One of the most effective ways to evaluate good leadership is to observe how a horse reacts with a human being. Although leadership can be researched, evaluated and categorized, it is ultimately the reality of life which makes the individual an effective leader. Contact with horses can emulate this reality.
In what can be seen as an exceptionally unique leadership concept, the Executive Development-arm of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB-ED) will be offering a two-day workshop, Authentic Leadership through the Gift of Horses
, in April to mid-level managers, people who display management potential or for those who want to further their management skills.
Willemien Law, Head of Open Programmes of USB-ED, commented that through this programme
a manager can establish how his or her leadership style is experienced by others. This is accomplished by observing other members of the group and by taking lessons from a natural leader, the horse.
The presentation will be led by Yolanda Sing, an internationally acknowledged expert in human resources.
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is regarded as an emerging new leadership field in which experimental activities with horses are utilised to reflect the realities of life. Participants thus learn more about themselves and how to process behaviour, feelings and patterns. This assists in cultivating leadership skills, to develop problem and conflict resolution, to establish boundaries and remain within them, to deal with aggression as well as to improve non-verbal communication.
According to Law, horses are exceptionally intuitive and very well attuned in dealing with adversity in their surroundings. Horses will very quickly reflect any adverse behaviour which human beings may not be aware of. Working with horses presents you with a fair idea of yourself, how others perceive you, what motivates you, your adaptability and flexibility in changing circumstances, as well as your ability to lead. To accomplish a task with the help of a horse presents a wonderful metaphor for dealing with intimidating situations in real life.
“Participants will soon learn that when working with horses enforcing power is not an option and that a title means very little. Leadership only comes to the fore through achieving authority, the demonstration of reliability and the attainment of confidence,” said Law.
Participants will initially undergo an emotional intelligence assessment which will be followed up on completion of the programme to reveal any changes stemming from interaction with the horses.
will be presented in Durbanville in the Western Cape on 17 – 18 April and 4 - 5 September 2012. No previous experience with horses is necessary, and no horse riding is involved.