“You get what you pet.”

We recently hired a dog trainer to provide additional training to our 90-pound Mastiff-Boxer mix, Bauer. It turns out, we were the ones being trained! The trainer told us, “You get what you Pet.”This statement is also true when communicating with people. Often, we pay attention to or “pet” the bad behavior. It is easy to get caught up in the gossip or in combating with those who enjoy conflict.  When we focus on fighting pessimistic attitudes, we attract additional negative energy. On the other hand, when we emphasize the positive in others,  we bring uplifting energy into our work and lives. After two hours, the dog trainer was satisfied that he had trained me, and I was reminded of these principles:

  1. Set your intention. Before you communicate in a meeting, during a presentation or for a promotional interview, set your intention. What do you wish to convey? Pause, take a minute, and set your goal for the communication. People will feel your intention and respond to your energy.
  2. Create a command presence. Frequently, leaders communicate with hesitation, which can convey a lack of confidence. After setting your intention, communicate your ideas with calm, confident energy. Others will follow.
  3. Ignore the bad behavior. Give attention to those on your team who are positive. Ignoring the negative or toxic behavior will usually cause it to stop. Focus your attention on the positive behavior of those around you. Focusing on the positive attitudes and accomplishments will bring additional positive energy to your team.

What I love most about Tracy, first and foremost, as my favorite character quality in leadership, is she has led with tremendous humility. It’s never been about her, it’s always been about the people whom you’ve had the opportunity to touch, to lift, and help create an environment for other people to be successful.”

– Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes

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