Back To Career News

What Dogs Can Teach Us About Networking

Topics: Work Culture

Your pooch is more than your best friend. He or she is also one of the best teachers you can have for showing you how to be an awesome person when you network in the office.

So what can you learn about good networking from that fuzzball (besides how to blame that broken lamp on the cat)? You’d be surprised.


Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. Don’t come on too strong.

Dogs at the park know that there are certain “rules” that they should have learned when it comes to dog-dog interactions. One way will get them some quality interactions. The other will get them snarled at and shut out.

Pictured: A good boy. (Courtesy of Anne Holub.)

So when it comes to making new acquaintances, or just regular interactions with another human, try to keep things cool. Be mellow and not all “up in their face” with whatever’s going on.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes we forget that what we’re excited about isn’t what everyone else is into. Usurping the conversation to talk about your latest “thing” isn’t going to win you friends. Remember to be a good listener, as much as a good talker.

2. Be playful, but make sure they’re into it.

“I have this ball, would you like to play ball with me?”

See how easy that was? When you’re asking someone to partner with you, it pays to be a team player, not a big bossy boss.

Asking someone for a favor does have the option of them saying, “No, thank you, not right now.” If you’re a team leader, remember to explain projects, not just bark orders. You’ll get easier partners in your pack if you make sure everyone’s on board.


3. Learn to share.

Nobody likes a food- or toy-aggressive dog. It’s scary and off-putting. So if you’re going to snarl and snap at anyone approaching your “turf,” whether it’s your pet project or just something you’re excited about, you’re not going to be around for long.

Dogs who get too aggressive about that favorite ball are often isolated, and the ball ends up in the garbage. If you play nice, however, even if you’re teaching others how to share and go back-and-forth with a treasured item, you’ll find the end result is better for everyone.


4. Be able to spot the “bad dogs” and avoid them.

Dogs often know which house has the loudest barker, the meanest growler and the dog that’s always a jerk. Don’t get lulled into thinking that this time will be the time that the office bully is going to not be mean and awful to you.

Sometimes a bad dog is just a bad dog, and you don’t want to get bit. Find that awesome Labrador Retriever who’s always into chasing a stick and go have fun!


5. Know when to go home.

Nobody can stay at the dog park all day, even if it’s a really good time when you’re there. Learn that dog park/life balance and go home when you need a break. Naps are great! Relax and get some belly scratches (however that works for you) and remember that rest is just as important as work.

When you recharge, you’re less likely to injure yourself and that time you spend fully engaged in activities will seem more special and exciting.


Tell Us What You Think

What life lessons have you learned from your dog? We want to know! Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Featured image via Pexels

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.