Lesley Holyoake – Equine Assisted Facilitation – Feb 2011 – Present
At home I was juggling many aspects of my life, in fact it felt like I was juggling them all in order to make them work better for me. My husband had decided the marriage was over and I was not finding it easy to accept his decision. At work I had very little income and a lot of anxiety over bringing in income through my business. I lacked confidence with networking and marketing to make it happen and personally, I was constantly fighting in my own head with the decision to stay self employed or go back to being employed.
Which sessions did you attend?
I started with several taster type sessions and had a couple of coffee and chats with Sheryl when I was very kindly invited to join Sheryl’s Excel group for one year coaching and mentoring. At first I had absolutely no idea whether I really wanted to commit myself for a year. Sheryl reassured me that this was a journey we would start together and at any point I didn’t think it was working I could opt out. This left me feeling like I had control over what I was committing to.
Once I was in it, I realised that you always asked what I would like to have happen so as the client I was designing the programme with you and therefore I always got what I wanted. You collaborated with me to make it happen and created the space but ultimately I learned to be sure I was asking for what I wanted. From day one it was a partnership in the true sense of the word. And I feel very fortunate to be able to continue to share space with you and co- facilitate when the opportunity arises.
The Excel programme meant that I had one to one sessions which were amazing, fabulous and significant in terms of providing me with resources, insights and understanding on a personal level. These sessions underpinned all the other work.
Power groups were fun, creative and key to my business growth as they allowed me to listen to myself as well as to how others solved similar challenges.
Do, Delegate or Ditch provided me with clarity and understanding of why I had not been able to plan like others and gave me more confidence to find my own unique way of working. But the real light bulb moment came when I attended the Motivate, Manage or mentor session where I recognised my blocks around feedback and how that was preventing me from being myself in groups and my personal relationships. This was pivotal in every aspect of my life and developing the resources to know how to feel safe to speak up in my relationships is still proving to be life changing.
What has happened? What were the results?
At work I feel more confident that I am creating a business and life that is true to what I want. I am able to work in an environment where I have built relationships with great people I value and when ‘stuff’ comes along, I know that even if I feel a bit wobbly, I have many more ways of getting back on track quicker and more effectively. I feel like I am creating some really solid foundations for the future. I can network confidently now and engage in conversations. I have also been able to take a temporary employed role to provide financial stability during this period with confidence that I was not letting go of my dream.
At home, I realised how poor my verbal conversational skills were… however the good news is that I am beginning to understand where my language patterns were unhelpful, what I can do to change it and how I would like it to be. This was painful and uncomfortable learning but so valuable and as a result my connection with my family just goes from strength to strength
Personally I have more confidence in myself, my ability and able to be more relaxed around other people balancing their needs and wants with my own.
This is partly because I am more resourced than before so no matter what happens I always feel okay. I am also now able to listen more accurately and appropriately. I am more aware of the dynamics of two- way verbal conversation so can notice when it is changing and what I can do differently to keep it as enjoyable as possible!
Who would you recommend Step by Step Listening too?
Everyone is the short answer!! People who want to learn to listen better and improve their conversational ability so they can develop or improve the quality of their lives, their relationships and or their businesses.