Be more cat?

communication influence Sep 03, 2021

Do you remember an ad some years ago for 02 (other brands are available) called Be more dog?

I‘ve been thinking about this recently because we’ve ‘acquired’ a cat.

Or rather he adopted us - and despite lots of effort to find his owners (no collar, no microchip) nobody is fessing up.

So for the moment he’s ours.

I’ve never owned cats before - I’ve always had dogs (my lovely old border collie Poppy is definitely this woman’s best friend).

I love the difference:

Poppy - love me, stroke me, I’m so happy to see you, unconditional love, wag, wag, wag. I miss you when you’re not here, I want to please you, dependent.

Cat (that’s his name for now) - feed me, I’ll do my own thing thank you very much, indifferent except when I’m hungry or I want to be stroked; I’m the boss. Everything on my terms. Independent, indifferent. ‘Whatever’.

(He’s still lovable of course in his own way).

It’s no wonder we say dogs have owners and cats have staff!

Watching Poppy and Cat reminds me of the work of Michael Grinder on the power of influence and non-verbal communication and his research some years ago (so I don’t know if the stats have changed) that says that ‘around 70% of the Western world are ‘dogs’ and 30% are ‘cats’. Also, he says, that statistically women are more likely to be dogs. (As a reformed people pleaser myself, I’m not surprised).

Whether this is true or not, here’s a fun and informative observation exercise for you - do you think you’re more ‘cat’ or ‘dog’ at work and what are the benefits and disadvantages of both?

What about your team?

What would life be like if you could be more cat or more dog when the situation requires?

Who in public life would you say is more ‘cat’? (I’d say SurAlan and Karren Brady) and ‘dog’ (I’d say Lorraine Kelly and Boris).

Over to you - do you need to develop your inner cat or inner dog?

 P.S. If you’re as aloof as a Persian or as waggy as a labrador and you know you need more ‘range’ I can help - email me at [email protected] Those small tweaks can make a huge difference to your impact. Paws for thought?

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