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Why we all need to be a bit more 'dog'!

As part of Emotional Intelligence month, we wanted to shine a light on some of the less well-known aspects of EI which are integral to getting the best out of our business relationships.

Empathy, as we’ve highlighted before, is critical for navigating successfully through commercial conflict (be it via persuasion, problem solving or negotiation) – the ability to really understand the other party and communicate accordingly is vital in making that deep level connection.

However, before we get to this space – it’s about us, and our ability to ‘self-regulate’ our emotions. Despite the trials, tests and tribulations that we all have to face on a day to day basis, we must make sure that our emotions and behaviours are such that we’re in ‘the best place’ to listen, ask and tell - in those important interactions (rather than still simmering about past events - the row at home this morning, or the driver that cut us up half an hour before or the teenage child that got it in, at what time last night?!).

Now the thing about dogs is that they are brilliant at living in the moment. When there’s something that they want – whether it's walks, food* or play – they are focused on what they want to achieve in that moment and nothing else. I’m not saying that dogs don’t remember past stuff, they do. However, whatever they’ve experienced earlier in the day, week or month becomes, for this period of time, very much secondary – it gets filed away in their sub-conscious. This enables them to focus all their energies and efforts on making sure that they do everything they can to achieve their current objective (food, walks or play). There are numerous techniques which you can use to try achieve this degree of focus (mindfulness, meditation, acceptance, diaphragmatic breathing etc.). If you’re in any doubt the next time your judgement feels fogged up by lots of different issues – just try and be a bit more of a dog, in that moment!

Sam Macbeth, 12th October 2021

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*Photograph courtesy of Loki, no cocktail sausages were harmed in the production of this blog

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