WHEN THE BOSS GIVES ME POSITIVE FEEDBACK, I LEAP AND STRETCH
My name is a Tucker, and, in case you didn’t notice, I’m a dog.
My owner is a nice lady named Cheryl Lauer…
...but she has some weird ideas about how we dogs like to spend time.
A while back, she took one of those plastic discs that human beings like to toss back and forth (I think she called it a Frisbee)...
...and she put it in my mouth.
It didn’t taste very good, and I didn’t really see the point. I couldn’t swallow it. And when I began to chew on it, Cheryl pulled it from my mouth.
But then she held it out for me again, and the moment I put my mouth around it, she said it again: “Good dog!”
Then she tossed it on the ground and said, “Go get it.”
I thought, “What the heck?” and I strolled over and picked it up in my mouth. The minute I did that, she said, “Gooood dog.”
I still didn’t think much of it.
But then she tossed it on the ground again. And, again, I thought, “OK, whatever” and I strolled over and put it in my mouth again.
“Good dog,” she said even more enthusiastically.
She kept doing this over and over and over.
I thought the whole thing was kind of silly, but then it occurred to me…
...I was beginning to really dig this, even more than I like digging for bones.
I still didn’t understand exactly what we were up to, but every time Cheryl said, “Good dog,” my tail wagged and my furry chest puffed out.
Gimme some more of that, I thought.
Then Cheryl took the plastic thingee and tossed it in the air, about five feet in front of me. I didn’t wait for her to say, “Go get it.” I sprung to action, jumped in the air, and caught that thing in my mouth.
“Way to go, Tucker. Good dog. Atta boy!” Cheryl said.
That’s what I’m talking about!
Now Cheryl and I play with that plastic disc all the time. She throws it way down the yard, and I race after it. I jump in the air and catch it in my mouth.
See for yourself...
Every time I catch that disc, good ‘ol Cheryl claps and whoops and hollers and screams, “Good dog!!!!”
It kinda makes me blush. But truth be told, I love it!
The other day, I heard Cheryl tell another human all about me. She was talking about something called “The Seven Most Common Mistakes of Leaders.”
She said one of those mistakes is “the absence of positive feedback.”
I didn’t know what she meant by “positive feedback” until she started telling the other human about that plastic disc and me.
I put it all together: “Good dog” and “atta boy” and “way to go” were all about that thing she called “positive feedback.”
That’s what makes my tail wag and chest puff out. That’s what makes me want to run as fast as I can, jump higher than I ever imagined, and catch that thingee way up in the air.
And here’s the cool thing:
Turns out humans respond to positive feedback, too. (I overheard Cheryl say so).
Cheryl told the other human: It’s a very common mistake not to give enough positive feedback.
“Positive feedback was so important in training Tucker with the Frisbee,” Cheryl said. “Tucker just responds like crazy to positive feedback. So do people.”
I literally stretch every inch of my body when I leap for that disc. Cheryl likes when I do that and...
Cheryl said: Humans also like it when their coworkers stretch.
“Positive feedback motivates and encourages people to stretch and to strive,” Cheryl said.
Yep, I know what that feels like.
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