I have a great dog. Actually I have 2 great dogs, but today I am going to focus on Bentley. Bentley is a 5+ year old Silky Terrier. We've had him since he was 12 weeks old and for about 4 years he was the center of our world. He had such a great life. Walks almost every morning, plenty of attention and playtime at night. He really had it made. He has a couple of quirks, but overall he has been a really great pet.
Over the past few years our family has grown. First we added Lucie, our almost 3 year old shihtzu, and now Jack, our 4 month old son.
Looking back, it was even before the addition of Lucie that I began to fail poor Bentley. Because he was at the center of everything we did, there was no well-defined "role" for him. He was just there...always and he always had our attention and knew just what to do.
As the family has grown and matured, our attention has been divided. This is natural in any growing environment. But, what I have failed to do is help Bentley understand where he fits in these days. What are our expectations of him? How should he behave and when is "his time"? As a result, Bentley, once eager, energetic and confident has become reserved and clearly unsure of himself. Plus, he has begun to display some pretty poor and annoying behaviors. Scratching our leather couch is just one.
In short, I have been a bad manager. A good manager would have, either before or very soon after, considered the effect of these changes on all members of the organization and communicated accordingly with each individual. My failure to do so has resulted in 1) a member of my organization being less happy than they were before the changes occurred and 2) a member of my organization with declining performance due to that loss of confidence.
Fortunately, I don't think it's too late. With a little planning and vigilence, I am confident that I can help Bentley understand that he is still an important part of our family. His role has just changed a bit. As long as it is clear to him, what his new role is, I think we'll be able to move forward as a happy and productive unit, once again.