After working with Amanda on a governance retreat, I asked her to put together a team building and leadership session with horses. I had a fractured team, made up of both old and new staff members.  They just weren’t jelling. I had recently hired a new medical director, and we both decided that we wanted to work with Amanda. Our goal was to get the team to stop pointing fingers at each other and to just be themselves with the horses, and each other. I hoped that we could lose focus on the negativity and, in the process, learn about each other as individuals instead of as coworkers. When everyone wanted to meet up at a restaurant afterwards – something that had never happened before – I knew it was successful!

“Working with the horse wasn’t an informational seminar.
It was about taking my team out of the normal realm of being told how to work as a team to experiencing it.”

It was about both the individual and the team, and we learned more about our identity in each. Amanda made the statement that as a group we learned and worked together faster than she had seen before, and that was a take-home point that we were proud of. In the medical field that is how we have to do it. We will always complete what needs to be done. When we quickly accomplished some tasks, Amanda asked us to do more – she pushed us to see how far we could go. As a team we didn’t give up. We were focused on achievement and if we didn’t achieve our standards, we did it again.

Academy_9-2012_115Even though we still have occasional tension as a team, they are working together for patient needs, and that piece still continues today. The little reminders of the retreat are powerful. After the workshop, Amanda sent a DVD  of our experiences. It made many staff members cry, and brought back all that day was about.

Working with Amanda is so invaluable because she can mold the training to what the group needs to accomplish and she is very in-tune with those needs. She works from her personal leadership experience. When I share with her what I think, she immediately ‘gets it’ and is flexible.



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