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Meet Jo, a Senior Executive in a Technology Company


Jo is intense and opinionated. She is considered brilliant but not the easiest leader to work with. She’s been known to fire or simply discontinue any coaching offered through her company. Her Human Resources specialist had not given up on her and thought maybe a different style of coaching might suit Jo. So she suggested Jo try Leadership Mojo Coaching. Jo, always courageous, jumped right in. She was intrigued by the idea of working with a horse.

It’s not like she or the horse took naturally to each other. Actually, the horse openly demonstrated his discontent with her high-pressure style by creating as much space as possible between the two of them in the arena. Though the distance was a touch disheartening for Jo, she appreciated the integrity of the horse’s feedback. She soon learned that simply trying to do get the task completed - in this case, moving the horse through some obstacles in the arena - wasn’t going to work by simply pushing through.

It wasn’t until Jo finally acknowledged that she was actually quite anxious and nervous, that the horse responded by immediately turning and slowly moving toward her. The moment Jo felt the horse by her side, she markedly relaxed.

Jo was surprised that an act of vulnerability, acknowledging she was anxious, was effective. Vulnerability was not Jo’s strong point. In fact, she had long adopted a tough exterior in order to survive the male dominated corporate world. So she was intrigued that when she did relax and drop into her own truth, she became much more effective and creative in communicating and working with the horse.

Her intention was to bring her entire team out to the ranch. Maybe the horse would help bridge what seemed like an impossible gap between her and her people. However, the team has yet to visit. Jo reports that her team is noticing a distinct difference in how Jo shows up at the office. They find her much more relaxed and curious about their input and easier to connect with. As a result the team is able to work much more effectively and together with her. She has yet to miss, cancel or fire a horse!


Susan Clarke and CrisMarie Campbell are Coaches, Consultants, and Speakers at thrive! inc. (www.thriveinc.com) They help business leaders and their teams use the energy of conflict, rather than – avoid or defuse it – to get to creative, innovative, profitable business results. You can see their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! On YouTube. They would be happy to coach you, consult with your team, or to speak at your next event. Contact them at thrive@thriveinc.com


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