We specialise in building resilience through working with a rescue dog.
‘Seriously? You think that my team enjoying the company of a rescue dog will help them to be more productive, more resilient and less stressed while at work?’
Yep, that’s exactly what we’re saying. It’s because of the dog that we can change human behaviour so quickly, bring our lessons to life and create a sustainable change in your team.
According to research, more than four in ten people have disclosed that they experience stress in the workplace (Mental Health in the Workplace Report; Benenden Health, Nov 2017). In the informal, non-scientific studies that we have undertaken during our sessions, we have rarely been with a group of people where every hand hasn’t been raised when we’ve talked about experiencing stress in the workplace.
We work with teams of people who spend their days supporting others; charities, social enterprises, educators and small businesses, all doing their best to make a positive change in the world while battling the current climate of uncertainty.
We also work with small teams within large companies. It is all too common for individuals to feel lost in the midst of annual reports, the balanced scorecard and the public criticism of a company that you know is made up of people who do care and who are doing their best. When the pressure is mounting and it looks like everyone around you is coping, it’s a lonely place to be.
The stress that your team members are experiencing impacts upon their physical and mental wellbeing. That, in turn, has a direct impact on their performance, their ingenuity and their relationships with colleagues and clients.
Valuing your team.
You’re ready to support your team to be their resilient, innovative and productive best selves aren’t you? We know that they’re doing their best, of course, they are. We also know that they can do better if they’re able to build their resilience and thrive because of the work they’re doing.
If you’re worried about poor decision making, a lack of energy, the level of sickness and absence within your team, small mistakes that have been increasing, challenges with staff relations and individual team members who you know are struggling, we can help.
If you’re looking for a fun, innovative and proven team building day that has all the benefits of improving resilience, productivity and innovation, we can help with that too!
The canine co-tutor.
We know that dogs are the difference that make the difference. Our co-tutor for the session will be a rescue dog and s/he will benefit from the session as much as you and your team will. Dogs are among the most resilient of animals and our expectations of them within today’s culture in the UK surpass that of any other animal. Humans ‘train’ them to live in their home and expect them to understand the way they want them to behave. From the first day that they are taken away from their canine Mum, they have to adapt to a new way of life and that’s the best-case scenario. More and more dogs are now being abandoned to rescue centres, having been abused, neglected or simply misunderstood. Despite the horrendous experiences these dogs have faced, they learn new ways to cope. With the right understanding and approach, they thrive. The learnt behaviours that have developed over time can absolutely be changed to reduce their overwhelm and stress.
Utilising the stories of the rescue dog, there can be objective discussions about new ways to approach resilience in the workplace. We can approach learning about human resilience through questions about the dog, the way in which they express emotions and cope with these situations. The move to then teaching the dog new behaviours is done in parallel with goal setting for each person. As with the human participants, the cues and behaviours worked on with each dog are bespoke to their individual needs.
It’s no secret that dogs have a positive effect on people. They help to reduce stress, they’re incredible company, they infuse happiness and they enable us to communicate in a new way. There’s so much more to dogs then that! By working with our canine co-tutor, you’ll see the ways in which they enable new communication skills among your team, they’ll understand the impact of the stress they’re under and ways in which they can channel it and thrive as a result.
What do we actually DO?
Building resilience and reducing stress can be seen as an intangible goal, something that we all want to do but never quite manage. However, the business case for building resilience and reducing stress is absolutely tangible. A resilient team will meet deadlines, have effective communication processes and be able to deal with conflict in a positive, constructive way.
Canine Progress for the Workplace is a one-day session, delivered by our director, Marie Yates and a rescue dog. Our session offers a new approach to building resilience, with a canine twist. The presence of the dog and the interaction the group has with the dog adds an incredible dimension to the learning and development of each individual as well as the team as a whole.
‘I’ll be honest, I was skeptical! I had been introduced to Marie through a friend who had attended one of her sessions and I was impressed from the outset. The research that has gone into this workshop is second to none, we tailored the session to suit the challenges we were facing as a team and still, three months on, we’re talking about the strategies and lessons we learned, always with a smile and always with reference to the canine co-tutor.’ (Amy, Charity CEO)
The day runs from 10am-3pm and we explore the ways in which the team is currently operating, the ways in which we can learn from the physiology and psychology of resilience and through learning from and working with the canine co-tutor, we bring the learning to life. There are skills that can be learned in order to build resilience and having led numerous team building sessions with a human-only team, Marie can assure you that talking about building resilience is all well and good, but we know the dog is the difference that makes the difference.
‘We’re a small team, we’re committed to our work and we do our best. We’re also tired, sometimes overwhelmed and have been known to let our emotions cloud our better judgement. Working in an ever-changing, reactive sector with trafficked children is challenging. We needed something different, something fun, something to channel our energy into rather than the same old team building games and exercises. Marie ensured that there weren’t any ridiculous ice breakers, nothing embarrassing for us to break out of our comfort zones and everything had a purpose, even if it took us a while to see it. We laughed together, we cried a little bit and that dog was the catalyst for transformative change within the team. His picture sits on the window ledge in our office as a permanent reminder of how kindness is our core value.’ (Rhea, Social Entrepreneur)
We know that what we do is different; it’s something we’re proud of! We completely understand that it’s a leap of faith to invite one woman and her canine co-tutor into your world for a day when frankly, you’ve got stuff you need to be doing. We know that our insistence that it’s the dog who enables the change can lead to the roll of an eyeball or two, unless you’re a signed up member of the ‘dogs change lives’ club, of course.
After our session, your team will understand the patterns that have been created in their behaviours and the way in which it affects their work as individuals and as part of the larger team. They will have learned new ways of working, new ways of communicating with each other and new ways of respecting their own needs in order to be ready to be their best selves at work. In turn, they will be productive, innovative and ready to take your business to the next level.
Who’s the human co-tutor?
Marie is the director and co-founder of Canine Perspective CIC, she’s an author and speaker whose life’s work has led her to this social enterprise. To say that she’s enthusiastic about the work is a dramatic understatement. Her first novel was the catalyst for Canine Perspective CIC and she firmly believes that dogs can help us to understand life through an indisputable truth. They adapt to life with a different species, they trust us and even when we fail, they show us that we’re worthy, just because of who we are. The profit from this workshop goes to fund the Canine Hope programme, so while changing working with us to develop your team, you’re also helping us to support survivors of sexual violence and rescue dogs.
Get in touch with Marie and book your Canine Progress in the Workplace session here.