Oh chute, this is easy!

This was the first time Grace was exposed to the barrel and chute at agility. Rachel, our trainer, and I were focused on helping her feel comfortable just walking through the barrel without the chute extended.

I was a presenter at a workshop yesterday discussing best practices for successful hiring of employees. Before we started, I was talking with one of the attendees, wanting to know if there was a particular thing that triggered her to come. She said that she was always interested in learning more about HR topics, adding that “if you’re a good manager, you have interest in HR”. Her view—and I agree—is that if you aren’t interested in developing the people who you manage, you’re probably not a very good manager.

Step 2: She actually walked through the barrel! Accomplishing something that we think is easy could be very challenging for someone else. Rachel knew that the feel of the nylon and the enclosed space might create anxiety for Grace, so it was important to have patience and empathy for the roadblocks in Grace

It makes me think of the seminar I’m attending this weekend with Grace for dogs that are fearful. As I mentioned in a recent post, I do wonder where the point of progress stops for her. But I wouldn’t be going if I didn’t think it would help her (and me), so I suppose I really do have faith that it will yield some improvements.

As a dog owner, parent, or manager, there is a commitment of time, energy, and effort to constantly be focused on the development of others. It can be a rewarding process or an exhausting one, linked to the results you see and the effort put in return. When days turn into weeks, and then months, it’s natural to forget how far someone has come in their development. We start to focus on what’s left to learn, what needs to change, rather than all we’ve accomplished. I realize that lately I’ve focused on the annoying barking that I hear from Grace when I’m in the middle of a conference call or that incessant whining when we’re in the car. I’m not remembering those things that she has overcome.

Months later and lots of time spent supporting and encouraging, Grace loves running through the extended nylon chute. It

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your own progress, or that of others, it might help to stop and reflect on what has been accomplished. That can give you renewed confidence that more is yet to come.

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3 comments

  1. didiwright says:

    Hi, Robin, I’ve liked all of your posts so far, but this one must be one of my favourites, because it fits out situation like a glove. To me, it’s like you’ve written the 3rd paragraph for and about us. I’ll explain. My husband and I are extremely interested in our daughter’s development and progress. She is a child with abilities and love of learning, and we want to nurture and support that as much as we can. Since we felt that school was letting her down, we chose to take her out in the afternoons, bring her home and teach her ourselves, at the level she needed. The progress she’s made is amazing and, although we’re thrilled with it, we recently found ourselves in the situation you’re describing. We’re feeling both rewarded and exhausted and, although we are aware of the progress made, we can’t stop thinking and planning what’s left to teach, learn and achieve. It’s probably because we’ve reached the end of the school year and we’re all ready for a break. But your post was a good reminder to ease off, take one step back and appreciate how far she’s got. And, more importantly, let her know how proud we are of what she’s achieved.

    It’s great to see, from your 3 photos, how Grace progressed with her tackling the chute! x

    • It’s always good to hear from you, but very pleased this particular post resonated with you. I can totally understand how easy it is to get lost in seeing progress, when you’re working so hard and know there is so much left to do. Your daughter is so fortunate to have your focus and commitment to her development. And you’re right, it’s great to make sure we tell those involved that we see their progress. They can easily get lost in the same maze as we do.

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