New Directions

By Jim Ward

New Directions
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A Dog’s Perspective?

“The dog, as we’ve seen, is a master looker, a skilled user of attention” – Alex Horowitz, Inside of a Dog

I was recently out walking my dog, Maddie, when I realized we can learn some important lessons from dogs about effective workplace behavior. I’ll admit it, I’m a dog person, always have been. Compared to humans, dog’s cognitive capability is extremely limited. However, we can learn a lot from our four legged friends. Admittedly, I’m not an expert in the psychology of dogs but do know one thing; when dogs are present, they are really present! Dogs have NOW. In your daily workplace conversations with co-workers, on a job interview, interfacing with your boss, etc. eye contact is very important. Part of being present is being attentive. It begins with eye contact. When a dog wants something, they are very attentive. All successful leaders I have worked with are attentive. What about body language? Dogs communicate with their tail, ears, and even their posture. Our body language can also communicate messages, both positive and negative. Your body language during any human interaction is an important way to communicate. Think about it next time you have an workplace interaction. Were you attentive? Did your posture suggest something negative? It’s all about communication through movement. Flexing to the moment is also an important skill to think about. Again, dogs are not worried about what the future holds. We need to learn to flex to what is going on now and not worry or think about what’s happening in the future. In the end, it comes down to effective and positive interpersonal skills. Without these, success on the job will be difficult and challenging.

Until next time…



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