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Over 100 social sector leaders were treated to a masterclass from Carolyn Stenhouse on Thursday 6 June at the NonProfit Alliance’s monthly NPA Keynote event, proudly sponsored by Blackbaud.

The audience heard that it took a giant rescue dog to teach Carolyn, a behavioural scientist, an invaluable lesson that how you show up impacts your influence; wisdom Carolyn generously shared with the group.

Yuri, a dog ‘the size of a small horse’ was a beautiful animal, but challenged Carolyn constantly until she had a fateful meeting with a canine behaviouralist. Carolyn discovered that Yuri needed to know that she was in charge to feel safe. Every day without fail, she had to show him that she was the boss, not just with her words, but with her body, her face and her very energy.

People, just like dogs like Yuri, feed off facial expression, posture, body language – as well as what is said to understand meaning and feeling. To have real impact and influence, people need to focus more on how they present to the world, as well as what they say.

To help improve impact and influence, Carolyn encouraged the room to:

  • Start off with self-mastery
  • Know your emotional triggers
  • Invest in and actively focus on how you move your face and body
  • Learn about Transactional Analysis in the OK Corral, and
  • Be the energy you want to attract.

Practical, useful and easy to start applying today, Carolyn’s pointers could help every social sector leader to create the impact and influence they seek.

For more information about Carolyn Stenhouse, visit

Jane Ferrier

About Jane Ferrier