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:
- Totally at Home
- Getting home from work is far more than a question of transportation. What can we do to come home totally
— to move not only our bodies, but our minds and our spirits from work to home?
- Responding to Threats: I
- Threats are one form of communication common to many organizational cultures, especially as pressure
mounts. Understanding the varieties of threats can be helpful in determining a response that fits for you.
- Animosity Patterns
- Animosity between two people at work is often attributed to "personality clashes." While sometimes
people can't get along, animosity can also be a tool for accomplishing strictly political ends. Here's
a short catalog of some of its uses.
- Staying in Abilene
- A "Trip to Abilene," identified by Jerry Harvey, is a group decision to undertake an effort
that no group members believe in. Extending the concept slightly, "Staying in Abilene" happens
when groups fail even to consider changing something that everyone would agree needs changing.
- When Somebody Throws a Nutty
- To "throw a nutty" — at work, that is — can include anything from extreme verbal
over-reaction to violent physical abuse of others. When someone exhibits behavior at the milder end
of this spectrum, what responses are appropriate?
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming January 22: Disjoint Awareness: Bias
- Some cognitive biases can cause people in collaborations to have inaccurate understandings of what each other is doing. Confirmation bias and self-serving bias are two examples of cognitive biases that can contribute to disjoint awareness in some situations. Available here and by RSS on January 22.
- And on January 29: Higher-Velocity Problem Definition
- Typical approaches to shortening time-to-market for new products usually involve accelerating problem solving. Accelerating problem definition can also help. Available here and by RSS on January 29.
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
Many people 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.