Old Dogs, New Tricks for People & Pups

Learning new things isn’t always easy. It takes patience and persistence over a period of time, until the new skill or behaviour becomes easier and and starts to feel natural.

I’m reminded of this every day while I’m training Clancy – my boisterous, enthusiastic and loveable pup. He’s learning so many new things, and the key to learning these new things (what to do as well as what not to do!) is steady, patient repetition.

I have to keep remembering to apply what I share with my clients to Clancy and to myself as he’s learning to walk nicely on a lead, and not tug or jump all over people or pirouette! Sometimes it’s, ah, challenging …

Also some days are easier than others – it might depend on how many other wonderful distractions and smells there are competing for his attention, and it’s also harder for him to focus if he’s a bit tired or hungry.

Basically, we’re not that different from dogs. Yet we tend to expect more from ourselves and our human colleagues which can make us more impatient and more critical when we make mistakes or a slower to learn.

So remember to be gentle with yourself if you’re implementing changes in your life. The best results come from the slow and steady approach.

Being mindful helps you not to get caught up in frustration or self-judgement … think about what you’d say to a friend or child who’s struggling to do something new or learning some self-control.

So take it easy with yourself and your colleagues as we return to the workplace and adjust to the new Covid normal. Small steps each day will get you there!