My one-year-old Airedale Terrier knows how to get to the point. She’s much better at it than most people I know running businesses, teaching classes, or even some people who write for a living.
If she wants you to do something, she has a way of telling you. If she wants the door opened, she lets you know by hammering on it. If she wants some of your lunch, she gives you the big brown eye treatment. You’re not left in any doubt.
She doesn’t get bogged down in corporate jargon. She doesn’t think you have to use “sophisticated business language” to impress people. She doesn’t try to hide a simple idea behind pompous academic nonsense.
A quick bark, she picks up the tennis ball, gives you a glance and invites you to play.
She knows a lot more about effective communication than most people in business. And just about everyone in academia.
She knows how to tempt you into playing ball.
She can persuade you to rub her belly just by rolling on her back and offering it to you.
And she even knows that it’s not all about her. She has to give something back. She has learnt that the humans have to enjoy the game too, or they won’t play next time. She has learnt not to bite your hand, or there won’t be any food offered in future.
It’s a pity a few more companies couldn’t learn that lesson: don’t bite your customers for the sake of an easy biscuit because they won’t come back – and you could be hungry by meal time.
And if you want someone to play ball – show them the ball.
A simple idea. A simple message. Perhaps that’s one reason dogs are so much more popular than business people.