What Breed is Your Colleague?


I have worked in corporate America for 20 some odd years. I have come across all personality types, from Type A go-getters and ardent micro-managers to earthy admins and bookish developers.

In the corporate environment, we confront many different people and personality types that are often far different from our own. Being the Type A control freak that I am, I often have difficulty working with people who are more introverted. They take their time and are more analytical, while I’m a ‘s**t or get off the pot’ kind of person. Get it done and move on. I am easily frustrated by those who don’t work as quickly as I do, or on my time. Selfish, I know.

During a recent conversation with my career coach, she pointed out my need to show more patience and compassion towards people who frustrate me in the workplace. After all, I do also run a nonprofit animal rescue, and I have tremendous patience and compassion towards difficult dogs.

This got me thinking: How can I translate my dealings with dogs into my dealings with people and essentially, make my work life a little bit easier? I started thinking of dog traits and colleagues who have them. Here’s what I came up with:

1.     Pug = salesperson: Pugs are charming little dogs, dignified, willful, and must be the center of attention. A pug would be a great sales person. Their persistence ensures they get what they want, whether it’s a cookie, a toy, or a multi-million dollar deal.

2.     Pit Bull = Marketing: Pit bulls are very loyal dogs. They are smart and quick learners. If I were to hire a stellar marketing professional, they would be a pit bull. They are confident, can be stubborn, but are creative thinkers. Like any great marketing professional, pit bulls come up with their own way of solving a problem. If they can’t get through the door, or er, doggie door, they will go through the window.


3.     Chihuahua = CEO/executive leadership: If you want a strong leader that can drive your company forward, hire a chihuahua! Their larger-than-life personalities coupled with their courage and enthusiasm make those with a chihuahua-type personality great leaders. They can be fiercely protective, but who doesn’t want a boss who will stand up for his or her employees, partners, and stakeholders?

4.     Beagle = R&D: Beagles are known for one thing: their strong sense of smell. They are the type of dog that will get on a scent and not give up until the source is found. Beagles would make for great Research and Development professionals. They are avid researchers always seeking an answer. They would also make great CFOs or analysts. 

5.     Basset Hound = customer support: Even tempered and relaxed, able to let things roll off their backs, a Basset Hound would be a great customer support representative. They are pleasant and people friendly and won’t let an angry or demanding customer get under their skin. They just want to please.

6.     English Bulldog = legal: We’ve seen the term “Bulldog attorney”, but these candid canines are anything but aggressive. Equable and kind, resolute and gregarious, English Bulldogs would make great general counsel. They are tenacious, curious, and determined, yet have strong guarding abilities and never give up on a challenge. They probably won’t be able to write a Cease and Desist letter, but the will look super cute trying.

Bulldog lawyer.jpg

So, next time you’re frustrated at colleague or co-worker- or maybe looking for a new hire- read this little guide and ask yourself: What kind of dog are they? If nothing else, it will make smile and lighten your mood. Happy Friday!

Kelly ReevesComment