How are you experienced in the eyes of the other?
Being present is the greatest gift you can give yourself and those around you. Yet research shows that for the majority of our day we are not focussed in the present moment. Our mind wanders. We get distracted by things happening around us and by our thoughts and feelings about the past or future. Choosing to keep our attention in the present moment is not always a natural to humans. Horses, however, only live in the present moment.
Horses respond to what is going on in that exact moment. In fact, being present, noticing what is going on at all times is a essential survival skill for a prey animal like a horse. Thus horses are helpful role models for humans to learn about the power of being present, and how it can support better focus, decision making, connection and wellbeing.
That was the purpose of this workshop (The Power of Presence in Leadership) attended by a group of business leaders and coaches. To illustrate the value and impact of being present (or not) the group experienced two equine experiments.
The participants first had an experience of how the horse responded to them when they were calm, present, and consciously connecting. Most shared that they felt peaceful, joyful and the horse was interested and listening to them.
In the second exercise the group was given a task to build an obstacle course and see if they could move the horse through the course (the horse was not on a lead rope). It was quite a challenge for people who were not familiar with horses and did not have the skills to know how to move a horse who is free to choose what he wanted to do.
The people in the group were encouraged to work with awareness. This means to tune in and notice when they got a connection and willingness from, when the connection was lost with the horse. We explored that often in our need to ‘get things done’ we can leave our team behind us. As leaders we need to keep our awareness up about this and focus our attention to bringing the horse (ie the team) along with us. This is the essence and value of presence in leadership.
The Power of Presence Equine Assisted Learning workshop for your Leadership Team.