Eponaquest News — January 10, 2016

shutterstock_278723168 (2)In the upcoming, four day Power of the Herd workshop, Linda Kohanov will integrate the tools introduced in her 2013 book by the same title with material from her upcoming book The Five Roles of a Master Herder: A Revolutionary Model for Socially Intelligent Leadership. Participants will receive a pre-publication copy of the new book, as well as a copy of The Power of the Herd, both of which will be used as texts for the workshop and beyond. These books not only provide relevant historical, cultural, and scientific research, they offer step-by-step procedures for how to take this innovative, horse-inspired wisdom back to the human world.

Professionals in leadership, education, social service and non-profit organizations, personal development, and even therapeutic/family systems fields have embraced this new model as an accessible and engaging way to build the skills necessary to excel in life and work. Equestrians from amateur riders to professional trainers to animal rescue personnel have also benefitted from understanding this model and the accompanying experiential techniques.

“The skills I learned in the Power of the Herd workshop were tools that I was immediately able to apply in my work as HR Director, as well as my personal life,” notes Holly Harris-Reid, Human Resources Director for the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. “Not a day passes that I don’t call upon my experiences and learnings from the workshop. They are practical, powerful, and relevant tools for relating to others as well as one’s self.” 

There are four spaces left in the January 29 to February 1, 2016 workshop. To register: http://eponaquest.com/workshop/the-power-of-the-herd-leadership-for-the-21st-century/. (Note: This is Linda’s only offering of the in-depth four-day version of this workshop in the next six months. No horse experience necessary.)

An Innovative Approachshutterstock_268513313 (2)

I knew there was an ‘appropriate’ use of power, but could not figure out how to get there,” explains Theresa Moore, LCSW, LPC, who attended the fall 2015 POH workshop along with Holly Harris-Reid and other participants from across the US, Canada, and Europe. “This is where the horse work is invaluable. Head knowledge is necessary for understanding, but the actual experience working with the horses is what provided a visceral change. Talking about it only provides one part of the solution – understanding. Actually allowing our bodies to participate – priceless!”

I have been an individual and family counselor in private practice for over 30 years and a family counselor at a private school PK-8th grade for 20 years,” Theresa continues. “As a result, I attended many workshops and seminars for continuing education credits as well as personal growth.  Over the years of attendance, there is a point reached when finding new information is rare.  What I thoroughly enjoyed about the Power of The Herd Workshop was the challenge of actually practicing these new concepts and skills. The information Linda presents is fresh, interesting, practical and worth every penny!

shutterstock_12188467 (2)The January 29 through February 1, 2016 Power of the Herd workshop at Linda’s home base in Arizona offers an in-depth, equine-facilitated learning experience based on work that she has introduced around the world. “As Theresa Moore discovered, those who take the time to attend the four-day equine-facilitated version really enhance their learning through fun, inspiring, yet safe, non-riding activities with horses,” Linda says. “But I’ve also been impressed with how people respond to this model in larger indoor workshops and lectures.”

In fall 2014, Linda was asked to present the Master Herder model in Paris to a multi-lingual audience of entrepreneurs and business students at the Executive MBA Program “Leading Innovation in a Digital World” de l’Institut Mines-Telecom. Didier Tranchier, head of this international program, wrote that the two-hour presentation “changed my life and the life of everyone in the conference room that night. Explaining the differences between a dominant and a leader, and the usefulness of predatory power when balanced with nonpredatory power were real insights to understand how companies are working and how we can improve our efficiency. With very simple words and great examples coming from the world of horses and traditional herding cultures, Linda explained the power of groups and how to build relationships that can enable any individual, even a child, to steer and leverage large and powerful organizations.

Over the last three years, Linda has also taught the model to a variety of businesses and organizations, including non-profits, therapeutic riding centers, and executives from Chubb Insurance, the Bensman Group in Chicago, Raytheon and the Nike Systems Innovation team in Portland, Oregon, among others.

Our team had the benefit of working with her for a day long indoor training and we came away energized and eager to put many of her principles into practice,” said Sarah Severn, who served as Senior Director, Stakeholder Mobilization, Systems Innovation at Nike, Inc. “I would definitely recommend Linda’s work both for personal mastery and team building.” Right after the workshop, the executive noted,  “I resolved a tricky situation with a very dominant personality” using skills presented from The Power of the Herd and the Master Herder models.

During the January Power of the Herd workshop, Linda will also feature the Master Herder self-assessment test that she created with Juli Lynch Ph.D., an organization development specialist, author, and Eponaquest Advanced Instructor.

I have found that the addition of the Power of the Herd program to my Eponaquest body of knowledge has not only enhanced my work as an equine facilitated coach but also my work as a life coach, executive coach and organizational consultant, where often it is not possible to interact with horses in order to teach the concepts,” Juli reveals.

