Anyone watching Sunday night’s Super Bowl (and that would be 111 million of you by last count) knows that the show’s advertising went “to the dogs.” The old adage of “babes, beasts and beauties” was as prevalent in the social-media-heavy Super Bowl XLVI as it was long before twitter and Facebook were ever created. Dogs were riding in trucks, surviving the end of the world, running on treadmills, admiring themselves in mirrors, chasing cars and wearing running shoes. Clearly, man’s best friend continues to hold a high place of esteem and reverence (at least in the eyes of today’s advertising exec’s.)
All that got me thinking about tips I’ve gleaned from my own dog, “Lucky.” A 17 month old Jack Russell Terrier mix can teach us a lot about relationships. I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned with you and welcome your comments.
1. Be a good listener– I talk to my dog. His response? Mostly he just looks, listens and nods approvingly. In addition to making me feel better, he’s there for me to sound out ideas. Do the same for your clients. Listen, and you’ll learn a lot.
2. Bark only if you have a good reason– I’ve never been able to stand “yippy yappies.” Whether it’s a dog or a person no one likes someone who’s always barking. Too much yakking gets nothing accomplished. Remember, if you can’t say something nice about somebody don’t bark at all.
3. Show people you love and appreciate them– There’s nothing like a wagging tail, nudge or hand lick to know you’re appreciated. Think of ways that you can do this for your customers, co-workers and family members.
4. Exercise every day- Even if it’s just a walk around the block the fresh air will do you good. Getting out in nature is invigorating.
5. Take time out to play- If you get the chance to play with your customers all the better. Whether it’s ball, golf, or simply enjoying a nice lunch together, spend some “off” time with your clients.
6. Be loyal- Show loyalty to your boss and to your customers. I always try to purchase my customers’ products, recommend them and support them in any way that I can.
7. Together we make a great team- There is no end to the things that a dog can do that you may not have thought possible. (I was astounded the first time I ever ran a race with Lucky. He was slowed only by the speed of his human!) I’ve found the collective brainpower of “we” with my clients is always so much better than either of us could do alone. Together, our creativity and knowledge can produce remarkable results.
What lessons have you learned from your pet that carry over to the business world? I’d love to hear from you.