Meet Max, our youngest and furriest family member! As an 8 week old Dutch Sheepdog puppy, Max entered our household two weeks ago. Now, I have been coaching Alliance Professionals for a long time, but since the arrival of Max, I’ve discovered the need for a whole set of new collaborative coaching skills!

It is obvious that Max has a mind of his own. We often have his full attention (we think) but he doesn’t always seem to understand what we mean. Or he does not what we’re saying very practical! For instance, the concept of going outside for toilet training seems strange to Max when he obviously believes that he can leave his “stuff” in the corner of the room. But fear not, we are making some progress albeit slowly but steadily and Max and I are getting better in understanding each other.


Doggone it!  He’s Testing My Coaching Skills!


Clearly, young Max is forcing my collaborative coaching skills to a new level! Coaching Max is reciprocal, I am not only coaching Max, he’s also coaching me. Max especially feels the need to challenge my patience and consistency.

Want to get great at something? Get a coach.” This is a quote by Atul Gawande in this TED talk. Of course we do so this Saturday we’ll start our first lesson with a real, live puppy dog coach. I guess that I might be the one who will be receiving more coaching than Max!

Atul Gawande adds in his talk also “It’s not how good you are now; it’s how good you’re going to be that really matters.” So, the current phase is only temporary. By raising Max, my goal is for him to be a great buddy that knows how to behave and brings a lot of pleasure and companionship to our household. That’s how good we’re going to be.

Atul worked with a particular subject matter expert as a coach, I have worked with business coaches and now I’m working with a puppy dog coach. Who is your coach that’s helping you towards the level of how good you are going to be?