Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Are You Constantly Running Interference

Writen by Robyn Kelleher-Gormley

Dealing with people can become irritating and stressful. Yet, it can have its positives as well. When I'm thinking about "real life" scenarios at work, I sit and watch my dogs "play" with a 14 year old dog that I dog sit. What is amazing is the interactions between the three remind me of dealing with work related items. I think back to scenarios and laugh at how simple and natural reactions can be, and how it is linked with all of nature's animals. Let me tell you the story of these three dogs for you to understand what I am talking about.

One is a puppy at 6 months old (Maggie), one 2 ½ years (Molly), and the other is 14 years old (Sheba). This is a "diverse" environment with the animals. Maggie loves to play, and it is natural behavior being that she is so young and full of energy. Molly is in the center, not too young and not too old. She likes to interact with the other dogs. Sheba on the other hand, is the oldest of the three and likes to be left alone. She gets along with the other two, but gets agitated and warns Maggie when she crosses the line. When the "argument" between Maggie and Sheba take place, Molly runs interference and separates the two. Molly then plays with Maggie until Maggie is submissive to her and follows her lead.

Now that you have read a brief story of these three dogs, doesn't it take you back to situations at work? There are two employees that might get entangled with a disagreement, and the manager is trying to run interference to take control of the situation. The manager is trying to get the two to compromise, shake hands, and move on. This is an everyday work place scenario, and once thought about, it ties to everyday life with everyday creatures being human or not.

Sometimes it does get to a point where a manager will need advice on different ways to address these issues at work. It is always a great idea to seek best practices even beyond the "four walls". Sometimes people get in a rut and need to look into different outlets to find new ideas and think outside the box. These ideas could be simple ones to improve morale, grow the business, or seek advice on to handle an employee issue. For more information, feel free to visit

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