NETWORKING / FEB. 09, 2015
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5 Networking Lessons From Your Dog

Sometimes the answers to your problems can come from your four-legged friend. Dogs lead interesting lives and create lifelong bonds amongst themselves and with humans. As one of the friendliest animals on earth, your dog can teach you a few lessons on creating connections and building networks in your personal and professional life.

1. Start the Conversation

Dogs do not sit and wait; they approach other dogs and start playing together. They do not live in fear and you shouldn’t. Make the first move and start a conversation. Smile and find common ground for conversation. Gradually the conversation will grow, and you never know where it can lead. New connections challenge your perspective of life and can inspire you to live a better life. Once you develop your connections into mutually beneficial relationships, it will not matter who made the first move.

2. Be Wise about Your Partners

Dogs often gravitate towards structures they believe can sustain life, such as rivers or lakes and people who are generally nice to them. They run away from life-threatening situations and bad people. In fact, dog owners can judge an individual’s character depending on the reaction their dog has to the person. Unfortunately, human beings do not possess this special skill. However, you can develop it by paying a little more attention. Study body language, and listen to understand not to respond. For example, you can identify a kind person by their treatment or conversations about children.

3. Grudges Do Not Help

A dog will shower you with love even if you deny it a treat or an opportunity to play. It may throw a tantrum, but only for a while. In an effort to grow your network, grudges will only hurt you. Learn to forgive and forget. Sometimes taking things personally can ruin your relationships.

4. Show Your Appreciation

Every dog owner can attest to the endless love and affection he receives from his dog. If you leave your dog for 15 minutes, it will receive you as if you were gone for a whole month. A dog values your love and attention, and it will reward you just as much. You should also learn to value and appreciate the people in your network. Treat them with respect and find ways you can add value to their lives. Simple gestures such as a thank you card or gift will communicate your sincere appreciation.

5. Loyalty is Key

In a wild setting, dogs exist in packs; they fight, eat, play, and sleep together. They always defend each other. In domestic settings, dogs defend their owners passionately. They will scare away intruders and stand guard protecting their owner, regardless of the situation. Similarly, be the dependable friend, colleague or family member. Enrich those around you with your loyalty and make them know that you will stand by them through thick and thin.

Dogs’ love, loyalty, compassion, and companionship are qualities that elude most human beings. However, there is hope if you look closer and borrow a few lessons from man’s best friend. They can help you grow your connection into a vast network that adds value to your life.

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