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Problem Solving Tips from Coco the Cock a Tzu

Problem solving tips from a Canine Coach



Let me say this right off the bat, if anyone you know says they don’t have any problems, they’re fibbing – big time. We all have problems at some point or the other.

The magnitude may vary or we might have taught ourselves to reframe the situation to make it seem like a learning opportunity or a challenge to be overcome.  A problem is a problem. It’s how we deal with it that matters and that’s where my furry companion Coco the Cock A Tzu has it all worked out.

I often look at my current canine companion Coco and think, that the saying ‘it’s a dog’s life’ is way off the mark. I mean, she has it all – a loving family, plenty of toys, good nutritious meals, visits to the vet when she is not well in an owner driven car and a housing complex filled with people who worry if she is not out with me.

The furry child’s antics amuse my friends and I’ve had people tell me that Miss Coco deserves her own Facebook Fan Page.

But I realise that her life is good because of her perspective and attitude towards life and the challenges that she faces as a sole dog in a house filled with humans. She knows inherently that there are no problems, only solutions and deals with issues quite differently than we humans do.

If there is a puddle of water on the morning walk path – no issue- she just looks at it and changes the direction of her walk slightly to avoid getting her paws wet and continues.

This last example I think is part of her learning. As a puppy, if she saw a rain puddle, she’d jump right in and get wet which meant she’d be put in the bathroom sink and have her paws washed by a grumpy pet parent which isn’t as much fun as her regular baths in my lap which are preceded by grooming to get matted hair out and the entire pre-bath ritual.

More reason why I can genuinely say Coco knows the art of problem solving.

We all have problems in our everyday lives. Some are small ones that are dealt with easily so that they don’t appear to be problems and some are of a greater magnitude that require us to use our problem solving skills. It all comes down to our approach.


3 Canine Problem Solving Skills even Humans can use

A dog approaches a problem with an open mind and engages in possibility thinking.  As humans, many of us approach issues with annoyance and a negative attitude thinking of it as a hindrance rather than an opportunity to learn and grow. We set ourselves up for failure even before we begin.

When Coco’s ball rolls under the sofa, she gets excited and tries various options to retrieve the ball. Each time this happens, she finds new ways to solve her dilemma. She is persistent.

As a human, we most probably get frustrated if we cannot solve an issue immediately and look for easy short term solutions rather than looking at the big picture.

I’ve shared my observations with other canine companions and it appears their pet buddies do the same. I’m convinced Coco & furry company can teach us humans a thing or two. Problem solving is not only a valuable skill; it is also an art and based on my observations, I suggest the following subset of skills that are required.


3 canine skills for problem solving


Problem Solving Skill 1: Creative Thinking

The first skill is creative thinking. You can call it thinking out of the box. The ideas will flow if you engage your imagination during a brainstorming session. Write down your ideas on a piece of paper.


Problem Solving Skill 2: Objective Evaluation

The second step is to check each option that you have written for sound reasoning and weed out the unachievable options. Make sure that you are objective in your approach.


Problem Solving Skill 3: Open mind

The third and most important step is to approach each problem that you encounter with an open mind and positive attitude. That is the only way you will not only find solutions but better ones that work.

Now for the humans to prove that we too know how to solve problems.

Have any tips you’d like to share? Or a nugget of what your pet friend –dog, cat, gold fish or turtle has taught you? Do share with Coco and me in the comments box below.

PS. Coco doesn’t coach but her pet parent does!


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Written By: Vatsala Shukla

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

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1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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