LeaderLynx – When Lions Roar!

by | Jan 6, 2012

LeaderLynx – Real Life Lessons from the Jungle

When a lion roars it can have several meanings. It can be establishing its location so others do not infringe, or it can be calling to others saying here I am… come on over!

Today I was talking with a long term client and friend when his voice became animated and intense as he was asking about a result on a spreadsheet. When Bob became concerned about a bottom line number his blood pressure must have popped up 50 points!

He went on with his normal diatribe and after he finished I pointed out to him the person who entered the data simply made a typo in one cell (one out of hundreds on this particular spreadsheet). The typo was corrected and all the numbers flowed perfectly back on budget.

As a leadership speaker and corporate culture consultant I immediately had the following take-a-ways…

1. When a client, employee, child or spouse roars they may simply be roaring out of a lack of knowledge or not seeing the whole picture. Instead of arguing, let them talk themselves down, then gently point out the reality. In my case when I pointed out they typo, after listening to Bob ramble for 15 minutes, he laughed with a big “Ohhhhhhhhhh…..” and he quickly changed the subject.

2. During the conversation he said “I’m not getting on you…” and I believe him. He was having a cathartic reaction – granted his reaction was based on inaccurate information – but at its root it was cathartic.

3. When working with big cats and other animals, rarely do their rants, roars and huffs get a reaction out of me. Many times they are testing the water simply looking for a reaction. When you don’t react, the behavior isn’t reinforced. When the behavior isn’t reinforced it decreases. In the animal training world we call it driving a behavior into extinction. Hmmmmm….. works with animals. I bet it may work with the animals in your cubicle jungle as well. Try it next time you hear roars coming from the office next door.

Dan Stockdale is a leadership speaker, author and corporate culture consultant. He is also the Founder of the World Nature Coalition where he routinely works with the worlds most endangered and most dangerous creatures. His national media appearances include Fox News, CNN, New York Times, Boston Globe, Woman’s World and many others. Dan’s work s a keynote speaker, motivational speaker and animal trainer allow him to coalesce the wild side of the corporate jungle and the wild life in the real jungle.