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

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? rbrenbJJuZEOemGsUeUlRner@ChacuAPIZaPpjcsmSpTXoCanyon.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:

Locate your dry cleaning wherever it is in one of the Standard Time Zones of the WorldThe Loopy Things We Do at Work
At the end of the day, your skill at finding humor inside the dull and ordinary can make the difference between going home exhausted and going home in a strait jacket. Adopting a twisted view of the goings-on might just help keep you untwisted.
The Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft is seen reflected in the glasses of Expedition 36 backup Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASAFiltered Perceptions
How we see things influences how we see things, almost like a filter or sunglasses. What are your filters?
The USS Doyle as DMS-34, when she played The CaineReverse Micromanagement
Micromanagement is too familiar to too many of us. Less familiar is inappropriate interference in the reverse direction — in the work of our supervisors or even higher in the chain. Disciplinary action isn't always helpful, especially when some of the causes of reverse micromanagement are organizational.
A pipe tomahawk dating to 1740-1780How to Avoid a Layoff: Your Relationships
In troubled economic times, layoffs loom almost everywhere. Here are some tips for reconfiguring your relationships with others at work and at home to reduce the chances that you will be laid off.
Richard Posner, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in ChicagoSome Subtleties of ad hominem Attacks
Groups sometimes make mistakes based on faulty reasoning used in their debates. One source of faulty reasoning is the ad hominem attack. Here are some insights that help groups recognize and avoid this class of errors.

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

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

Cargo containers at a port of entryComing May 31: Unresponsive Suppliers: III
When suppliers have a customer orientation, we can usually depend on them. But government suppliers are a special case. Available here and by RSS on May 31.
A blue peacock of IndiaAnd on June 7: The Knowledge One-Upmanship Game
The Knowledge One-Upmanship Game is a pattern of group behavior in the form of a contest to determine which player knows the most arcane fact. It can seem like innocent fun, but it can disrupt a team's ability to collaborate. Available here and by RSS on June 7.

Coaching services

I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenUXRhXhFmSaJWPyRVner@ChacwTKHSMyyuYIdFgqIoCanyon.com or (617) 491-6289, 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

Creating High Performance Virtual Teams
Many Creating High Performance Virtual Teamspeople experience virtual teams as awkward, slow, and sometimes frustrating. Even when most team members hail from the same nation or culture, and even when they all speak the same language, geographic dispersion or the presence of employees from multiple enterprises is often enough to exclude all possibility of high performance. The problem is that we lead, manage, and support virtual teams in ways that are too much like the way we lead, manage, and support co-located teams. In this program, Rick Brenner shows you how to change your approach to leading, managing, and supporting virtual teams to achieve high performance using Simons' Four Spans model of high performance. Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for this program:

The Race to the South Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers
On 14The Race to the Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers December 1911, four men led by Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole. Thirty-five days later, Robert F. Scott and four others followed. Amundsen had won the race to the pole. Amundsen's party returned to base on 26 January 1912. Scott's party perished. As historical drama, why this happened is interesting enough, but to organizational leaders, business analysts, project sponsors, and project managers, the story is fascinating. Lessons abound. Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for 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 Follow me at Google+ or share a post 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.
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.