May 19, 2013

Appreciation Marketing – Learn Communications Techniques from Animals

Do you have a dog or cat? If so, you interface with them each and every day. Maybe you have trained your companion to obey your commands; maybe your buddy just ignores what you say (especially if you dealing with a cat). However, have you ever observed how they communicate, including with you?

Animals have mastered the “art of the pause” in their communication. If you have ever watched great speakers, whether they are giving a speech or engaging in conversation one-on-one, you will note the use of pauses in the flow of words. Often the pause is used to allow someone to catch their breath. However, it can place emphasis on what was just said and allow the listener think about what was stated.

Since animals do not speak words, they use a pause for emphasis, allowing the listener to think about the situation for a second. A cat will growl and pause, allowing another cat to ponder whether it is worth pushing the moment. A dog may bark and then pause to allow the situation to develop if it must. It allows the other animal, or us, to mentally debate the response possible.

Another communications technique that animals use is the tilt of the head, sometimes coupled with the blink of the eyes. We have all seen that soulful look, the pleading with the eyes. This is usually coupled with a need for something such as breakfast or some other meal. At times it just means: “I need a pet from you or a lap in which to sit”. This may be non-verbal, but these techniques are very powerful and compelling.

Can you use either or both of these techniques in your daily communication? Try inserting pauses into your communications. It doesn’t matter if you are engaged in a chat over coffee or in a long presentation; a pause will allow you to emphasize a point. It also allows someone to ponder an idea, or perhaps you can catch your breath. The use of a “pregnant pause” can indicate an important point that requires thought.

Another emphasis of a certain point may be indicated by the tilt of your head. Keep eye contact, just like your dog or cat, tilt your head, and see if you get approval regarding the point that you just make in your discussion. Include a pause, and you may gain the client agreement that you want. Of course, it will not work every time, but try it and see.

In addition, there are other communications techniques that animals use. The soft meow, the loud howl, the faint growl, and the deep woof can all be quite effective. From subtle words to a loud cry for help, we can emulate these techniques if we learn how they may help us communicate with others. Add in the use of eyes, ears, the head tilt, and the wag of a tail, and you can see how animals communicate their needs, wants, feelings, and other ideas.

Remember that dogs will do anything to please us as long as we care for them. Cats were once worshiped by ancients as gods, and they have not forgotten that fact. These facts influence their feelings and their communications. We can learn from them, and we can use what they use on us to gain agreement from others.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691. Maybe we can discuss communications techniques and practice what our animals teach us. Who knows, we may even teach each other something new. If nothing else, perhaps we could become networking partners.

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