What Your Dog Does…

Audio Blog, 4:30

No, not THAT

I am referring to the simple, but powerful habit that elevated dogs to the distinguished status of “Man’s Best Friend”.

Do you ever wonder how dogs can so easily establish bonds with family, friends and strangers, while many people cannot?

Dogs have an amazing habit that is quite easy for you to emulate, and will endear you to co-workers, team members, social and business networks, and personal relationships.  The habit is so simple that an adolescent could learn it immediately.

If you arrive home from work, frustrated, angry and distant, you are still greeted at the door by your reliable dog, shaking with enthusiasm, wagging his tail, and showing his best canine smile.

Dogs have the “how can I help?” attitude.   

  • If you want to throw a ball, the dog wants to retrieve it for you.
  • If there is danger lurking in the dark, the dog wants to alert you.
  • If a blind person needs help walking, the dog wants to guide her.
  • If you are sad, the dog wants to make you happy.
  • If the police are looking for a child, the dog wants to find him.
  • If the agents are searching for drugs, the dog wants to locate them.
  • If your home is invaded, the dog wants to protect you.
  • If a fire starts, the dog wants to warn you.

In this regard, we should emulate this canine attitude in our daily life, and approach every situation with a simple question: “how can I help?”

Instead, so many people take the opposite approach, and ask:

“What do I get?”

This flawed approach is based on self-interest and short-term thinking, and is based on prioritizing immediate personal gain.

Think about these scenarios…

A bright, young college graduate is frustrated after receiving mindless, elementary tasks from her new boss. Would she receive more challenging assignments sooner, if she completed the simple work in a professional, timely and positive manner?

A football player complains that the coach won’t put him in the game at his favorite position. What if he volunteered to play any position that the coach thought would best help the team win?

A businessman privately participates in a social media group to keep himself updated. Would his social media network, and access to information, improve if he began by contributing information to current members?

A transfer student is disappointed that he can’t seem to find people at the new school who are interested in getting to know him. Would he have more success if he first focused on showing a genuine interest in his classmates?

An ambitious lawyer allocates time to networking events to get access to future opportunities. Would his long-term network be more powerful and generate better future opportunities, if he focused on assisting people who currently looking for work?

A busy church member wants to join the well-functioning church committee. Would she be more valuable to the congregation if she volunteered for the committee in most need of help?

An employee does only her assigned work in return for pay and benefits. Would her long-term compensation improve if she identified the firm’s most difficult problems, and then proposed creative solutions?

It’s about how we approach life. If we utilize this powerful habit perfected by “man’s best friend”, our long-term results will be much better.

So the next time you walk into a conference room full of frustrated, fatigued, and sullen-faced co-workers, start by smiling first, then asking them “How can I help?”

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