As an observer and listener to consumers I’ve been ‘trained’ to see the world differently. I recently realized that one can learn a lot about human behavior by one’s dog. Jax, our 95lb Rhodesian Ridgeback has taught us many things. The ones that resonate the most and have had the most impact on my life include the following:
1. Every dog is different
2. Touching is key in every relationship
3. Body language and using your voice is very effective in getting what you want
3a. Loud whining also works
4, Your dog learns faster than you do
5. Stay focused and don’t overreact — like when your dog chews your glasses
6. Be grateful of his presence everyday even when all 95lbs are on your foot
7. Humility — thinking you know everything about something and you know “jax”s—t
8. Being loved by your best friend even when he tries your patience
9. Praise and rewards, even small ones, go a long way
10. No matter how difficult the situation, he will always find a way to melt your heart!
11. Change is not easy – take a different path home and all hell breaks loose
Bonus: Life is a training session!
Let’s take a closer look at some of these lessons —
Every dog is different: Jax is our third Ridgeback. We thought we knew how he would be and that we could easily train him ourselves. After all, Remy, our first one was so laid back that he was affectionately known as The Big Easy. Our second one, Ben was a Momma’s boy and also easy to train. Even though Jax is a Ridgeback, he marches to his own drummer. Lesson Learned: If you think you know someone (including your customers or clients) the truth may surprise you.
Be grateful of his presence everyday: Life is short, especially in dog years. Be grateful for the people in your life (especially the furry ones). Lesson Learned: Your customers and clients (whether furry or not) are what get you up in the morning. Respect and cherish them!
Praise and rewards, even small ones, go a long way: This is true for four legged friends as well as human ones. By the way, a small reward such as a blueberry works really well in training Jax. Lesson Learned: Praise and small tokens of recognition help to motivate us and keep us coming back. It’s amazing how this works in creating loyal employees and customers!
Change is not easy, take a different path home and all hell breaks loose: Change is the only thing we can count on (in addition to taxes and death). Lesson Learned: Change is the most important thing to keep us going, especially when things are going along fine. Change provides opportunities which provide solutions. If you create change and better outcomes, everyone around you will benefit!