I started work today and was writing a very serious blog post. It was a really heavy lift so I put it down for another day. We are all dealing with a lot at the moment so this is going to be a little bit of a lighter post.
Many of you may not know, but in addition to being the CEO of the K9Sensus Foundation, I also manage a 700A farm with several different types of animals. Dog Day Acres Land & Cattle Company raises seed stock Red Angus and Belted Galloway. Shameless plug: Follow us on Facebook!
In essence, I manage a very large corporation where the majority of my workforce does not speak the same language I do. In fact, most of my staff don’t speak the same language as each other. I have at least six different ‘languages’ on the farm to decipher every day. Within these languages there are even dialects because there are breed differences.
One thing that doesn’t lie is the behavior of the animal, including the humans. By observing the different nuances, I can determine who is being productive, who is sick, who needs additional oversight and who needs to be put out on the back 40 and just left to do their job.
As more people are working from home, self-isolating and having to modify their behavior in significant ways, it allows all of us to be deliberate in reinforcing the behavior that we want.
Here are some things I am doing.
I thank people for staying home. I have no idea if they are actually doing it. We are all operating on the honor system. But I can control how I behave and I want people to know I appreciate them for helping keep me safe.
I thank my husband and step-son for the little things. Because we are in close proximity for the next 3-4 weeks and if I didn’t, all of us would be miserable.
I thank people for their time. Time is the most valuable resource we have. The time people are spending with me is time away from their family, their other responsibilities and possibly even costing them money.
The above three things are behavior modification 101. Reinforce the behavior you want to continue.
We very quickly forget to reinforce an animal for the behavior we expect them to know or do. When under stress, your reinforcement should increase. I think we all are under a little stress right now.
“They should know this.”
“They are old enough, why don’t they do this anymore.”
Humans are the harder animal to train and coach.
Be conscious of the behavior you are reinforcing for all of the animals in your household. Especially the human ones.
We are in this together.
On a lighter note, here is my ‘corporation’
CEO, Forages Collection & General Maintenance – Joe, my husband
COO, Marketing, IT, Sales, Genetics Selection, Animal Husbandry and everything else – Robin