201 How Your Dog Can Improve Your Leadership Skills Explains Dr. Ann Gatty

March 23, 2017

Dr. Ann Gatty is a business consultant with a difference. She partners with her dog; a Great Dane therapy dog named Baretta. Baretta, with Dr. Ann’s help, guides entrepreneurs & executives to a deeper level of mindfulness and other helpful strategies so their businesses will thrive. Dr. Ann is an expert in understanding and improving workplace culture. With lessons shared through Baretta’s perspective, Dr. Ann has authored a book called Leadership Unleashed: A Great Dane’s Wisdom for the Business World.

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Most Influential Person

  • Dr. Jerome Bruner (an American psychologist who made significant contributions to human cognitive psychology and the world of education)

Effect on Emotions

  • I think it just keeps me healthier. I think, mental health-wise, you stay calm, but then you understand how to celebrate and how to show gratitude and how to be thoughtful. That's what I like to do if something goes wrong, rather than saying, 'Gee, this was a loss, I won, I lose. No, I win and I learn so that I do something better. I think that mindfulness is a way that allows you to be introspective. It allows you to show a little metacognition where you can look outside and say what's really going on so that you can have a better perspective on how to analyze situations and how to learn from them.

Thoughts on Breathing

  • One thing you don't know is that years ago when I first arrived in Pennsylvania, I always wanted to sing well so I started to take singing lessons, voice lessons. If you know anything about voice lessons, the first thing they teach you is diaphragmatic breathing. The woman I studied with actually had a heart issue and she said, because of the diaphragmatic breathing it helped her a great deal to overcome some of the heart issues. It's just a healthy way to calm you down and you can reset easier and you're refreshed when you're using diaphragmatic breathing.  This is something that I take with me and if I start to feel that stress feeling, there's nothing like taking three breaths and you start to feel calm and that you're back in control of things and you can move on and be reset.

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Bullying Story

We have to be mindful of what is going around and also we have to be able to come forward if there is an issue and make certain there are specific rules. Just like we have a pack mentality here with the canines. I don't see any bullying there. If one dog starts to bully, you'll see another one coming forward and saying, hey, what's this? This isn't how we play. They sort of monitor each other to make certain that they're not getting into any of this.

In the workplace ... we do a lot of employee policy manuals that we create for our clients as we're helping them with their workplace culture. We just put that right out there because the worst thing you can have is a hostile work environment or anything where there is the slightest concern about bullying because the entire organization goes down; the productivity goes down. People don't do well if they're afraid. People don't do well when they're fearing that there can be some retribution for what is occuring with them in their lives. We put it out there that we won't tolerate this sort of thing and if it does, these are the steps you are to take.