Whitepaper: Developing leadership skills through equine facilitated programs

Leadership is a widely studied subject rooted in the history of humans and organisations due to its significant impact on financial performance (Goleman 2000). The premise of leadership is the capacity to provide confidence and to motivate people to the realisation of a common purpose (Haslam et al. 2013). While effective leaders should have the capacity to translate a vison into reality (Haslam et al. 2013; Kohanov 2013) they should not be purely task oriented; but should also inspire and motivate people along the way (Palmer et al. 2001). Leadership skills are not restricted to only a few gifted individuals; many individuals possess the potential to become leaders. It is a question of experience, and the capacity to benefit and learn from one’s experiences (Mumford et al. 2000b).

As discussed in more detail below, there is growing body of research into how horses can help individuals to develop leadership skills (Keaveney 2008; Hausberger et al. 2008) and how horses can be incorporated into leadership programs (Duff 2010, Evans et al. 2009). It seems that by engaging horses in leadership coaching programs individuals become more self-aware, congruent and develop an increased sense of social awareness. Furthermore, involving a horse in such programs means there is an active experience in which the individuals involved receive feedback about their behaviour through the reactions of the horse … download full whitepaper

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