The power of the out of office experience

20 July 2011

Two Yorkshire business education experts have teamed up to provide the ultimate training experience for corporate teams and leaders.

Equine-assisted leadership specialist Sarah Kreutzer, of Learning to Listen, uses horses to improve the communication skills of business people as part of her management training programmes based at Carlshead Farm, near Sicklinghall.

Now attendees will now have the option to take their learning a step further with resident bushcraft survival expert Phil Pemberton.

Top barristers, airline pilots, dentists, surgeons and chief executives are among those who have already put themselves forward for a night or two under the stars with nothing more than the clothes they stand in.

“When I take people out of their urban comfort zone and strip away everything that’s familiar to them it’s quite normal for them to go downhill very quickly and with the wrong attitude survival can be very difficult,” explained Phil, who trained with Ray Mears and once lived in the wild continuously for eight months.

“By the end of their survival experience they feel very different and are usually standing ten feet tall, having learnt a lot about themselves and the way they operate in the workplace.”

As well as showing them how to make fire, hunt and cook squirrels and catch fish Phil’s bushcraft courses teach people about problem solving, overcoming adversity and self-discipline.

“Ours is the first generation for hundreds of thousands of years that has no practical knowledge of nature. Most people have little idea how the food they eat gets to their plate let alone how to survive off the land,” said Phil.

Sarah Kreutzer, who teaches communication skills to teams and leaders through exercises out in the field with horses, said removing people from their office environment and bringing them closer to nature was a powerful way of encouraging a new approach to working.

“Equine assisted training is increasingly used by businesses that are keen to create a more holistic working environment to improve both morale and performance.

“The techniques are particularly successful in organisations that have seen significant organisational change or whose board members and senior management are hungry for a shift in ethos as well as a boost to productivity,” she said.


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