Danny, our golden Havanese puppy is one of the most unusual coaches I have ever had! In the past few years I have learned a number of things that were good reminders for my business and your business too.
My puppy loves to eat Kleenex and toilet paper. (Yes, I said eat, not shred.) Because of this, all of our tissue boxes are put at high locations. He was out of sight for only a few seconds and when I had gone back into the kitchen, this small animal (under 10 pounds) had moved the kitchen chair to the counter. I found him on the counter eating the Kleenex! I can only guess that he had inch by inch pushed the chair and then used it to get to the top of the counter. He just kept working until he met his goal. If I let up, even a little bit, the tissue will be found and eaten.
You can look at this similar to how you respond to your competition. Practice persistence and stay out there and in front so that your “tissue” is not eaten!
After he “did his business” on my living room floor this afternoon, I realized that it was my fault because I became too engrossed in writing to give him frequent potty breaks. In my distant memory, I believe he even rang the bell that I have out for him. I now have a timer to alert me at certain intervals so that we go out pre-accident. This timer also ensures that I do not get too engrossed in my projects and that I recognize the passage of time.
Sometimes we get caught up by the fires that our business and life bring to the surface. Make sure that you always have time scheduled and accounted for to take care of your daily responsibilities, so that simple things do not become urgent.
He is currently napping in his bed next to my desk. I have no idea how long he will sleep, so I am racing to finish this article before he wakes up! When he does, I'm sure it will be another who-knows-how-many-hours of hyper puppy.
There are times in everyone's business where things slow down. This is often when we let our guard down. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to get things done that you cannot accomplish when you are running hectic. Take a look at the piles on your desk (they are there right?) and make decisions while you have time to decide.
Recognition and Celebration
When I first started going to training classes with him I was told that the puppy was doing fine, but I was failing “praise.” In training, she explained, it is very important to recognize the positive steps that the puppy takes, even if small. The more praise the more the puppy will do the things you want him/her to do.
Often, when we (or our employees) have completed a task we don't pause to appropriately recognize the accomplishment. Instead, we push to the next thing. Yet, human resources experts will tell you that appropriately recognizing accomplishments is a fabulous way to retain good employees and life coaches will tell you it is a great way to keep you sharp.
What Do You Think?
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To your success!