Challenge of the Week
February 1, 2018

COMMIT

Rule #1 when working with horses: Be very clear about your boundaries, while simultaneously respecting theirs. Same with humans! To set and respect boundaries is critical to human communication, and yet we’re not taught how to do it. When we practice this life skill with a horse, we understand instantly how powerful it is. Their sheer size and presence requires…
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Challenge of the Week
January 18, 2018

PAUSE

Sometimes it’s difficult to build time into our day to simply pause. For many of us, life is one task after another - and often we’re required to multi-task. But when we pause before we send an email or respond to someone’s words or actions, we gain a new perspective that can help us navigate the circumstance better, with more…
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Food For Thought
January 13, 2018

Perspective

Notice anything odd about this photo of the New York City skyline? If you’re familiar with the shape of the iconic Empire State Building (just left of center) you may notice it looks slightly bloated in this photo. Why? From this perspective, the shorter, fatter New York Times Building is positioned directly in front of it - obstructing all but…
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Challenge of the Week
January 4, 2018

CONNECT

What happens when you’re talking to someone and their phone lights up or ‘pings’? Inevitably they break the connection and either glance at it or address the interruption. To truly connect with someone, we must give them our full attention. This is an absolute requirement when working with horses. The moment you lose focus, the horse becomes distracted and you’ve…
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Challenge of the Week
December 28, 2017

SURRENDER

We all have patterns of behavior that show up when "troublesome" emotions like anger, or disappointment arise. If you’ve noticed your reactions and thought “Wow I could’ve handled that better” - that’s a huge step in the right direction. While those patterns may have worked for you in the past, that doesn’t mean they still work. Just noticing this puts…
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Challenge of the Week
December 21, 2017

RESPOND VS. REACT

How often do you reply to an email, text or social media post based on your immediate reaction? The digital culture we live in almost demands an immediate response - instant gratification. Problem is, it can quickly turn into what I call instant mortification. What’s the difference between a reaction and a response? Time. Reactions are quick, agitated, and done…
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Challenge of the Week
December 14, 2017

WHO’S SPEAKING?

I have a friend who uses a foolproof cue to stop herself from judging others. When you find yourself silently (or vocally) judging another, stop and ask out loud - with genuine curiosity - “Who’s speaking”? as though it couldn’t possibly be YOU judging someone. The more often you do it the quicker you’ll catch yourself being judgy. And the…
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Food For Thought
December 10, 2017

Horse Time Vs. Human Time

My watch stopped this past January and after two new batteries and several failed attempts at the repair shop I took it as a sign... a sign to accept the Universe’s message to be more present in my work this year. Because in fact, there’s no other way to be when working with horses. Time is a human construct. A…
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Challenge of the Week
December 7, 2017

DO-OVERS

At the end of the day have you ever reflected on your words or actions and thought “Oh no, did I really say that? If only I could go back and do it over”… As kids, do-overs were a given. Working with horses has helped me realize that - even as adults - do-overs are not only possible, but they’re…
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Challenge of the Week
November 30, 2017

REDUCE CONFLICT

Have you ever known someone who can diffuse a situation simply by using humor? Levity, it seems comes naturally and effortlessly to them. For the rest of us, reducing conflict is a learned skill - and it CAN be learned. When we commit to enhancing our emotional intelligence skills, we actively look for ways to reduce conflict on a regular…
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Challenge of the Week
November 16, 2017

BUILD TRUST

~If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy~ It takes time to build trust with others. Often in business, a new leader will join a team and instead of building a rapport with her colleagues, she’ll dive right into the tasks at hand. Try to do this with a horse and you’ll likely get a view of his rear end.…
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Uncategorized
November 15, 2017

Back to Grazing: What Horses Can Teach Us About Leadership

 Click here to read my article published in Conscious Company Magazine   "A powerful yet relatively unknown secret of the natural world is that horses are models of emotional agility. In fact, they have a four-point method for using emotions as information to move through relationship challenges and environmental changes with confidence and grace."  
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Food For Thought
November 14, 2017

To Forgive is Equine

Forgiveness… why is it so elusive to many of us? I believe our traditional definition of this word - in part - is one reason we have such difficulty with the concept. To forgive, according to dictionary definitions, involves some form of the following: “to give up resentment against or stop wanting to punish (someone) for an offense or fault”.…
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Challenge of the Week
November 9, 2017

