Where Neuroscience and Ancient Herd Wisdom Meet

The Body, Mind and Spirit of Leadership

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It's not Horse Whispering it's Horse Listening

It is difficult to transmit through words, images or video, the 'felt' impact of the work with horses. We hope however these explanations and examples will help 

Occasionally we will engage in some 'discovery' exercises such as during team building programs to unearth unconscious or unspoken core issues. We work on the premise that what you do and how you are being in the field of horse, is what you do and how you are being in the field of life, so parallels are easily drawn.

Explicit Vs Implicit Knowing & Learning
with acknowledgements to Kathleen Barry Ingram

We are fascinated with how people learn and how much new learning is actually retained during programs. Luckily there is increasing amounts of neuroscience and learning styles research being done and what has been found is that basically there are 2 kinds, or ways of learning.

Explicit and Implicit. 

Explicit learning, study and knowledge is classroom based and commonly occurs in a traditional education system. This process involves a teacher at the front of the room sharing knowledge and while this is important, it's not always effective because it's not directly experienced and so is often forgotten soon after. This traditional rote type learning is education through another's experience and requires remembering facts, figures etc. The explicit memory recalls collections of specific events.

Implicit knowing is the learning that we experience from the moment we are born. This learning and memory relies on emotions, body sensations, relationship paradigms and an overall sense or view of the world. It is learning and knowledge that comes from actual experience through action based learning. It is this implicit learning that directly supports what we feel the horses have been teaching us through partnering with them in the equine experiential learning process.

Implicit memory is visceral, entering our awareness largely through the 'heart and gut brain', so it's different from just remembering head brain ideas or concepts. It is an embodied, felt sense that is powerful and is based in the fundamental and ancient structures of the brain (reptile and early mammalian).

How you live your life and see and 'do' your world, depends on the inner atmosphere or attitude of your mind and this of course depends greatly on what is stored in your implicit memory and the order in which you access your multiple centers of intelligence. Basically, we are the sum of what we 'take in' or focus on via our lived experiences and the memories that are created.

Daniel Goleman

Leadership is Emotional and Relational - The importance of managing oneself first

Social and Emotional learning changes brain function and brain structure - the Heart Brain Connection

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents his research on how social and emotional learning can affect the brain

The Issues

In 2011 the Leadership Management Australia blog reported on 5 crucial issues that arose through the L.E.A.D survey. Almost 60% of the workforce hate their jobs or have a ho-hum attitude towards work. Leaders and managers need to ask themselves a tough question – “Am I providing the work environment that my people want to be part of?”

Lack of job satisfaction contributes directly and substantially to staff turnover and there are major Skills & Succession Shortages, disturbingly, two of the top six are in the areas of leadership and management. HR management also needs to be taking a greater role in developing staff. Added to all this, is the issue of Generational Disharmony.

Interactions between generations are growing increasingly fractious. The L.E.A.D. survey explored generational relationships in detail and discovered great concerns about interactions between generations. "The relationships between and with Baby Boomers were shown to be far more fractious than those with and between Gen-Y, the traditional ‘problem children’ in the workplace. Most in the Baby Boomer generation don’t want to work with (87%) or report to (59%) their own generation. The vast majority in other generations also don’t want to work with Baby Boomers (Gen-X 96%, Gen-Y 96%) or report to them (Gen-X 94%, Gen-Y 92%) in the future.

With Baby Boomers filling the majority of leadership and senior management positions in organisations for at least another decade, the implications of a workforce unwilling and uninterested in working with and being managed by Baby Boomers are profound".

You can read about LEAD's 5 Key management Leadership Issues

Our approach is being increasingly supported by recent peer-reviewed, published research studies which are scientifically demonstrating the efficacy of Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning.  One study, conducted by Washington State University, demonstrated the efficaciousness of the approach with adolescent children. 

Links to Articles

Read the latest August 2013 Oprah Magazine article 'Horse Sense' Equus Coaching

Read Leadership Management Australia's article - 'Learning Through Horses for Leadership Success'

Another recent study, conducted by the University of Kentucky, showed statistically significant results imparting Emotional Intelligence competencies in nurses.

Daniel Goleman's video's and books on Flow States, Bliss & Feedback greatly supports the interactions with horses in learning to use our Social Brain, - the silent brain to brain Communication and the role of Mirror Neurons & Emotional Contagion