Carole D’Apote, Program Communications Manager at Federation Centres

I recently attended the workshop, “Tapping into the other 90% – Horse Wisdom for Evolving Leaders.”

This is no ordinary workshop. If you are expecting to spend the day around a whiteboard, think again. The facilitators take you through a series of thought-provoking activities that have real applications in the ‘real world’ – not just at work.

The venue was spectacular – a sprawling country property that is easily accessible from Melbourne. It was the perfect setting for taking a break from the world of work and was an opportunity to reflect on how to act in a more authentic way.

Through the workshop, I was taught how to listen to my heart and ‘gut’ in a very authentic and practical way.

The day culminated in an optional activity to interact with a horse. My fear of horses made this an incredibly challenging activity for me. However, I took one tiny step out of my comfort zone and a whole new world opened up to me. I used the tools I’d learnt through the day and they immediately paid off.

My interaction with Katarina, a huge Andalusian mare, was profound. It will stay with me forever.

What I learnt:

  • By committing to just one small step towards something fearful, without expectation, I opened myself up to a wonderful new learning experience; and
  • Despite her imposing stature, Katarina was patient and kind. She helped me realise that for an interaction to be authentic, I was required to stay in the moment and allow the session to unfold in an organic way. My trepidation confused her at first, and as soon as I took a calmer approach, Katarina responded in the most wonderfully positive way.

I would recommend this workshop to anyone – leader or otherwise – who is prepared to learn a few new skills and apply them to their lives.

For me, I feel less apprehensive around horses. But, more importantly, I continue to use the techniques I was taught during the workshop. And, hopefully, I bring more authenticity to my interactions in the process.

It was an inspiring day, and I can’t wait to do it again.

John Gillman, Change & Communications Consultant

Putting a halter on a horse? Easy. Well not really. Walker was clearly in control but through persuasion, patience and gentle reassurance I managed to place it around his neck. It’s amazing how difficult something so simple can be. And relating it to work? I’m reading “sponsor “for horse, and “broken project” for halter. Horse Wisdom for Evolving Leaders gave me a new appreciation of the challenges – and power – of influencing an outcome.