Our dog Rosie never lies. She is smart, playful, sweet, and clever, but never deceitful. What you see is what you get, like it or not.
If she makes a request or sounds an alarm, she has her own valid reasons, even if those reasons seem to us to be incomplete. Her barks of alarm are never lies; they are always a call to action for the true situation as she sees it.
Does she ever bark when there is nothing really for me to be alarmed about? Sure. (“Yes Rosie, the school bus is big and beeps when it backs up but I assure you it is still not a threat to our home.”)
At the moment she feels the need to sound an alarm, based on what she knows she’s making the exact right decision. Based on her instincts, loyalty, knowledge, and understanding, her mission to protect our home is her focused goal. Better to bring attention to the possible threat than let us all get surprised by a big, yellow invader.
What if we all could be like Rosie? What if we could be genuinely appreciated for our unique perspective of the world? What if we could learn to not regret decisions and simply move on while learning from the experience? We wouldn’t blame others, forget our goals, or have to track lies. Think of the time and mental distress we could eliminate.
There is another lesson about people in all this. Remember that others you may disagree with are like Rosie. From their perspective, they are right. I am not saying you should accept your perspective as wrong. No, I’m mean that if you were in their place with exactly their thoughts, your perspective of right and wrong would likely be different. To understand people you disagree with is an opportunity to learn and communicate better.
I appreciate that Rosie has a committed mission, even when she is wrong about the risk. We should be as understanding with other people as we are with our family dog.
Glenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself. You can email Glenn directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenn is also the president of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.
© Copyright 2013. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-111