[Face Your Fears, Building Confidence, Strengthening Teams for Businesses - Meet The Beasts for Business]

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[Face Your fEARS &: Grow in Confidence _ Meet The Beasts For BusinessListed below are a few of the personal highlights from Meet The Beasts over the past months. These are not so much triumphs for us, but for those brave enough to face their fears & have a go. NB. None were 'willing volunteers'!

We hope you will be encouraged to see that no matter how great our fears, if we are prepared to face them we can achieve much more than we originally thought possible.


CASE 1: Financial Controller with an Intense Phobia of Snakes

At a recent Sales & Marketing conference for a leading German insulation manufacturer we encountered a Financial Controller with a serious phobia of snakes.

At first she could not even look at the snakes we were showing. However, over a period of about 35 minutes she gradually moved closer to the group as she watched her colleagues interact with the various snakes we were taking round. By the end of the session, she was holding Geoff our boa constrictor imperator.

Afterwards we met her in the corridor of the event venue & she was so excited to tell us about how good she felt. She had also plucked-up the courage to do a bit of fire walking after she'd been with us, but that is another story ...

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CASE 2: Marketing Executive with Serious Fear of Snakes

At the same Sales & Marketing conference, we discovered part-way through one of our sessions that a member of the Marketing team who was present was really scared of snakes & spiders, to the extent that he started to shake & sweat profusely whenever we came near him with any snake.

However, despite his fears he was absolutely determined that he was at least going to touch a snake. Over the course of the session he handled all of our snakes, including our boa constrictor imperator.

It was also great to see such an encouraging & celebratory response from his colleagues as he made each small step forward. By the end of the session his confidence had grown to the extent that he even volunteered to stroke a tarantula as an encouragement for a lady with serious arachnophobia (fear of spiders). Through his willingness to do this simple act, the lady also eventually stroked the spider.

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CASE 3: Lady With a Serious Phobia of Snakes

During October 2013 we attended a business event called LBE13. As part of the run-up to the actual event, there was a pre-exhibition meeting for exhibitors, where we could get together, meet other exhibitors, learn about the best way of using the day & introduce ourselves to our exhibitor colleagues.

As usual, I had a little surprise in the shape of Geoff our young Boa Constrictor. Matt & myself stood up, introduced ourselves & then introduced Geoff. A lady sat about 10 to 12 feet from us went pale, stood up & moved to the back of the room rather quickly!

At the end of the meeting we were stood talking to people & introducing ourselves (& Geoff) & the lady in question slowly approached us from various angles, watching Geoff's interactions with her friends & colleagues. Eventually she asked if she could touch Geoff which, after some time & effort, she managed to do.

Over the next 10 or 15 minutes the same lady came back several times to touch & stroke him.

She approached us again at the actual exhibition & asked if she could stroke Geoff again. Eventually she plucked-up the courage to hold him & spent the rest of the day telling the other exhibitors & delegates of her elation at being able to conquer her phobia.

We have participated in several business exhibitions since that day & although she's still not keen on snakes, she loves Geoff!

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CASE 4: Man With a Fear of Snakes

One of our biggest challenges was when we were invited to Cardiff, specifically with the objective of helping a man overcome his fear of snakes.

We arrived & were greeted by the man & a bunch of supporters (including his parents) who were there to help (but also to have a go themselves). Over the period of about an hour-and-a-half we introduced him to five of our snakes, starting with our smallest (Wesley, the Western Hognose Snake) & working up to our larger boas.

Our big reward was that not only was the man himself confidently holding the snakes by the end of the session, but so were all the other people in the house, including his mother who had been in the grip of a 50-year phobia of snakes.

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CASE 5: Female Teacher With a Serious Phobia of Spiders

As part of our business we visit schools to deliver reptile & minibeast experiences to support science, enhance topics & also to build confidence in the children/students.

Teachers therefore, encounter our animals with their students!

One particular teacher was seriously phobic of spiders, especially the ones she found in her kitchen, living room & bath. Over a period of about 30 minutes we encouraged her to encounter our placid curly haired tarantula, Samba, first by looking at her through the glass progressing to her stroking the animal.

Amidst goose bumps, various expletives & a lot of hesitation she eventually stroked Samba. The relaxation of tension in her body was visible as she mastered her phobia.

We heard a couple of weeks later that she was still encountering her 'home guest' spiders & although she was not totally relaxed when they appeared she no longer fled from the room & had even manage to catch one in a glass & put it outside.

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CASE 6: Male Teacher With a Phobia of Spiders & 'Creepy Crawlies'

It's not only the ladies that struggle with reptiles & creepy crawlies.

At one school we met a male teacher who was quite seriously perturbed by almost anything that crawled or moved quickly. He identified a couple of quite distressing situations from his childhood where he had been on the receiving-end of others' jokes.

Over a period of an hour he watched as various insects, arachnids & arthropods were shown to the children. He gradually moved closer to the action & eventually touched a number of different animals.

At the end of the session he commented, "Thank you for your patience & help. Today I feel I have broken the hold those phobias had on me. I'm not there yet but I've made a start & it feels great!"


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Dr Stuart Wood
c/o Meet The Beasts (for Business)
31 Burder Street
LE11 1JH

Telephone + 44 1509 553362
Mobile: + 44 7814 628123
e-mail: dr.stu@ntlworld.com



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