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:
- Can You Hear Me Now?
- Not feeling heard can feel like an attack, even when there was no attack, and then conversation can
quickly turn to war. Here are some tips for hearing your conversation partner and for conveying the
message that you actually did hear.
- Responding to Threats: II
- When an exchange between individuals, or between an individual and a group, goes wrong, threats often
are either the cause or part of the results. If we know how to deal with threats — and how to
avoid and prevent them — we can help keep communications creative and constructive.
- On Virtual Relationships
- Whether or not you work as part of a virtual team, you probably work with some people you rarely meet
face-to-face. And there are some people you've never met, and probably never will. What does it take
to maintain good working relationships with people you rarely meet?
- Fooling Ourselves
- Humans have impressive abilities to convince themselves of things that are false. One explanation for
this behavior is the theory of cognitive dissonance.
- Toxic Conflict in Virtual Teams: Dissociative Anonymity
- Toxic conflict in teams disrupts relationships and interferes with (or prevents) accomplishment of the
team's goals. It's difficult enough to manage toxic conflict in co-located teams, but in virtual teams,
dissociative anonymity causes toxic conflict to be both more easily triggered and more difficult to resolve.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming February 1: The Big Power of Little Words
- Big, fancy words, like commensurate or obfuscation, tend to be more noticed than the little everyday words, like yet or best. That might be why the little words can be so much more powerful, steering conversations where their users want them to go. Available here and by RSS on February 1.
- And on February 8: Kerfuffles That Seem Like Something More
- Much of what we regard as political conflict is a series of squabbles commonly called kerfuffles. They captivate us while they're underway, but after a month or two they're forgotten. Why do they happen? Why do they persist? Available here and by RSS on February 8.
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