5 Lessons from a Dog

In Secrets of a Working Dog by Ellen Galvin and Patrick Galvin, Bella the Boxer outlines these canine principles of success in this dog-eat-dog world.

Dogs have a protocol for playtime. When they’re ready to play, they stick their butts in the air, plop their front legs on the ground and prick up their ears. Take some time out of your day to unwind, but take the necessary steps to ensure that it’s scheduled productive play, not simply a waste of time.

Become a better listener by wagging your tail more than your tongue. Great listening skills are an integral part of being a good communicator and leader. Many times, a frustrated individual just needs someone to listen to them, not necessarily to offer advice. Learn what your audience’s listening needs are to lend an open ear.

Assemble your pack. The most successful people are those who surround themselves with a network of colleagues, mentors and good friends. And if you don’t want to catch any fleas, a good place to start is to surround yourself with people whose habits you would like rubbed off on you.

“There are two kinds of people—those who come in a room and say, ‘Well, here I am’ or those that come in a room and people say “There you are.” Dogs are great at making us feel needed and valued, a trait we should learn to pass on to coworkers, employees or family.

Enjoy the simpler things in life. Whether it’s taking the time to sniff the flowers or enjoying the wind in a car ride, dogs have a genuine appreciation for the tiniest joys found in life. Take a page from our canine friends by looking for or treating yourself to something that makes you smile.

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