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A Felt Sense

A Felt Sense

I have just had the privilege of delivering a 2-day “Coach and Horses Programme” – using equine experiential learning techniques to enhance and develop coaching skills – to a group of experienced coaches. During the programme, we were exploring what some of the differences are between a good coach and a great coach. For me, one subtle, yet significant, difference is the coach’s capacity for attention and intention to attune into the other person and gain a felt sense about what is really going on under the surface of the story the coachee is telling us and, more importantly potentially, telling themselves.

This centred way of being that allows us to be in a peak performance state- a state of flow – when we intuitively know things, seems to have many names; HeartMath calls it “Coherence”, NLP “Full Body Identification” and Systemic Work, “Felt Sense”.

What seems to be in common with all these ways of working is that there is a deep sense of rapport, a connection that facilitates an exchange of energy and information which goes beyond our normal definition of empathy.

But how does this exchange really work – what actually happens? My work with horses has given me numerous insights into what this almost magical connection can reveal. I have countless different examples of how my clients have described their experience. Hence, I have hesitated previously to put pen to paper and explore this subject. So perhaps rather than try and find the words to describe this very special connection it would be more useful for me to share with you some of the ingredients that can help facilitate a state that would enable you to have your own experience with another human being (or animal if you so choose).

Here is one of the processes I go through before a coaching session to ensure I’m in an optimum state to support my coaching client.

  • I imagine roots growing from my feet anchoring me deep into the ground and holding me strongly in one spot
  • I put my attention on my various body parts from the crown of my head slowly down through my body until I get to my feet
  • As I scan my body I check for any pain, emotions or feelings, and acknowledge and appreciate them
  • I focus on my heart
  • I then start to breathe in a balanced breathing pattern imagining the breath going in and out of my heart
  • I breathe in to create space for release by filling my heart and body with air
  • I breathe out to release anything physically or emotionally I no longer have a need for, sending it down though the roots of my feet into the ground
  • I re-experience a time, place or person for which or whom I have a real sense of appreciation
  • I allow myself to absorb those feelings of appreciation as a breathe in and to radiate them outwards as I breathe out.

I then feel connected and ready to do the work needed. I do hope this is useful? I would love to hear how you get on using it.

When I was growing up, I loved to discover and learn. Finding different perspectives, new connections and fresh inspirations is the consistent purpose that has shaped my life and business.

My journey has made me believe everyone can discover more and learn how to change for the better, achieve in their lives, and create value where they work and belong.

Working as a trainer, executive coach and business consultant, I am passionate about helping individuals and organisations achieve their true potential. I have been working for a number of years with a wide range of clients from small independent businesses to national and international companies, as well as a growing number of private individuals to provide training and coaching interventions to increase performance and profitability.

Specialties: Through the Horses for Courses® programmes, I have been able to combine my two biggest passions; people’s potential and horses.

I encountered my form of “natural horsemanship or horse whispering” at the Lazy M Ranch in Alberta, Canada and quickly identified numerous links with personal and business development.

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