My "maternity leave" was over, after adopting Lee K. from the Animal Haven Shelter, North Haven, Connecticut. For about a week I had cut back on developing new business and only attended to what had already been in the pipeline. Lee K. and I took long walks, drove to Westerly, Rhode Island to contemplate the Atlantic Ocean, and leisurely shopped in Pet Smart so he could savor all the dog scents. Those were days of heaven, for both.
Then, Mommy had to return to hunting for more business. Plus doing the assignments. That's what it takes to generate the revenue to buy Great Choice Filet Mignon dog food. First, I tried to shorten the walks. Lee K. did a Machiavellian move by not pooping. I got angry. I tried to hurry him through Pet Smart. He got even. It wasn't long before we reached a relationship impasse.
What got us unstuck was STAR Strategies. I had read about them in the book "Conversational Intelligence" by Judith Glaser which I had reviewed for this blog. Here is that review.
Essentially, STAR Strategies applies to conversations recent discoveries in neuroscience, ranging from mirror neurons to how mindfulness changes brain waves (neuroplasticity). To boost our conversational IQ, STAR Strategies recommends, we:
Build Rapport. That entailed letting Lee K. know that he was as much a part of my life as my work.
Listening Without Judgment. Lee K. was telling me what he needed for his daily well being. I had to take that seriously.
Asking Discovery Questions. On the sofa, I rubbed Lee K.'s belly and took in what he was all about as a dog. I got it: He wasn't a casual friend I could break a movie date with.
Sharing Success. As new business came in, Lee K. enjoyed additional trips to Pet Smart. He beamed, in a dog's way, of course.
Dramatizing the Message. To celebrate our renewed closeness, Lee K. and I developed our special dance. His head on my shoulder, we shake our booty to the old Beatles tunes.
"Conversational Intelligence" provides tons of evidence that STAR Strategies is effective with world leaders. Now the system can count among its success stories a tail-wagging dog and his euphoric mom.