Work Like A Dog!

At the recent Applied Improvisation Network conference in Baltimore, I had the privilege of meeting Matt Weinstein, and heard him elaborate a bit on his book, Work Like Your Dog. One of the things that impressed me most is that dogs don’t distinguish between work and play. It made me think about a recent visit to Alaska where we watched training Alaskan Huskies. I was amazed by the absolute joy they displayed at the sight of the harness.

Sled Dogs

They were literally leaping for joy! Can you imagine what it would feel like to approach work with that attitude? Can you imagine working with colleagues that had that attitude? If you take another look at Matt’s book, you may find some ways to at least come close.

My Dog, Rufus, Listening

Matt also noted that dogs have many other desirable characteristics. For example, they listen intently, even when they don’t understand a word you say.

At laugh2learn, I have developed a new improv based game to help people learn to listen like a dog. If you’d like more information, let me know.

Finally, I’d like to hear from you. What other canine traits should we humans try to emulate? Do you think we can, or are there some ways dogs will always be superior?

Who me, blog?

For several years I have been operating Laugh2Learn successfully. I have done so with a minimum of advertisement, depending on repeat business and word of mouth advertising. I recently decided I wanted to be more aggressive in marketing, and as a first step hired my friend Shau Marcotte of SLabImaging to help me. Shaun was good; he asked me a lot of questions about how I viewed my business; what made it unique; what niche was I looking for etc. After much thought I told him that people in my business tend to feature either humor or content. My niche is that I use humor to deliver content. Taking that information he developed and I adopted this logo:I would like to have some input on this. What do you think? Does it convey the message?

Shaun’s next suggestion startled me. “Marv,” he said, “The modern way to advertise is through social media. You’ve got to start a blog.”

Well who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I am writing and soon (I hope) you will be reading my blog. I hope it will direct you to my website, www.laugh2learn.com.

“Blog?” I said, “What do I put in a blog?”

“Just tell people what you have been doing. When you do a gig, tell about it.”

OK then Shaun, here goes:

Friday, May 20 I taught a six-hour Mediation and Conflict Resolution session to 14 Co-Op directors in the Kansas Infant Toddler network. Last year I had trained six mediators for the program, and my friends in the Infant Toddler program at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment felt that co-op directors could benefit from a deeper understanding of the mediation process. I designed and presented three sections — one each in Wichita, Garden City and Topeka. A fourth is scheduled for June 24 in Salina. The evaluations have been excellent.

Shaun said put in pictures, so here I am leading the discussion in Topeka:

Saturday was a great day: I attended the hooding ceremony for the graduating Masters of Public Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. http://ph.kumc.edu/ Since I teach a required course, I knew most of the graduates, and was able to meet their families and congratulate the graduates. Some of the families had come from as far away as Arizona, New Mexico, and Costa Rica.
I enjoy my work at KUMC. I love being around intelligent young people and one doesn’t get into graduate school without a measure of intelligence. But teaching public health graduates is even more exciting because of their values. No one goes into public health to get rich. These students are all committed to improving the lot of their fellow human beings and the planet on which we all live.

Tuesday, May 24,  I am going to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Wichita, to conduct a session on Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Suzanne Hawley, the site coordinator for the MPH program on the Wichita campus invited be to present a training on Emotional Intelligence to her team. As a part of the training I have arranged for each team member to take the Bar-On EQ-i assessment. http://www.mhs.com/product.aspx?gr=IO&prod=eqi&id=overview. In addition to discussing emotional intelligence concepts I will provide individual feedback to the team on their assessment.

Life is more than teaching; it must, if we are to stay young, involve learning. I am very excited to be attending the Applied Improvisation Network’s (http://appliedimprov.ning.com/) World Conference in Baltimore June 16 through 19. I attended this conference in Chicago in 2009, and laughed and learned and laughed and learned some more. I can hardly wait!

Well there you have it, my first blog post. I look forward to your feedback.

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