Leaders Learn About Trusting their Team from Unexpected Sources

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Important insights for corporate executives who want to be better leaders can come from the most unexpected places. At the first International Conference for the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A) in Atlanta, GA, former E3A President and keynote speaker Ginny Telego introduced horses to teach an important lesson for leaders: know when to step in, know when to take a step back, and trust that your team or your clients have the answers.

Leadership Development in a New Arena

“The most difficult challenge for leaders is to recognize how our thoughts and beliefs can impact or might impede others, and to trust that sometimes we don’t have the only answers,” said Telego.

Important insights for corporate executives who want to be better leaders can come from the most unexpected places. At the first International Conference for the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A) in Atlanta, GA, former E3A President and keynote speaker Ginny Telego introduced horses to teach an important lesson for leaders: know when to step in, know when to take a step back, and trust that your team or your clients have the answers.

Drawing on her experience as a Master Trainer for E3A and facilitator at her own company, Wager’s Way Equine Assisted Action Learning, Telego co-facilitated with horses to demonstrate the concept of trusting the team and the process. While no one in the workshop was riding horses, participants were involved in trying to communicate their goal of guiding a “client” – represented by a horse – through a simple obstacle course using only non-verbal communication.

“The most difficult challenge for leaders is to recognize how our thoughts and beliefs can impact or might impede others, and to trust that sometimes we don’t have the only answers,” said Telego. “The horses have extraordinary intuition and non-verbal communication skills. They help us learn how to take a step back and observe before we impose our conclusions on others.”

Telego encouraged the audience to explore the “why” through the following questions: Why are leaders compelled to step in? How does it work for them? Why is it difficult to trust that your team and/or clients might have the answers? The goal of the keynote presentation was to help participants identify what they would do differently with team members or clients as a result of their experience with the horses in the arena.

“While profound, the exercises were also interspersed with periods of laughter, which is why experiential learning can be so powerful,” said Telego.

Wager’s Way Equine Assisted Action Learning is based in Ashland, Ohio and offers experiential leadership and team development programs for businesses, non-profits, community groups and individuals. President and Founder Ginny Telego is a Certified Advanced Practitioner and Master Trainer with the Equine Experiential Education Association and travels both in the U.S. and internationally to facilitate leadership and team development programs.

The Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A) is an international professional membership organization that builds, delivers, and supports excellence in the field of Equine Assisted Learning. Its trainings and certifications are specific to practitioners building their professional facilitation skills in the coaching, leadership, corporate, and personal development fields.

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