NON-JUDGMENT

One reason leadership training with horses is so successful is because horses show us our blind spots without judging us. To humans, this can seem counter-intuitive because judging others is deeply ingrained into our culture. This is the opposite of how horses operate. They show up willing and able to let us be ourselves, and then gently reveal to us…
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Food For Thought
November 3, 2017

Listen and Silent… are spelled with the same 6 letters

Last week a friend of mine shared his deeply personal feelings about a family member. In the moment, I recognized the opportunity to give a rare gift that I myself had recently been given: The gift of pure presence and silence - in human form.  Just as my friend did for me, I put my ‘listening hat’ on and kept it there.…
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Challenge of the Week
November 2, 2017

DO NOTHING

~Practice the ancient Chinese art of Wu Wei and discover effortless action~ Wu Wei is a concept in Taoism that literally means non-action. Beings who are in harmony with the natural order behave in a completely uncontrived way - as when the planets revolve around the sun. At first glance, doing nothing could appear irresponsible or lazy - but that…
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Food For Thought
October 28, 2017

What Mask Are You Wearing at Work?

Have you ever been uncomfortable around someone at the office without knowing exactly why? At times - especially at work - people who are struggling with something may try to hide their true feelings. This incongruence can appear to others as though the person is wearing a mask. Many of us will wonder if the issue has something to do…
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Challenge of the Week
October 26, 2017

BE AUTHENTIC

~Take off the mask and reveal your true self~ (These horses are wearing transparent fly masks) What does it mean to be authentic? It means coming from a real place within - a place where our actions and words are congruent with our beliefs and values. If you’re not sure about your authenticity, just ask a horse. They know instinctively…
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Challenge of the Week
October 19, 2017

APPRECIATE OTHERS

~Immediate positive feedback transforms teams~  A common challenge I hear from leaders is that they tend to be so focused on their vision that they lose touch with other team members, appearing aloof or self-absorbed. One way to mitigate this is to provide immediate positive feedback, a concept we learn in leadership training with horses. The moment the horse shows…
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Food For Thought
October 13, 2017

Networking… Horse Style

Whether you love it or dread it, networking can mean the difference between connecting with a potential new client, or... not. There are certain things we can do to engage with others successfully at networking events – such as offering a firm handshake (NOT a dead fish!), making eye contact, and listening more than we talk. But perhaps even more…
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Challenge of the Week
October 12, 2017

SELF-AWARENESS

"Knowing yourself is true wisdom, mastering yourself is true power" ~LAO TSU~ Did you know 90% of top performing leaders score high on emotional intelligence tests? Self-awareness - the first component of emotional intelligence - means having a deep understanding of your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and drives; and a healthy, realistic, honest view of yourself and others. If your goal…
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Challenge of the Week
October 5, 2017

NETWORKING

~Love it or not, we all have to do it~ Are you aware of your energy when you enter a room? Do you know how you show up in a group of people? Good networking skills are critical to our professional development, and these days since we rely mainly on electronic communication, our face-to-face and non-verbal communication skills may need…
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Food For Thought
September 29, 2017

Social Intelligence At Work

What is social intelligence and why is it important? Social intelligence is “the capability to effectively navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments”. It’s important because all successful interpersonal relationships (at work, at home, and in our communities) depend on our ability to effectively maneuver through our relationships. But where do we go to learn – and exercise –…
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Food For Thought
September 5, 2017

The Truth Lives Here

What is it about horses? How did they earn enough credibility to teach humans about leadership? Horses can see things you can't see... By their very nature, horses are masters of social intelligence and models of emotional agility. As animals possessing extremely large and sensitive guts - and hearts for that matter - they exhibit a remarkable talent for receiving and…
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Food For Thought
August 24, 2017

In Yo’ Face!?

While sparring at the boxing gym yesterday, my partner said – as she came in for a left hook - “there’s no such thing as personal space in boxing”! This got me thinking about one of the most important and foundational exercises we do in leadership training; one that horses are uniquely positioned to teach us: setting boundaries. The story…
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