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10 Things Dog Owners Would Like To Thank Their Dogs For

10 Things Dog Owners Would Like To Thank Their Dogs For

The actual definition of a dog is “a four legged animal that is often kept as a pet or used for hunting” but they are so much more than that. Dog’s are creatures that come into this world knowing how to unconditionally love without it being taught in some sort of life lesson. They forgive, they love, they cherish everything (actually, they cherish anything). More often than not, we as owners–no, as humans forget to thank them for everything they share and teach us. This is a thank you for all dogs: homeless, pets, working, show dogs and every one of you in between.

Thank you for:

1. Your Friendship

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    Thank you for your companionship. There is no other friend quite like you and I thank you for that. You are there with me through everything even though you don’t really have a choice in the matter. You woke up one day and BOOM, you have a owner. So, thank you for being my assigned friend and not making such a big fuss about it.

    2. Your Happiness

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      This is specifically for when there are periods when I am alone in this world. I am thankful I have you. When I am across the world away from home, you are there. You are there to cuddle with on a night in with some movies and snacks. A lot of people out there are missing their other half because sometimes the job takes them to places we can’t go, and you understand that people need an extra ray of sunshine. You greet me with a smile knowing smiles are contagious.

      3. Your Love

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        Loving unconditionally is something a human needs to learn. Some have an entire lifetime and still are buried without the ability to love unconditionally. Thank you for being born with that trait. I may yell at you because you ate a tasty little morsel (my shoe) that I left out in the open for you but you are still there trying to say “Sorry, I love you”. It absolutely amazing that you and your kind can be so in love with another being just because we exist. Thank you for loving me for who I am not for what I have (even though it seems like you listen better when I have food).

        4. Your Enjoyment in Simplicity

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          Thank you for teaching me to take joy in the simple things. You take something as simple as a stick outside in the field and treat it like it was a gift, made specifically for you. Your joy and excitement for that stick has taught me to always enjoy the little moments. Enjoy the times that I have with my loved ones, the sun shining on a warm day, the rain, the breeze and basically everything. You have taught me to enjoy these little things because in the end, that is what we remember the most.

          5. Your Moments of Laughter

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            This is for all of the little moments on those no good, awful, terrible and unlucky days that you have made me laugh. I know you don’t intend to fart in a moment of silence or fall off the couch while in a deep sleep but I thank you for it anyways. Thank you for being silly enough to startle yourself awake with your own farts.

            6. Your Empathy

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              I don’t know what it is about dogs that give you the ability to see into other people’s souls, but thank you. Thank you for seeing directly through me and feel what I feel. You understand that am having a crappy day because they killed Walter off of…. well I don’t need to tell you, you were there. In all seriousness, you were there for all the ups and downs in my life and understood I just needed someone there. Thank you for trying to make the tears go away with doggy kisses (not talking about Walter anymore by the way).

              7. Your Patience

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                Thank you for being a little rascal during dog school and embarrassing me during your class because who couldn’t use a bit more patience? Thank you for teaching me to wait, because you have not found the right spot to poop (even if you look at me with those judgmental eyes as if I should not go to the bathroom in the house because we live there).

                8. Your Protection

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                  Thank you for protecting me from the wind outside, the bird that flew by and the kid on the bike across the street with your loud thunder-like barks. Even though I think you may run and hide like me if there is ever anything going on, I feel safer with you around.

                  9. Your Help

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                    Thank you for your help with cleaning the floor and making sure anything that drops is picked up in a timely fashion. It is a great help since I hate sweeping. Also, please thank your friends in the K9 units helping police officers and soldiers and thank your cousins that work as dogs to help the blind and the ones that just need a companion to feel happier.

                    10. Your Forgiveness

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                      Thank you so so much for being forgiving. I know that there are crappy human beings out there that don’t treat dogs very nicely and I am sorry. Thank you so much for being so forgiving and never losing hope in finding a forever home because you were given back a couple times. In addition, thank you for not holding any grudges and not expecting me to give you back the moment you stepped foot into my home.

                      Featured photo credit: Jackson/ M. Agbayani via flickr.com

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                      Published on September 23, 2020

                      6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                      6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                      I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

                      If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                      What is Negotiation?

                      First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

                      Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

                      In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

                      Places We Negotiate

                      I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

                      1. Work/Business

                      This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

                      When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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                      In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

                      Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

                      2. Personal

                      I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

                      I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

                      Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

                      3. Ourselves

                      You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

                      I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

                      Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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                      Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

                      Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

                      We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

                      My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

                      If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

                      As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

                      6 Negotiation Skills to Master

                      Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

                      Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                      1. Preparation

                      Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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                      It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

                      For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

                      After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

                      2. Clear Communication

                      The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

                      If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

                      3. Active Listening

                      Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

                      If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

                      4. Teamwork and Collaboration

                      To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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                      If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

                      When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

                      5. Problem Solving

                      Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

                      Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

                      From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

                      There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

                      6. Decision-Making Ability

                      Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

                      Conclusion

                      There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

                      Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

                      More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

                      Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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