Horse sense: MCC workshop teaches emotional intelligence through interactions with horses
Submitted by McHenry County College
The McHenry County College Workforce Training program and Main Stay Therapeutic Farm are teaming up to offer an innovative new class this fall.
"Harnessing the Power of Emotional Intelligence for High Performance" is a one-day workshop that invites attendees to visit the farm in Richmond to learn emotional intelligence skills through meaningful interactions with horses. The class will be held from 8:30 a.m. -- 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9.
"Developing our emotional intelligence is essential but not always easy to do," said Pat Kallaus, coordinator of Shah Center operations at MCC. "We get stuck in our habits, stories, and patterns of behaviors and we can't see our path to change. This workshop gives participants the opportunity to evaluate and work on their emotional intelligence in a special, hands-on way."
Kallaus and Main Stay's program director, Jean Maraist, came up with the idea for the workshop after many discussions about possible collaborations between their two programs. Earlier this spring, Kallaus and Catherine Jones, MCC's Associate Vice President of Workforce Development, visited the farm to experience a sample of leadership development classes using the horses.
"After that, I knew this was a unique opportunity we needed to offer our business leaders and community," said Kallaus.
The workshop combines traditional classroom discussions and activities with specific interactions with the horses at Main Stay.
"Horses are prey animals and have an innate ability to read and respond to our inner emotional state. They are masters at spotting our patterns and giving us immediate feedback so we can change our feeling and behaviors to produce desired outcomes," Kallaus said.
In the course, participants will learn how and why emotions play a critical role in effective leadership; develop their emotional intelligence by learning to recognize, listen to, and appropriately respond to their emotions; identify emotional blind spots that keep us from connecting, motivating, inspiring, and positively impacting self and others; learn to adapt their behavior to achieve desired outcomes; and draw upon the equine experience to create practical strategies to accelerate their performance.
"This program is ideal for business leaders, mangers, top performers, and emerging leaders," said Kallus. "It's really a great opportunity for anyone who wants to better manage their own emotions, strengths, and skills, or the emotions and skills of their employees."
The program costs $799. No horse experience is necessary to attend. All horse interactions will take place on the ground; no riding involved.
To register, visit www.mchenry.edu/workforcetraining.