language, and sensations back to the human, helping participants become aware of the effects of their emotional and physical presence and what would happen if they changed how they acted because the horse would do the same.
- Responsibility – Horses also help people learn self-management, or the ability to control their emotions. For instance, there is a severe danger of unfavorable outcomes for the horse and the handler if impatience and rage are expressed while managing a horse. Evidence has shown that people become more willing to accept responsibility and gain the ability to act when they are among horses and in a stable setting.
- Awareness – There is no better way to develop a sense of awareness for yourself and others as a leader than through the hands-on training that equine assisted learning provides. Just think — these are massive animals that don’t have to follow a anyone’s lead, especially if they don’t want to. That is why leaders must become aware of everything about the horses and themselves. From how they hold themselves to how they handle a situation, EAL allows a leader to hone their sense of awareness through practical means you can’t find anywhere else.
- Non-verbal Communication – If horses are great at one thing, it’s non-verbal communication, helping those who work with them and training them to learn it. Leadership development programs with horses help people read others and situations and understand non-verbal signals. This non-verbal communication is critical to bolstering several aspects that improve day-to-day work at the office, such as responsibility, assertiveness, work ethics, relationship building, and more.
With EAL, each of these skills has to be learned, trained, reinforced, and repeated repeatedly, building confidence in both the horse and the leader who is learning from them. Very few other experiential training methods can even come close to this level of in-depth communication or repetition of critical leadership skills.
Remember, horses are looking for their leader, and thus, the best way to develop our leadership skills is to become precisely what they are looking for. Visit our website today for more information on EAL and how we can help unbridle your consulting or coaching practice in adding horses to your toolbox. Join us in learning more about this powerful method for creating true leaders at our May Arena Chat that is coming up soon.