Monday, August 14, 2006

Treat your Staff like Dogs

If you manage people you should treat them like dogs. If you do you will get better results.

The critical question is: How do you treat your dog?

The wrong way is to take them for a walk, be unclear about your expectations, fight them when they don’t read your mind, and carry a plastic bag to pick up their messes.

Many managers can learn a lot from dog obedience training. Most of the training is aimed at the dog handler. Showing them how they need to give clear directions and reinforce those directions; teaching that the handler is responsible for the actions of the dog.

A manager’s job is to guide staff in accomplishing the company goals.

Imagine the tension if the manager does not set clear directions and constantly lets staff run at the end of the leash and attempts a tug-a-war with them.

In obedience training the dog handler is taught not to fight the dog. Instead, the emphasis is to guide the dog in the desired actions. When the dog strays he gets an abrupt jerk to return to desired path, and when the dog performs as desired, he gets a quick reward.

The abrupt jerk should not be painful – just immediate and attention grabbing.

The reward should not be a bribe – just an affectionate pat and encouragement.

Yes, this is an analogy. And yes, there are some transferable principles from dog obedience training to people managing.

When I took my dog for obedience training I was surprised how the principles helped me with managing my staff.

The actions of the dog are the responsibility of the manager.

How well are you managing your staff? If it is not working you might need training.

George Torok, host
Business In Motion

1 comment:

J said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a Dog Obedience site.

Come and check it out if you get time ;)