Litter-ally Different

There were 2 and now there is 1.  One of my cats sadly passed away last year.

Now I am fully aware that anything cat or dog related seems to break the internet, who would have thought, but sad as it was this is not going to be the eulogy (…she was old with several ailments unfortunately).

But this story has more to do with both cats and the fact they were sisters… not sisters against their human overlords, but real sisters and ones that did not really get along.

Although they were both from the same litter they could not have been more different.  One was outgoing, talkative, and affectionate, the other quiet, aloof, and seemingly wanting to spend more time roaming the garden than in the house.  Whenever approached she would run away nervously.

It was just how it was.  One was extrovert and gregarious, the other a quiet bundle of nerves, who preferred to sit in the corner.  We thought this is the way it is, what they are like and you can imagine which we spent more time with.

Yet, now we only have one, the quiet one. She has now inherited the entire indoor estate and territory.   With the freedom to roam, full access to the servants and house staff (that is us by the way)… the behavioural change has been dramatic.

No more cowering in the corner, or shooting upstairs to avoid conflict.  Now she is taking pride of place on the sofa, looking mildly annoyed when a human takes her spot, or coming to see us and actively letting us know when she wants food… it is like she has had a personality transplant.

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We thought she was just quiet, not engaged or friendly… it turns out she was none of things.  It was just the environment was wrong.  She was intimidated by her sister.

With this now changed she is living her best life.

Now as I have said before, you can learn a lot from your pets and there is a lesson for us too… back in the office.

Many times, I have sat in meetings and the conversation turns to performance.  We all have opinions of other people, sometimes they are good and sometimes there are areas you want to see improve, this is our role as people leaders.

Yet, sometimes you also hear comments where people have written someone off… they are not good, not engaged, doesn’t work hard, it can become a view on someone’s innate qualities.

Now this may be what people see or feel from their perspective.  However, this may not be the person and who they actually are… it could just be the environment that makes them like this… the culture or even a colleague may change the way they interact…  identify and remove these environmental obstacles and you will see them flourish. 

In our roles as people leaders, we need to get the best out of our teams. 

I am not suggesting laser pointers, new tech toys or treats won’t help… but taking a look at the culture and team dynamics may do even more… it can have a dramatic effect and is worth a look.

Have a good week everyone.


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