+44(0) 113 322 9234

What qualifies your Employees to manage people? Lessons from Puppy ownership!















Let me introduce you to Ozzy.

Having been well and truly cornered by my family, I finally caved in at the end of the summer holidays and agreed to us getting a Puppy. We talked about it on a Saturday teatime and agreed that we would start looking into it………..by Monday morning we had an 8 week old Cockapoo at our house! This photo shows him in our garden that first day, shortly after we had driven to the pet shop to ask them what to do next and what to buy!

When I’ve told people the story of how quickly we ended up with a puppy I had two very interesting responses; 1. “Don’t you need to be vetted before you can get a dog’?, 2. “Don’t you have to be trained before you can look after a dog”? This really got me thinking……..

So, allow me to segue here straight to some thoughts around how to prepare to look after fellow humans, and in particular the management of people.

Can you remember the first time you moved into a position where you had line management responsibility for other people? The day you become a ‘boss’ for the first time? How did you prepare?

The responsibility for people management is often given to people in Organisations very quickly, typically via an internal promotion or often via a restructure. And, just like our puppy experience, this often happens with little or no preparation, vetting, or training!

So friends thought it strange that we could take on responsibility for a dog so easily, yet, in my experience, I don’t recall Managers ever being questioned about their readiness to take on the responsibility for people!

What I observed in the Organisations I worked at was a lot of investment in individual skills, such as “How to make a presentation” and “How to run projects”, but relatively little in “How to Manage People”.

As a consequence of this, employees taking up a Management position end up finding their own way - to some the art of management came naturally; to others, it was something that caused real problems for them and/or the employees for whom they were responsible.

To do their best by the people in their team, a Manager needs to learn basics such as;

How to develop your own leadership style and approach?

How to create an effective personal development plan and monitor progress?

How to delegate effectively?

How to handle conflict?

How to motivate your team to be the best that they can be?


Without giving employees the basic skills to manage people, an Organisation is more likely to have lower productivity, and problems such as conflict, stress, demotivation, and high staff turnover. Instead, provide them with the core skills and you will enable them to maximise their performance as leaders and managers and to get the best out of their teams.


And it’s never too late to get the skills required. We have started a six week Puppy Socialisation class on a Monday evening, and have booked some one to one sessions with an expert to train us how best we can look after Ozzy!


The Xenonex Academy provides Organisations with online and blended learning programmes in Leadership and Management. Their Management Essentials 1 & 2 programmes are designed for those needing to learn the basics, and to reflect on how to apply these vital skills to their workplace. The courses are ILM aligned, allowing Managers to easily upgrade to achieve an internationally recognised ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management.


For more information, please visit https://www.xenonex.co.uk/xenonex-academy-courses/


If you’d like to know more please contact katy.hebblewhite@xenonex.co.uk or 0113 322 9234.