Must Love Dogs…and Cats
I am a dog person but I married a cat person. I would guess you know the differences between dogs and cats. When you feed a dog, it looks up and thinks, “You bring me food and pour it out for me; you must be a god.” A cat thinks, “You bring me food and pour it out for me; I must be a god.”
What’s the point? I have had to learn how to deal with cats, and once you understand the difference, you learn to appreciate their differences and how you must manage the environment with them around. The same is true with dogs. There is a good lesson here in how we deal with employees.
Employees can have an attitude that “the owners are there to meet my needs.” Owners can have an attitude that “the employees are there to meet my needs.” That’s where the conflict begins. The better attitude for owners is to behave like the dog and treat employees like cats. Set the example by treating employees as you would like to be treated . . . employ the Golden Rule. When hiring employees, our tendency might be to look for dog-like attitudes when in reality we need some cats.
We should use testing to help uncover these predispositions. Personality profiling is very useful and, most often, will give you a good idea of a potential employee’s dog or cat frame of mind. We can’t change basic personality traits, and different jobs may require different profiles. However, knowing tendencies makes it possible to effectively manage employees regardless of their profile. Certainly, sales people will have different profiles than bookkeepers or production employees.
Knowing the difference and managing accordingly will give you the sensibility to be a more sensible business owner.