Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 17, Issue 17;   April 26, 2017: Why Dogs Make the Best Teammates

Why Dogs Make the Best Teammates

by

Last updated: August 8, 2018

Dogs make great teammates. It's in their constitutions. We can learn a lot from dogs about being good teammates.
A vizsla in a pose called the play bow

A vizsla in a pose called the play bow, which is a dog's way of saying, "Let's play!"

I'm not suggesting that dogs will improve your next team meeting because of their outstanding talents in computer architecture — nothing like that. But they do know how to be great teammates. If you doubt that, have a dog or two attend your next team meeting, and notice how much more fun it is. Here are some of the things dogs do so well.

  • Dogs are loyal. They'll support the team in any way they can. They won't knowingly do anything to harm the team or any of its members.
  • Dogs are 100% trustworthy. They're reliable, dependable, and honest. They'll do as you ask to the best of their ability.
  • Dogs show their feelings. When they're happy to see someone, there's absolutely no doubt about it. When they'd rather not see someone, that's just as obvious.
  • When dogs feel ashamed of having transgressed, they show it. They don't lie about it or pretend they did nothing wrong. They fess up. It's their way of apologizing. They continue to apologize until the apology is accepted. When it is, they move on.
  • Dogs are brave. Dogs show their feelings. When
    they're happy to see someone, there's
    absolutely no doubt about it.
    They'll take significant risks to support the team.
  • Dogs are talented readers of their teammates' moods. They know how others are feeling. If someone is celebrating, they always want to join in. They try to comfort anyone who seems to them to be feeling low.
  • Dogs bear no grudges. If there were difficulties yesterday, that was yesterday. Today is a new day. They let the past stay past.
  • Dogs keep their promises. It helps that they make no promises they can't keep.
  • Dogs are always looking for fun. Whatever they're doing, they try to make it fun. Nothing overly complicated, just fun.
  • Dogs quickly recognize the faithless and disrespectful among us, but they don't write them off. They try to win them over.
  • Dogs deal with their teammates one by one. They won't shun one teammate because other teammates do. Everyone is a possible pal.
  • Dogs make their preferences known. They let us know what they like and what they don't. That way, we can then avoid asking them to do what they really don't want to do.
  • Dogs are very clear about their moods. No faking. If something bothers them, they make it clear, and it gets straightened out.
  • Dogs focus on right now. They don't let tomorrow's worries spoil today's fun.
  • Dogs accept their place in the hierarchy. They're grateful for the good they find in their lives.
  • Dogs can't be fooled into believing that virtual meetings are as good as face-to-face meetings. If they can't smell the other people in the meeting, they know the meeting isn't real and they adjust their expectations accordingly.

Dogs differ, just like people differ. Maybe some of these attributes don't fit for every dog you know. That's OK. They don't fit for every person I know, either. Go to top Top  Next issue: Start the Meeting with a Check-In  Next Issue

303 Tips for Virtual and Global TeamsIs your organization a participant in one or more global teams? Are you the owner/sponsor of a global team? Are you managing a global team? Is everything going well, or at least as well as any project goes? Probably not. Many of the troubles people encounter are traceable to the obstacles global teams face when building working professional relationships from afar. Read 303 Tips for Virtual and Global Teams to learn how to make your global and distributed teams sing. Order Now!

Your comments are welcome

Would you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenzOxQZPkshtYiFOJgner@ChacLiLuSBOmhFvJbjDVoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.

About Point Lookout

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.

Point Lookout is a free weekly email newsletter. Browse the archive of past issues. Subscribe for free.

Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.

Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.

Related articles

More articles on Emotions at Work:

Pencils come with erasers for a reasonWhen You Make a Mistake
We've all made mistakes, and we'll continue to do so for as long as we live. Making mistakes is part of being human. Still, we're often troubled by our mistakes, even when we remember that many mistakes turn out to be great gifts. Why do we have such a hard time acknowledging mistakes?
Too much time on his handsHurtful Clichés: II
Much of our day-to-day conversation consists of harmless clichés: "How goes it?" or "Nice to meet you." Some other clichés aren't harmless, but they're so common that we use them without thinking. Here's Part II of a series exploring some of these clichés.
The Challenge vs. Skill diagram, showing the "Flow" regionTop 30 Indicators That You Might Be Bored at Work
Most of the time, when we're bored at work, we know we are. But sometimes, we're bored and we just don't realize it. Here are some indicators of boredom that might escape some people's notice.
An iphone 7Compulsive Talkers at Work: Peers II
Our exploration of approaches for dealing with compulsive talkers now concludes, with Part II of a set of suggestions for what to do when peers who talk compulsively interfere with your work.
A large audience listening to a speakerGetting Value from Involuntary Seminars
Whatever your organizational role, from time to time you might find yourself attending seminars or presentations involuntarily. The value you derive from these "opportunities" depends as much on you as on the presenter.

See also Emotions at Work and Effective Communication at Work for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

A rainbowComing May 29: Newtonian Blind Alleys: II
Some of our decisions don't turn out well. The nature of our errors does vary, but a common class of errors is due to applying concepts from physics originated by Isaac Newton. One of these is the concept of spectrum. Available here and by RSS on May 29.
Signing the Constitution of the United States, 1787And on June 5: I Could Be Wrong About That
Before we make joint decisions at work, we usually debate the options. We come together to share views, and then a debate ensues. Some of these debates turn out well, but too many do not. Allowing for the fact that "I could be wrong" improves outcomes. Available here and by RSS on June 5.

Coaching services

I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenVWDBXSkDtGRSUsbjner@ChacIcENIkBcKeVzNAjDoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.

Get the ebook!

Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:

Reprinting this article

Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info

Public seminars

The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
Many The Power Affect: How We Express Personal Powerpeople who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.

Follow Rick

Send email or subscribe to one of my newsletters Follow me at LinkedIn Follow me at Twitter, or share a tweet Subscribe to RSS feeds Subscribe to RSS feeds
The message of Point Lookout is unique. Help get the message out. Please donate to help keep Point Lookout available for free to everyone.
Technical Debt for Policymakers BlogMy blog, Technical Debt for Policymakers, offers resources, insights, and conversations of interest to policymakers who are concerned with managing technical debt within their organizations. Get the millstone of technical debt off the neck of your organization!
Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunBad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? Learn what we can do when we love the work but not the job.
303 Tips for Virtual and Global TeamsLearn how to make your virtual global team sing.
101 Tips for Managing ChangeAre you managing a change effort that faces rampant cynicism, passive non-cooperation, or maybe even outright revolt?
101 Tips for Effective MeetingsLearn how to make meetings more productive — and more rare.
Exchange your "personal trade secrets" — the tips, tricks and techniques that make you an ace — with other aces, anonymously. Visit the Library of Personal Trade Secrets.