Getting Out of the Doghouse

Starting a business is easy. Staying in business is where things get hard.

Effective people management is where most business owners seem to come unstuck. On any given day, it’s either the owner, their managers, or employees feeling like they are in the proverbial “doghouse”.

In the doghouseWhat is the doghouse?

This turn of phrase is most often used to describe that sinking feeling you get when you have fallen out of favour with someone important. So instead of feeling like a valued member of the team, you are stuck outside of the group in the doghouse. Sometimes it may be a well-deserved punishment when you have intentionally done the wrong thing. But too often in people management and team interactions, it can simply be caused by miscommunications, misunderstandings and misalignment of a common goal. When employees are in the doghouse, teams don’t function. And this makes staying in business HARD.

In over 15 years of working in the Human Resources and Organisational Development space, I have seen teams and individuals crumble under the pressure of being stuck in the doghouse. Productivity stalls, project deadlines are missed and the entire organisation begins to rot from within. Helping employees, and ultimately businesses, get out of the doghouse has been an enlightening experience for everyone involved.

How do we get out of the doghouse?

A Google search on “how to get out of the doghouse” turns up some amusing, and not very helpful, tips. Most focus on quick-fix solutions like “Buy your wife some flowers”. Unfortunately, the quick fix route rarely works long term. Sticking a band-aid on underlying issues is a sure fire way to keep the revolving door of the doghouse swinging.

Business owners and teams need to invest in:

  • gaining a deeper understanding of their own personality styles;
  • developing their emotional intelligence skills and capabilities; and having a clear alignment to the organisation’s strategy.
  • Getting out of the doghouse is a process that often starts with recognising that things can be better. I co-authored the book “Getting out of the Doghouse” to help business owners and teams start their own journey.
  • When individuals gain this understanding they are able to be more productive, function better in teams and achieve greater success- and that makes staying in business a whole lot easier for business owners.

Have you ever found yourself in the Doghouse? Please share your thoughts with us.

About the Author:

Corinne Butler is Founder of Tweak HR, specialising in Outsourced HR and Business Improvement for the SME sector. She is a leader in the areas of Human Resources strategy, DiSC personality profiling, Emotional Intelligence and Business Benchmarking to improve organisational capability. She is co-author of “Getting out of the Doghouse”, the popular management book that helps us understand the importance of benchmarking, understanding our personality and that of others, having common senses that we apply every day partnered with the need to develop emotional intelligence.

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