Getting people to start changing their own behaviour doesn’t need to take years. The same precursors for change that help produce results with “difficult clients” in psychotherapy in just 7 sessions do apply to leading others through changes and professional development in work life.

7 sessions means 7 weeks. Motivating and sparring healthy professionals to change cannot take longer.

You will need:

  • A basic knowledge of the psychology behind emotional leadership
  • The ability to spot and support precursors for change
  • Strong personal Emotional Intelligence

We don’t attempt to tell competent people how to do their work, but by running effective evidence-based training programs on Emotional Competency we help professionals better navigate in the world that is rapidly changing and demands the kind of people skills that aren’t taught in science and business studies. Over the past 20 years our scientific understanding has skyrocketed about the way the human mind learns, works, creates, motivates and stresses out. Our approach to leadership training is that we train you to be great with people, also with the more difficult ones, and to stay balanced yourself even and especially in challenging times.

Think of a modern factory line of robots producing sofas. The staff on the floor is specifically trained to keep the line running and producing sofas of the desired quality. If the line starts to spit out three legged sofas, someone’s job is to know what part to quickly fix and how. As a leader of people you are that someone in your factory. Your staff members are the various parts of the production line and your job is to keep the whole line running smoothly and producing whatever it is that you are expected to produce. If your factory suddenly starts to pack three legged sofas, do you know how to diagnose the core problems and how to “fix” people?

According to research, up to 90% of leadership skills are based on the individual leader’s Emotional Competence, or Emotional Intelligence as it is also called. Similarly, up to 80% of results in psychotherapy come from the therapist – patient – relationship, not the therapist’s theoretical framework or even the severity of the patient’s problems.

I support professionals and leaders with challenging interpersonal work to be both successful at what they do and content in their life. Three decades of working with people (and horses) backed with multidisciplinary background combining biosciences, education, coaching, and psychotherapy have convinced me that change, stress and challenges are unavoidable in life and at work but growth is optional. My speciality is helping individuals, leaders and organisations to grow and make the changes they need to for productivity, and do it without sacrifcing well-being.

I also coach you to strengthen your social and emotional skills. They differentiate excellent professionals from the average and are essential for everyone whose job is to lead, coach, motivate, support, teach or heal others. There are only a few evidence-based Social Emotional Skills – training programs available for adult professionals. I have created one of them. In addition, EASEL facilitation method has been evaluated useful in their own work by over 200 participants from various fields in Finland and abroad. You will benefit from all that experience and evidence-based program in all my services.

I will help you lead people through challenges and to be both successful and well. I will coach you to do the same yourself. I work as a confidential background aid and don’t market my services with clients’ names.

TakeTheLead Programs:

You get the basics in human behaviour, the “social brain”, and current scientific knowledge of stress management, learning / change, motivation, resilience etc. We work from theory to your cases and test the insights against theory. Our speciality is creating powerful, authentic, unique workshop experiences for even the most seasoned adventurers. And don’t worry, at ET the only reason you would be building a tower from blue balloons would be to highlight how it feels to be asked to do something stupid and besides the point.

All services are fully tailored to our client’s needs and wishes. To respect the privacy of our clients we don’t market with references. Instead, you can book a one-hour-talk to your Friday afternoon coffee, and decide for your self.


EASEL®TakeTheLead training programs and coaching strengthen your competences in e.g. the following core areas:

  • Personal and professional social emotional skills that, when strong, help you succeed and feel good in work and private life.
  • How to motivate staff to reach goals and to create the right atmosphere for them to move from striving to thriving (in spite of the unavoidable challenges and tough demands).
  • Real stress-management. Staying calm yet sharp in ever changing situations and turbulences. Effective tools for coaching people through stressful situations and skills to handle any situation without lapsing into the pitfalls of dominance, alienation, intimidation or victimization.
  • How to skillfully discuss difficult matters so that you find out what the actual problem is – if the TV is broken fixing the toaster won’t help- and you know how to influence the direction, atmosphere and end results of the dialog.
  • How to create an atmosphere in your organization that supports budding ideas, learning from mistakes, sharing silent knowhow etc.

Some of the key elements that separate EASEL®TakeTheLead from other training companies are

  • Truly multi-professional team
  • Efficacy proven in study on-going in Jyväskylä University Department of Psychology
  • Truly integrative theoretical foundation that combines the key elements from evidence-based models of SEL, coaching, teaching and psychotherapy, results from social neurosciences translated into language and tools everyone can use, and experiential social emotional learning.
  • Highly effective combination of individually tailored coaching and group process, psycho-education and EASEL®tools selected based on the topics in discussions, authentic experiential activities tailored to investigate those topics further, and guided processing linking new insights to your work.