In particular, I’ve taken these concepts, materials and activities into my work as an organizational and management consultant in the banking industry. The response has been extremely positive. POH concepts have assisted board members, executives, managers and front line staff to learn to thrive in the highly regulated and competitive world of banking where small, family-owned community banks are literally running for their lives as the predatory big banks trounce on them in an effort to acquire and consolidate the industry. By assisting these organizations in building their cultures around the POH 12 Guiding Principles and the Master Herder model, concepts such as developing assertiveness, engaging creatively, addressing conflict, and using emotion as a tool for awareness before action, my clients and I have seen positive culture shifts and bottom-line improvements that stand as testimony alone to the power of the POH.

A Bit of Background

Over the last two years, the skills introduced in The Power of the Herd have been enhanced by the development of The Five Roles of a Master Herder, the topic of Linda’s new book, which will be published in June 2016.

The model offers a potent, deceptively simple way to understand—and transform—group behavior.

“The Five Roles are based on studies of traditional herding cultures and experiences with my own herd of horses,” Linda reveals. “Pastoral tribes travel vast distances through changing climates. Along the way, they meet up with different cultures, facing both two and four-legged predators at times. Even so, they manage to keep the herd and the tribe together without fences and very little use of restraints, relying instead on a sophisticated understanding of instinctual group dynamics, mutual aid, and interspecies socialization.shutterstock_265353827 (2)

“Experienced herders in these cultures learn to employ five different leadership roles as needed, and I mean that each herder knows when and how to use all five, rather than specialize in one or two. These roles are the Leader, the Dominant, the Sentinel, the Nurturer/Companion, and the Predator. In our sedentary culture, most people—even accomplished equestrians—have lost this knowledge. Few people realize that in herds of freely roaming herbivores, the Leader and the Dominant are often two different animals, that they perform specific functions essential to the group’s well being, and that the other roles I mentioned also contribute to the healthy functioning of a herd, even when humans are not present.”

“I quickly realized that modern humans would also benefit from understanding when and how to use these five roles interchangeably, fluidly, as needed. I also observed that when humans overemphasized one or two roles (as most people in our culture are inclined to do), each role has a shadow side that results in dysfunctional behavior. We’re well aware, for instance, that people who overemphasize the role of Dominant or the role of Predator can wreak havoc in businesses, in families and most certainly in politics. Your average dictator takes it one step further, combining the roles of Dominant and Predator, enslaving and victimizing people in order to thrive at their expense. But many people don’t realize that these two roles are useful, necessary in fact, when separated and employed sparingly, for very specific purposes, by people who are well versed in nonpredatory forms of power, people who know when and how to employ all five roles for the good of the tribe. For many people, it’s also counterintuitive, yet ultimately enlightening, to realize that even the Nurturer/Companion role can have toxic effects in organizations and families when this function is over-emphasized in an individual.”

The Five Roles of a Master Herder makes sense of previously confusing group dynamics, while helping people to develop a mature, balanced, mutually empowering approach to leadership and social intelligence: at work, school, home, and in larger cultural contexts.

“All kinds of audiences really get excited about this material,” Linda says. “Many have told me that simply hearing a short talk on this model provides an immediate sense of relief, helping them to see that much of the conflict occurring in groups is instinctual, not personal. When combined with horse-facilitated activities that exercise these roles, individuals and organizations become more confident, more compassionate, more thoughtful, empowered and supportive of each other.”

Therapists and educators also find the model useful. “Linda has pioneered an innovative approach to understanding human behaviors in groups,” says author, psychologist and family reunification expert Dr. Rebecca Bailey. “Her insights are applicable to a wide variety of populations. By understanding the unconscious, often purely instinctual power plays in human relationships and nature, she is helping people shift old power patterns to be more effective in all their relationships. Corporations, educators, families and individuals will benefit from looking at themselves from this life altering perspective.

The upcoming book will also include the self-assessment tool for people to learn which roles they are talented at (and tend to over-emphasize) and which roles they ignore or actively avoid. This assessment helps people understand how they use, or misuse, these various roles in their professional lives as well as in their personal lives. “What we have found in testing this material over the last three years,” Linda reports, “is that people sometimes overemphasize certain roles at work, while engaging in the habitual, yet still dysfunctional, overuse of other roles with family and friends. Learning how to balance all five roles at home, school, work, and in larger community settings is key to experiencing greater harmony, effectiveness, and joy in all aspects of your life.”

For more information on the upcoming Power of the Herd workshop, and to register: http://eponaquest.com/workshop/the-power-of-the-herd-leadership-for-the-21st-century/.

To organize an indoor workshop or horse-facilitated team building clinic for your business or organization, contact Linda Kohanov at rasa@eponaquest.com.

For people who would like to learn how to teach the POH skills, Master Herder model, and other Eponaquest tools, The Power of the Herd January 29 to February 1 workshop counts as fulfilling both the introductory and one advanced workshop requirement for entering the Eponaquest Apprenticeship Program, an in-depth training for educators, therapists, and equine professionals who would like to incorporate these tools in their own equine-faciliated learning, counseling, and/or coaching practices. For more information http://eponaquest.com/overview/.
Eponaquest Instructors who have studied these advanced techniques directly with Linda Kohanov are now leading workshops and private sessions on five continents. Those who Linda endorses to teach the Power of the Herd/Master Herder have the designation “POH” next to their names on a list of Recommended Instructors at http://eponaquest.com/recommended-instructors/.
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