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Dancing at the White Horse

The White Horse sign

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We stood nervously in a big circle like schoolchildren at a honky-tonk called The White Horse, listening to a 8th-generation Texan teach us the Texas Two-Step. Two roles available: leader or follower.

For the leader, the left hand provides the “joystick” that guides the follower on the dance floor. The trick for the follower? Follow. Don’t lead! Sounds funny but it’s true. When you get a group of strong women learning the Texas Two-Step, the urge to lead can overwhelm the best of us. But wait. I’m “leading” the story. Let’s “step” back a minute.

The Dance

Dancing teaches us presence in the best way possible. In either role, leader or follower, we need to connect with the other person in that moment if we want it to work. Leaders must show followers where to go on the dance floor. Followers must listen and respond to what the leader tells them. Talk about a metaphor for life!

At The White Horse, we danced with each other and then with Two-Steppers far more experienced than us. Each of us adopted the roles of leader and follower. Through these experiments, we discovered new steps, turns, and dips.

Followers learned to let go of the need for control. Leaders noticed that when the follower places her trust in the leader, you can’t let her down. Both parties realized each dancer plays a necessary role.

Alignment

When we danced in unison, the leader led and follower followed. It felt easy. We moved up the Emotional Guidance Scale (Enthusiasm / Eagerness / Happiness) by physical movement.

Moreover, dancing aligned us internally (with ourselves) and externally (with our partners). In order to harmonize with our partner, we had respond to their cues which meant connecting with their dancing/movement not just ours. We achieved that by feeling with our five senses as opposed to intellectualizing with our minds. Alignment happens when we feel good. When we feel good, it’s because we’re living our values.

Dissonance

When we got out of alignment, dissonance happened. We lost the rhythm and the connection. To get back in sync, we had to tune in to our partner and ourselves. Dissonance felt uncomfortable. We both wanted to get aligned because it felt better to work together than against each other.

In broader terms, recognizing when we feel dissonant is a good first step to identifying our values because dissonance acts like a two-way mirror. By highlighting what we don’t like, we can clarify what we do like.

Dance in this Moment

One of the cornerstones of the coaching model I use (Co-active coaching) is “Dance in this moment.” It means being present to whatever shows up with the client. As a coach, I don’t have an agenda. My job is to support the client’s agenda. My response may vary based on the moment. I can coach using any of my tools, Fulfilment, Balance, or Process, based on what I think the client needs then. I dance in the moment by doing the coach’s Texas Two-Step.

Dancing feels good. It’s fun! It teaches us to live in the moment. We connect to ourselves and others when we do it. Dancing shows us through the body how alignment and dissonance feel. I encourage you to take a night out to go dancing and watch the magic happen. Take a photo and send it to me!

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.

MM

I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.

MO

Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.

LE

I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!

VB

Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.

MM

I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.

MO

Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.

LE

Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.

LM

Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.

CP

From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.

AG

Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.

VB

I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.

OS