For those that know me well, it will come as no small surprise, that my partner and I have recently taken a puppy into our home.
It’s also fair to say that although it’s very cute, it comes with super responsibility, and it is a real life-changer, but hopefully when the ‘training phase’ is over, we’ll be left with a joyous bundle of fluff.
It did make me realise though, the way a puppy views life is a not something to be sniffed at, and perhaps a lesson to us all.
One of the most rewarding things about having a puppy is the welcome you receive when coming home. The puppy is never in a bad mood, never too busy to look up when I walk through the door, and never grunts a half-hearted ‘morning’ when I see her for the first time each day. She leaps and bounds and tells me her day just got better because she saw me for the first time. I’m not suggesting employing such a greeting in your office, but a chirpy and genuine ‘good morning’ to your friends and colleagues will tell them that you care, you are interested in them and with that, you help them to approach their day with a smile, rather than a heavy heart.
In a puppy’s world, everything is new and exciting, and that excitement is a joy to watch. A walk is always fun, a stick is like Christmas, and an old sock… well words cannot explain! Look around your team and spot the puppies; those that approach everything with a smile. They like to learn, they like new things, they have a slight bounce in their step, and they are super positive. They are probably the best performers too, certainly the clients’ favourite. Don’t you prefer to work with the puppies in your team?
There is also a lesson in puppy training. Positive encouragement is always better than punishment. Scold a puppy and you end its world, its sad eyes can melt even a cold heart. But reward and encourage a puppy to do things right or better, and it doesn’t just learn, but it enjoys the process. This is the best way to train a new member of your team. Highlighting or even ridiculing mistakes as your new starter is learning will only encourage them to hide their next mistake. Too much telling will stifle creativity and experimentation, the only route to real change.
A puppy can change you, and so can each new person that joins your team.
So as they learn, make sure you do too. Learn from their fresh new view of the world, it could in a small way, make yours better.