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.
Is 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!
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More articles on Emotions at Work:
- One Cost of Split Assignments
- Sometimes management practices have unintended consequences. To reduce costs, we keep staff ranks thin,
but that leads to split assignments for those with rare skills. Here's one way split assignments can
lead to higher costs.
- The prevalence of overwork has increased with the depth of the global recession, in part because employers
are demanding more, and in part because many must now work longer hours to make ends a little closer
to meeting. Overwork is dangerous. Here are some suggestions for dealing with it.
- On Differences and Disagreements
- When we disagree, it helps to remember that our differences often seem more marked than they really
are. Here are some hints for finding a path back to agreement.
- Directed Attention Fatigue
- Humans have a limited capacity to concentrate attention on thought-intensive tasks. After a time, we
must rest and renew. Most brainwork jobs aren't designed with this in mind.
- Regaining Respect from Others
- When you feel that a colleague has lost professional respect for you — or never really had respect
for you — what can you do about it? Check your conclusions, check whether it's about you, and
ask for a dialog.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming October 12: Downscoping Under Pressure: II
- We sometimes "downscope" projects to bring them back on budget and schedule when they're headed for overruns. Downscoping doesn't always work. Cognitive biases like the sunk cost effect and confirmation bias can distort decisions about how to downscope. Available here and by RSS on October 12.
- And on October 19: Bullying by Proxy: I
- The form of workplace bullying perhaps most often observed involves a bully and a target. Other forms are less obvious. One of these, bullying by proxy, is especially difficult to control, because it so easily evades most anti-bullying policies. Available here and by RSS on October 19.
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