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High Performing Teams Pull Together (Equine Guided Coaching)

What’s getting in YOUR way?

The average business team achieves only 63% of the objectives of their strategic plans*.

* “Turning Strategy into Great Performance”  August 2005 Harvard Business Review
   –  Authors Michael C. Mankins and Richard Steele


More often than not leadership is performing as a group of high performing individuals and not as a Team… even though they know that if they pulled together they could accomplish much more.

Breakdowns a team could be experiencing include:

  • Lack of pulling together as a team to fulfill customers requests.
  • Promises broken – deadlines missed – customers dissatisfied
  • Lack of accountability for managing promises.
  • Lack of “alignment” regarding execution in specific areas.
  • Performance targets not being met.
  • Projects not being done right, not being completed on time.
  • Conflicts of personalities.
  • Emotions running high because of conflicts, breakdowns and chaos
  • Employees frustration level is high – morale low.
  • Employees believe they’re receiving unclear, changing, unrealistic requests
  • Employees feel promises have been broken by management

Equine Guided Workshop Outcomes and Long Term Results

  • Increased ability to make clear, effective requests and manage promises.
    • Strengthening the team’s ability to coordinate action by making effective requests and managing promises is a key focus of this workshop. The team is encouraged to discuss real-life examples of where they have experienced breakdowns in requests and promises, and to use the experiential learning exercises to explore alternative ways of behaving and interacting with one another. The horses provide feedback and guidance regarding the effectiveness of their requests. See Why Horses?
  • Enhanced leadership presence. Awareness of the importance of body and declaration in leadership.
    • Participants experience what’s required to be a strong leader. In addition to being a member of a Leadership Team, each participant needs to lead their own team. Making clear requests and managing promises effectively are essential elements of coordinating action and leading a team. The experiential learning exercises with the horses focus on developing the ability to operate from clear declarations and intentions, holding people accountable and creating a leadership presence that inspires others to follow.
  • Participants get direct feedback from the horses regarding how their presence and focus is impacting results today (and receive instant feedback on the results that can be achieved when the presence is changed).

    • Leadership presence – awareness of how subtle changes in one’s body can affect their leadership credibility.
  • Awareness of the importance of intention and ability to operate out of intention.
    • Impact of clear intentions – actual experience and feedback regarding the importance of clear intentions and how clarity and focus impacts people’s willingness to follow the leader.
  • A clearer understanding of the practices of High Performance Conversations, a way of speaking and listening that coordinates action effectively.
    • Exercises are designed to reveal ways in which the team performs well, and reveal areas where the team can improve its performance. In areas in which the team needs to improve, coaching and experiential learning exercises to help the team discover ways to improve are provided.
    • Participants experience and practice the elements of a High Performing Team.
    • Participants begin to develop a foundational set of skills for developing a culture of promise management within their team. They will become aware of the importance of clarity before making requests and securing promises. Participants also strengthen their ability to hold their team members accountable for making clear requests, securing and managing their promises.
  • Greater awareness and experience of 3 domains of learning: language, body and emotions

Our Approach:

  • We provide a custom-designed, two day Equine Assisted Learning workshop to improve Team coordination and performance.
    • An advance survey / assessment or interviews are conducted to assess the current state of the Team.
    • The survey results are documented and analyzed in preparation for the workshop.
    • Specific workshop exercises are designed based on desired outcomes and survey analysis to give the Team direct experience of how they perform individually, and as a team, and how they can improve.
    • Observations, coaching and recommendations are provided at the workshop and in a follow-up session after the workshop. The debrief includes assessments and recommendations for further leadership development, communication improvement and team building based on what was observed in the workshop. The results of the assessment can be used as a baseline for measuring improvement.

No riding experience necessary. All learning experiences in these sessions take place on the ground.

Please call Larry Freeborg at 612-723-5395, or e-mail him at to explore how a Stepping Through The Gate “High Performing Teams” workshop using horses can improve your Team’s performance.


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