Communication Lessons from Nature: Hugh Coppen

Show Notes

Why is listening a life saving skill in nature
Let's learn communication skills from the elephants 
In this enlightening episode, host George Torok chats with leadership consultant and coach, Hugh Coppen.

Episode #200 (Repeat of #57)

When he's not on safari in Zimbabwe, Hugh lives in California. 

Coming from a Zimbabwean farm, Coppen has a deep-seated love for wildlife. Now, as a leadership consultant, he channels his passion into valuable lessons for CEOs worldwide. His company, Tasimba, provides immersive safari experiences in Zimbabwe, creating a unique environment for personal and professional growth.

In this discussion, Coppin draws fascinating parallels between wild animal communication (especially elephants) and how we as humans can use similar communication methods. From understanding body language to acknowledging the power of silence, we explore lessons from the wild that can enhance our effectiveness in communication.

We delve deeper into 'listening' - not just to spoken words, but to non-verbal cues and our surrounding environment. Given their lack of speech, wild animals embrace body language and other communication modes that are insightful to us.

Coppen uses practical examples from the animal kingdom, like the positioning of an elephant's head or a flapping of the ears, to underline the importance of body language in effective communication and building listeners’ trust.

This episode, combining adventurous storytelling with critical leadership insights, is a must-listen for professionals looking to enhance their communication skills or anybody interested in learning from nature.

We also look at advanced communication skills in wilderness creatures like Rams and impalas,, especially during their mating seasons. These creatures have evolved complex vocalization methods and an astounding sense of sound, facilitating communication across great distances, safeguarding them from predators.

Another point of discussion is the intricate sub-aural communication method elephant families use. These communications, mostly unheard by humans and predators, help elephants coordinate complicated activities and respect for each other. The example of Cape buffalo herds coming together in large numbers during scarce resources is another humbling lesson to humanity.

Finally, we examine the immersive safari tours in Zimbabwe hosted by Tasimba. These tours provide a unique opportunity to understand nature’s wonders more deeply and learn valuable lessons about living harmoniously with nature. Many guests return with a renewed commitment to conserve wildlife and their habitats following these transformative experiences.

Consider the perspective of how observing wilderness communication can provide profound insights into better communication, collective living, and harmonizing with nature's wisdom.


Enjoy the beautiful wilderness photos here.



Your Intended Message is the podcast about how you can boost your career and business success by honing your communication skills. We’ll examine the aspects of how we communicate one-to-one, one to few and one to many – plus that important conversation, one to self.

In these interviews we will explore presentation skills, public speaking, conversation, persuasion, negotiation, sales conversations, marketing, team meetings, social media, branding, self talk and more.


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George is a specialist in communication skills. Especially presentation. He’s fascinated by the links between communication and influencing behaviors. He delivers training and coaching programs to help leaders and promising professionals deliver the intended message for greater success.


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