Today’s message comes via the old swimming hole. Technically it is not a hole at all, although it must have started as a hole. Today it is better known as a pool, or rather a swimming pool. This particular pool is a community pool situated at The Pines of Delray North, the place where I conduct business while in Florida.
Stepping out of the pool one day, I passed a few pleasantries with a gentleman who also had just completed a few laps. This constituted what I refer to as a “hook”, as most pool participants walk back and forth trading the latest gossip among what I respectfully refer to as “the fossils” of Delray. The “hook” was that we were both ex-athletes stroking out a few laps who probably remember us being better back then than we actually were. We began chatting as we toweled off.
Now that the scene has been set, here comes the message. He was a dog trainer and more specifically, a police dog trainer. Since I am a diehard dog lover, I found our conversation to be very stimulating. I made a point to listen rather than toss in my two bits when the opportunity presented itself. I kept asking questions.
“When the police dog latches onto his victim and you give him/her the command to stop, do you immediately reward the dog with some tasty treat?” Up to this moment in time, this is the way I believed you trained a dog. They respond favorably, you reward with some food.” I was wrong.
“Not with food, “ he said quickly. “With lots of loving.” It seemed that a lot of “good boys,” and “atta boys” and well-jostled ears managed to convey to the hound that they were barking up the right tree. Very interesting. VERY interesting.
Maybe, just maybe if this technique works with dogs it just might work with humans. Of course, money is a good motivator for some—at times. But appreciation, admiration, applause and sincere gratitude may prove to be the magic pill.
In any event, it certainly is worth a try. When you or your employees respond favorably to a situation, please do not sneak up behind them and jostle their ears or rub their bellies ferociously. But you might want to show your appreciation by giving them some well-deserved credit, and recognize this publically with some positive and reassuring dialogue.
NOTE: But just like dogs can tell when humans are frightened of them, humans can detect insincerity from a mile away. Bottom Line: Sincerity counts.
Mike Marchev is recognized for his down-to-earth, street-savvy and honest delivery of useful sales and marketing advice, suggestions, tactics and strategies. For a complimentary copy of his Special Report titled: 11 Sales Mistakes You Must Avoid send Mike an email with the word TRO-11 in the Subject Box. firstname.lastname@example.org
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