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  • Writer's pictureAnnette Nilsson not always what we think it is

Do you mean what you say? Is your intention wrapped into words which transport it to your colleague, partner, friend? Does the message come across?

Do you say what you mean? Do you dare to express what you feel, truly? Boundaries, criticism, emotions? Does the choice of words depend on the addressee?

You see, we are so conditioned to listen to words and attach a whole lot of meaning, if not all to those words.

Did you know that our spoken communication amounts only for 20% of the whole of the communication process, and the rest is expressed by your body language? And therefore we use words and say a lot but our intention, message, meaning, idea can be totally different. Are we aware of this incongruence? Yes! Most of the times, we are aware of white lies, of being diplomatic, or hide our true intentions by using kind words.

And that is fine, as long as you are fine with it! But if you feel more and more uncomfortable not being able to express yourself, not trusting yourself that you may say what you intent, feel, think, then it is time to do something about it! Do you feel a sort of blockage in your throat? Or around your heart? Your body knows, and it is up to you to listen to it!

Here, the horse as an assistant coach comes into the picture. Horses communicate mainly through body language, and they are masters in detecting incongruence in our communication. They mirror us, and that mirror always shows the true condition in which we are. How it works? The 'magic' ingredient are mirror neurons, but that is the subject of a different blog article. For those who can't wait, look it up, or read Dick Swaab's 'We are our Brains'.

As herd animals, horses constantly communicate with each other, very subtly, very clear, once you know what to look for.

Why would you want to work with horses? Leadership issues, miscommunication and conflict in teams, difficulties to access or express emotions, mismatch between spoken and body language are just some of the areas where horses are the master coaches. My role is that of an mediator, interpreter if you like. I guide you into the process, safeguarding you, and helping you to decode the message of the horse, if necessary. Usually, that message is felt right away, and the truth it contains is pure, beautiful, sometimes confronting. I am at your side!

Horses flawlessly detect any incongruence between action and intention. And spoken words are actions! They give clear but non-judgemental feedback, and my role in this process is to explain their feedback to YOU!

In the videos, you see me interacting with two very different horses. Leviton, a Spanish horse is extravert, easy to convince, open for anything. So, it does take very little effort and energy from my side to get him moving, to interact, he is the happy compliant colleague who just loves to be of help.

Himesh, the Irish Cob is my first horse, very introvert, very smart and only feels motivated to 'work' when he sees a good reason for it, when you explained the concept and what will happen. I need to put in a considerable amount of energy myself to take him along, and to get him interacting with me. Once that connection is established, he is a trustworthy, steady and friendy fellow, loyal and stable. He is the nerd among the horses, needing a lot of time to think, to be on his own but absolutely honest and to the point.

Teams are seldom a homogenic group of people. Instead, you find that with some of the team members you get along well, communication is easy, and with others, it is somewhat more difficult, to the point where it is tiresome.

One of the most important responsibility of a leader is to adapt to the different characters, and temperaments of the team members.

Interacting and playing with the horses will show very clearly with who you connect easily, and which characters are more challenging. It will show whether your words match your intention, or not!

As a result of horse assisted coaching session, you will be

  • very aware of your body language

  • more confident in your leadership

  • suprised how little it takes to communicate clearly

  • inspired to try and talk differently

  • more conscious about setting your intentions

  • better in choosing your words

  • honest in your feedback

  • engaged in your communication and

  • able to adapt to the different needs of your partner, colleague, friend

Interested to know more, and where you can work with my horses and me? Check out the contact section, give me a call or drop me an email, I'd love to talk to you!

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