We have over 200 experiential activities based on real cases, real situations, producing real skills and solutions that are useful in the office the next day. It is even possible to choose the “MasterClass” of social emotional skills training – experiential exercises with our trained EASEL® horses… Sounds crazy maybe, but wouldn’t you want to join the companies around the world that do send their board rooms and managers to train social emotional skills with horses? Even Stanford University runs a course with horses for medical students in “bedside manners”. We have run workshops with horses for leaders in Finland and Brussels who had no prior experience of horses, yet their response was that it was one of the best training they had had in years. Why? Because horses don’t listen to your words or read your business card. You have to be the whole you. And unlike civilized people, horses tell you if you are not fully present and convincing (usually by walking away). The feedback is immediate but you also get to make changes and try again.


It is well known from research and experience that to change thinking, actions, attitudes and beliefs quickly requires some powerful experience. EASEL®TakeTheLead programs combine individual feedback with group process, theory and experiential learning, a strong foundation in science e.g. social neurosciences, education, and psychology, and thanks to the every-day-examples, the participants are able to understand and integrate the learned into a meaningful working framework for own work. The insights gained invariably influence peoples’ private lives, too.

Request an offer of a program for your company, or sign up for the next open course!

7 + 9 =

Are you striving or thriving?


According to ancient Chinese teachings, a carriage is like the human body, the powerful horses emotions and desires, the harness like the will that ties it all together, and the driver like the mind that gets the whole lot going to one direction. We might add that the job of a corporate leader is like that of the groom in modern competitive carriage driving: s/he keeps the driver on the decided course, tracks the time, and balances the carriage over rough terrain and in fast turns…


Participants to our workshop listed the following examples of important new insights:

  • How to recognize own emotions and distinguish them from the emotion contagion from others in social situations.
  • How enhancing emotion regulation and the awareness of the influences of “a chemical cocktail” (of an emotion) in the body are important keys to personal development.
  • It is possible to learn to better regulate own emotions and reactions once you understand the process in the human brain and body.
  • The ability to feel empathy and compassion towards others starts from the experience of compassion towards self.
  • The importance of setting own boundaries and how to deal with “boundary violations” (conflicts) in a constructive way. Strengthening own social emotional skills to be more sensitive of other people’s boundaries when interacting with them. On the other hand, widening own understanding to not automatically take someone’s behavior as deliberate boundary violation if I haven’t expressed my boundaries clearly.
  • Own responsibility in social situations. Strengthening own social emotional skills and accepting that there are two responsible parties in every interaction.
  • Letting go of preconceptions and unhelpful attitudes and beliefs.
  • Own behavior and attitude may be a lock but also a gate to something new.

"Mari Louhi-Lehtiö has successfully combined to each training day a strong foundation in science (social neurosciences, education, psychology etc.) that, thanks to the every-day-examples, participants are able to understand and integrate into a meaningful working framework for own work. The insights gained invariably influence peoples’ private lives, too. I warmly recommend both EASEL® as a facilitation methodology and Mari as an outstanding coach, trainer, and lecturer."


“Social emotional skills are essential in our work when we train corporate leaders, executives and teams. The trainer’s own healthy self-awareness and ability for empathy (without being swallowed by it) are key elements for success in our work. EASEL® offers us as leadership trainers a solid framework for learning and analyzing our work. I have spent a year in EASEL Facilitator training but even in just one training day to my colleagues Mari increased their understanding about human behavior in an interesting way with the perspective of social neurosciences. Mari Louhi-Lehtiö has an exceptional ability to bridge evidence-based theories and scientific knowledge to every-day situations making her trainings engaging and convincing.

Many of our corporate clients struggle with constant changes caused by markets. Their work requires flexibility and ability to change but at the same time persistence to reach the goals with selected strategies. In our own trainings we have seen how the perspectives borrowed from EASEL® have generated new insights among our corporate clients and, in turn, helped them improve their work."

Our Thinking

When your job is to help, guide, teach, heal or lead others, ET’s programs help you do your job more professionally, more effectively, with heart and less fatigue.

EASEL®, is a method for increasing well-being and success at work and in private life through strengthening Social Emotional Skills. EASEL® benefits any work with people and should be in every interaction as a parent.

EASEL®Facilitator training program is for everyone who works with people and wants to become better at it. Our target groups are professionals whose job is to lead, teach, motivate, coach, support, counsel, serve or heal others.


If you want to be well and successful both at work and in your personal life, EASEL® helps you re-calibrate your Social Emotional Skills to better match the demands of your work and today’s world. EASEL®Facilitator training program also adds to your professional toolbox an effective facilitation methodology for experiential social emotional learning or therapy (depending on your background education)

Our Mission

EASEL Training’s mission is to help you stay happy, balanced, successful and creative in both your personal and professional life through helping you strengthen your Emotional Competence.

Our Vision

In our vision, social emotional skills are consistently strengthened as part of all education and training, personal development, and professional continuing education. Children’s social emotional skills and all-round well-being depend on the social emotional skills and balance of the adults around them.

Our Values

  • Open dialogue
  • Honesty and transparency
  • Professionalism
  • Community

EASEL Training helps those, who want success working with people, and combine their careers and personal life.

© 2016 EASEL Training Oy.