E3A: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your EAL business, and your involvement and certification with E3A
Janis: I spent 25 years working in large High-Tech companies which included Management and Executive positions. During that time, I became fascinated with human behavior and how emotional intelligence impacted the success (or lack thereof) of individuals, regardless of their educational accomplishments. At a time when I sought a career that was more meaningful to me, I discovered EAL. I quickly recognized the impact horses could have on exposing what people didn’t see in themselves when it came to a lack of soft skills and emotional intelligence skills. I pursued a certification in a great program which I found was impactful for individuals along with some group work, and yet I yearned for a greater variety of tools to support Corporate groups with, which led me to E3A.
I ran my own EAL business for 5 years before joining Best Friends Animal Society where I am the Sr. Manager for Leadership and Staff Development. In that role, I continue to use EAL as a learning and development opportunity which includes within a Management Development Program that I run there. I continue to maintain my own consulting business, as well.
After acquiring my E3A certification, I was invited to join the E3A Board which I served on for nearly 5 years, including a role as Secretary. Today I support E3A’s Marketing Committee.
E3A: How has your certification through E3A helped your EAL program?
Janis: My certification with E3A greatly expanded my confidence in delivering EAL Programs to groups. It covered ‘soup to nuts’ when it came to planning and delivering a workshop, reading the dynamics of a group, learning models, along with facilitation skills. The variety of activities with horses and the ways that they could be used for different groups increased what I could offer to my clients. As a result, I’ve witnessed so many clients benefit from their experience with horses.
E3A: Share with us a few of the transformations you’ve seen in your clients
Janis: So many stand out for me that it’s hard to describe just a few! I’ve had many leaders learn how their presence either negatively or positively impacts others once they experience how a horse responds to them. At the end of a workshop, one participant cited that despite all his educational accomplishments, he still lacked the career success he pursued, and he didn’t understand why especially after pursuing his doctorate degree. The horses helped him recognize that day that it wasn’t what was in his head that made a difference, but rather how he showed up with others made a difference. That realization was mind-blowing for him that day. You could read it all over his face and his body his experience with the horses was a pivot point for him, both personally and professionally.
I partner horses with participants in a Management Development Program I run. People gain so much insight into how their thoughts impact results, and how assumptions can be so misleading. They learn that their ability to ground themselves influences how they are perceived by others.
E3A: What have been a few keys to successful growth in your EAL business?
Janis: 1) Showing up in a way that reflects the work I do. I want to show up with people the way horses positively respond to a person. If I were to show up like a nervous ball of energy, uncertain of what I am doing, and being pushy about things, I’m less likely to attract people to my EAL work. They’ll most likely want take flight just as a horse would.
2) Networking has been a big advantage in growing my business. Seeking out professional groups has exposed me to people and opened up doors for my business. For instance, I joined the Chamber of Commerce, the local ATD Chapter, and accepted many invitations to participate in meetings that allowed me to expose my EAL business to people. I accepted speaking opportunities. I also worked with non-EAL Coaches and Consultants, partnering with them to deliver programs to their clients. The more I opened myself up to possibilities and broadened my network, the better.
3) The other thing is understanding the client so I can design an effective workshop. For instance, understanding: what are the client’s problems, their challenges? What would success look like to them? What are some of the current group dynamics I should understand? Is there specific language or lingo I should or shouldn’t use? You see, the more I understand and can adapt to a client’s needs, the more successful I can be. If I don’t feel I can do what they are looking for in the time they want to do it in, I will let them know, in advance. Otherwise, expectations aren’t met. When I can understand their expectations, I have a greater chance of being successful with a group, and then I can enjoy the benefit from their testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations to others.
E3A: If other members would like to contact you for more information what is the best way they can contact you?