Great coaching can come from a variety of sources, even our pets! When we are being coachable, we can better see and benefit from our environment. Here are a few pearls of wisdom I picked up from my pooches.
1. If it is not about food, love, fun, or comfort, why stress over it!
Dogs are clear about their priorities and so should we – and the simpler the better!
2. We need to walk!
My dogs put their paws down and demand a walk. It’s like they are saying, “Hey, it’s not raining (ergo not winter in Seattle) so we should be outside. Sometimes at work I forget to get out and move a bit during the day and my brain cells regret it. Everyone should take a walk – every day!
3. A good life is when we have enough plush seating for everyone.
All creatures deserve to feel comfortable where they live and work. As a manager, we need to make sure that our work environments are inviting and pleasant.
4. Share and share alike.
Dogs know when one has gotten more treats or attention than the other and they let you know of their disapproval. At work, we need to make sure that we pay attention of all our team members and colleagues, not the just ones of like mind or with similar personalities. People can tell and feel when they are not our favorites. Dogs howl and moan, but often people will just keep their disappointment inside.
5. It only needs to be a little special to feel REAL special.
It’s the little extras, from the heart, that makes the greatest difference.
6. When I’m excited and engaged I pull!
As managers, we want to inspire our team members and peers such that they are jazzed about work. Pull leadership is much more powerful than push leadership.
7. I trust you.
I once had a blind husky who trusted me to walk him anywhere. Sundance would run forward with all his energy and he knew I would never steer him into harms way (which was nearly always true). When we earn trust, people willingly follow us, even if the new landscape is unfamiliar.
8. When I eat too late, I gotta go in the middle of the night.
Success and peace is often about planning and timing. A good plan will lead to greater peace and sleep!
9. I’m more likely to tolerate cats that I have been with for some time.
Bringing together diverse points of view is best done through spending real and meaningful time together. It takes some time, but mutual respect and perhaps even friendship is possible.
10. Tomorrow, all is forgotten.
Each day has the potential for being great. No grudges, no judgments. Each new morning is another day to go for a walk, bond with humans, and score treats. Life is good.
Here’s my pack: