Effective communication at work, known as the meaningful exchange of information between two individuals or a person and a group of people in the workplace, has been a hot topic in leadership circles for a long time. No wonder! A lot can go wrong during social interactions with people.
Language barriers, cultural issues and environmental challenges – all can make effective work communication extremely difficult. Furthermore, the discrepancy between the message a person communicates and the news the other person receives may cause negative conflict, emotionally charged conversations, disengagement, low productivity and the like.
In a nutshell, there’s so much that can go wrong during the communication process. The problem is that we tend not to be aware of what causes the struggle!
Let’s look at what makes up the communication process.
The communication process and what it consists of
In simplified terms, communication consists of the following aspects:
Sender >>>>> Message >>>>> Receiver.
We communicate a message through two channels:
- Verbal communication
- And non-verbal communication
We all know that effective communication at work depends on excellent communication skills – which is what we can control. However, where a large part of the struggle derives from is the unawareness of the non-verbal communication cues we transmit.
Let me tell you this: Your people will always be influenced, consciously or subconsciously, by what is happening around them – which includes your behaviour and the message you sent via your body’s language!
To tackle this challenge, we must first understand what non-verbal communication is.
What is non-verbal communication
Non-verbal communication consists of two components:
How much space do you allow the other person? When you are communicating face to face, the way in how you treat the other person can make an essential impact on the effectiveness of the communication process. While standing too close to the other person can feel intimidating, being too far away can come across as distant and cold.
2. Body Language
Your body language can reveal indications of likings and disliking, submissiveness and dominance, and responsiveness – positive, negative, or mixed.
People perceive your message and respond according to your body language
During any work conversation, your body language will always tend to confirm or deny the truth of what you say. No matter the words you use, if your body language tells a different story, the likelihood is that the other person will read your body language as the truth and discount your words.
You may already know of and avoid well-known behaviour clusters, such as crossing arms, clenching fists, or not looking at the other person when speaking. However, there are many non-verbal signs that you utilize, which are outside of your conscious awareness!
As a matter of fact, to change your non-verbal cues, you need someone else to give you feedback on what it is that you communicate through your body. Makes sense? Great.
Now let me ask you, who could this be? Whom do you trust enough to ask for help in this sensitive matter?
I understand that it can be challenging to find the right person for this job. And people who have participated in role-plays during meeting-room style workshops tend to describe the process as artificial and limited.
Fortunately, there is a better solution!
Coaching with Horses
One of the most efficient and fun way to learn about your unconscious behavioural patterns / unconscious body language is through equine-assisted coaching – an innovative way of teaching that is on the forefront of becoming the go-to method in leadership development.
Curious, but don’t know how this works?
Here are just some of the reasons why you should consider participating in our equine-assisted leadership workshops:
- Horses cannot lie – they give you immediate feedback on your behaviour
- Horses are intuitive animals and can perceive emotional/ behavioural incongruency in an instant
- As Master Equine-assisted Coaches we are skilled in translating the horses’ messages and helping you uncover and change the unconscious patterns that are holding you back from achieving your goals
- What you learn from the horses will stick for a lifetime because it not only helps you understand things cognitively, but it also anchors the learning outcomes into your long-term memory by engaging both brain hemispheres (the rational and the emotional side)
- Horses touch your heart in a way so that change not only becomes possible but is inevitable!
What you can expect to happen during an equine-assisted coaching experience
You won’t ride the horses. Instead, you will communicate with them on the ground in a fenced corral or riding arena. One or more Master Equine-assisted Coaches will be with you during the whole time, creating a safe space for you to open yourself up to the experience. We will also make sure that you feel safe with the horses during the workshop. Between the exercises with the horses, there will be plenty of time for reflection and further discussion so that you can get the most out of your unique experience.
Want to have a one-to-one with horse and coach? While we facilitate our open workshops for a group of six to eight people, we also offer individual sessions if you wish for a more personal and discreet experience.
The time for change is now. Let’s begin!
Corina is a change agent, equine-assisted master coach, mindfulness practitioner and culture strategist. She is the co-owner of Brainpower360, an all-encompassing leadership and team development, and recruiting company. For over 30 years, they have provided their clients with workforce solutions and executive leadership training, ranging in such industries as manufacturing, IT, engineering, automotive, and more. Brainpower360 not only provides services to connect the right staff with the right organization, but also works to develop corporate cultures, inspire teams, and help people maintain and reclaim good health through resilience training and mindfulness interventions.