Remember my blog about how Rebel joined our family? To recap: Scott wanted a new dog; I didn’t; I made it almost impossible for Scott to get a dog; Scott met all my requirements; we got Rebel. (Go back and read “Meet Rebel” on 7/18 for the whole story.) At the end of the blog, I commented that Scott now wants another dog … and Maggie really needs a sibling after losing Rebel a few years ago … so we got Clint! Clint’s journey to joining our family is the stuff of a future blog, but today I want to introduce you to this sweet boy and see the communication lessons we can learn from him. Clint, a rescue from the Houston SPCA, is a terrier mix, about 4 months old, 16 pounds, and super cute! Maggie is tolerating Clint (a big win for us!) but not quite ready for puppy play. We hope that one day Maggie and Clint will be as close as Maggie and Rebel. Fingers crossed! Of course, I’ll keep you posted, but for now, let’s see what communication lessons Clint can teach us! And to promote saving rescue dogs and the Houston SPCA, I’ll use the acronym to share my ideas!
S - Share your exuberance!
Clint LOVES the world … I mean he is so excited to see and smell EVERYTHING! Leaves, sticks, the carpet are all exciting and so very interesting. He is equally fascinated with the chair legs and my toes. I love watching him explore the world. When is the last time you approached a communication experience with that same puppy exuberance? When did you work to be positive and open and ready to see what can be accomplished in that meeting? When did you look forward to working with others to meet a goal or make a plan? Just like Clint, try to see things in an exciting and positive way. And go one step further - take a moment to share your exuberance. Email your co-worker to share that you are looking forward to working with him or her. At the beginning of that meeting, share your excitement about working to solve the problem or make the plan.
P - Put yourself out there!
At times, Clint is a bit timid and worried about trying new things. We recently took Clint on a camping trip in our motorhome, and for a bit, I could put Clint on the couch and he would NOT jump down. I had a moment or two to quickly finish my make-up or clean the dishes as Clint was too afraid to jump down off of the couch. But eventually Clint built up some courage and leaning way far off over the edge of the couch, he slowly slid down the side onto the floor. It took him a day or two, but he finally put himself out there and got off the couch. Great for him, but not so great for me. When is the last time you put yourself out there when it comes to communication? Perhaps it’s time to ask a coworker to lunch to build a stronger personal relationship. Maybe you can work to speak to every person you meet in a day. Or go to the next after work activity. Work to more strongly connect to others to increase effective communication.
C - Carry your load!
So I’m reaching a bit for this one - Clint loves to carry his own leash and walk himself. He has also picked up Maggie’s leash to help us out. Do you carry your own communication load? One of the best ways to keep up with communication is to respond to emails and texts. Work to create time in each day to address and organize messages. Find the best organizational strategy to make sure that you don’t allow messages to get lost in the shuffle. And if you get behind, make it a priority to catch up!
A - Acknowledge your good work!
We are working on sit, stay, and come with Clint, and our “good boy” and face rubbing seem to be working. Clint truly loves being a “good boy”! When is the last time you gave yourself a “good boy” or “good girl” after a good communication experience? Maybe you wrote a killer email or wowed your co-workers at the morning meeting. Give yourself a high five and take a moment to reflect on what worked well. Then work to repeat the strategies in the future.
etc Strategies believes that approaching communication experiences with exuberance, putting yourself out there to strengthen relationships, carrying your communication load by taking responsibility for your part, and patting yourself on the back for using effective communication strategies will help you in all professional and personal communication experiences. But here is Clint’s most important lesson -- if you want to expand your family and get a pet, go the rescue route and consider the Houston SPCA. (See the link below for more information.) I’m sure that there will be more Clint (and Maggie) stories and lessons. But for now, I’m going to be a “good girl” and end this blog!