Being a dog is more difficult than being a man.

Bosses have a habit to give suggestions on everything. Often unrequired. Often they meddle into things they don’t understand or try to do their team’s job. As a result while the team may be slogging away to deliver, their levels of happiness keep dropping. 

 End result – we all know that people join companies but they quit bosses. So if you are a boss you can be sure that the conversation over the lunch or loo breaks involves some version of boss bashing.

So I looked for a role model who was loved universally, who got what they wanted on demand and who was never criticized behind their back. What is more I wanted someone who was always appreciated and missed when they were not around.

Lo and behold, the answer lay right below my nose – our dog, Brownie. Not only was he universally loved, even when my sister slept, she insisted that Brownie sleep next to her, in the same quilt.

So what can bosses do to generate the same love, loyalty and appreciation. Simple – they must become DOGs at work. Here’s the 5 steps for a boss to turn himself into a loved boss dog.

  1. Wag your tail, show your love physically – Whats the first thing your dog does when it sees you. Wag it’s tail or come lick your face or cuddle with you in bed right. As a boss you need to show your love physically and overtly. If you are the shy kinds, walk up to your team, smile and say hello ! If you can of course a hug and a hand shake goes even further. Even better write a thank you note or a “why I love working with you” letter. Do this for a week and notice the difference you make to yourself and everyone else around.
  1. Mute the Criticism Button – Ever took a dog for a walk and it said,” its too hot or too sunny or I don’t feel like walking today, lets take a cab” ? Criticism robs you and your team of it’s energy. So everytime you feel like saying “this doesn’t work, it’s horrible, do it again”, imagine you are a dog ☺. Be quiet and take a pause. Tell the person how valuable they are, what great work they have done earlier, how you have high expectations of them and let them feel the urge to make it better. Do all this happily with a smile.
  1. Protect and Defend – You are not the only boss in the company. There are others too. Often they may attack you or your team for something or the other. That’s the time when you need to become a dog again. Notwithstanding your fears or your worries, you must defend those who you love. What does a dog do when anyone unknown comes to the house. It barks right. So when you notice someone being unfair or aggressive to your team, step in and defend them. 
  1. Don’t Hold Yesterday’s Grudges – Imagine you woke up and saw your dog sulking in the corner. You asked him and he said “ Last Saturday the chicken you gave me was stale and too spicy. I hate you. No cuddles today.” Doesn’t happen right. Dogs forgive you instantly. They love you constantly. Everyday when you begin the day, love your team and your people afresh the way a dog would. Don’t hold yesterday’s grudges.
  1. Be There – When your dog is with you it’s with you. Its not on the phone or the internet or finishing emails while talking to you. You need to give your team the most valuable gift you can give them – your presence. No phones or emails or laptops when you are having a conversation. Look into the eyes of the other person, take three deep breaths and then begin the conversation. Smile when you end the conversation and thank them.

Being a dog is more difficult than being a man. For a boss, it’s the best possible way to build a great team, inspire them to do great things and leave office everyday happily smiling.

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