And Jack Jack…
They’ll turn a year old later this month.
I’ve been clicker training these boys.
Yes, you read that right. So far I’ve taught them how to:
⭐️ Come here
⭐️ Lie down
⭐️ Roll over
⭐️ High five
⭐️ Go to their cat mat
⭐️ Go in their crate
And I’m making progress on teaching Jack Jack to hang out on my shoulder (I always wanted a cat that would do that! 😁)
I’ve also taught Vinnie how to give me a nose boop — he’s got this one down cold, but I’m still working on it with his brother.
Whenever I tell people about clicker training my cats, the response is almost always the same:
”I didn’t know you could train cats!”
It turns out cats are highly trainable. They’re just different from dogs.
Dogs learn new tricks to please their people. They’re pack animals, and are socially motivated. 🐕🦺 🦮 🐕 🐾
Not so with cats. Cats will only do what they want. 🐈⬛
But they’re smart, and if they love treats, they can be highly motivated to learn new tricks!
They just won’t do it to please you.
When you approach cat training with this in mind, it stops being impossible, and starts being fun and creative.
Jack Jack is extremely food-motivated (one of his nicknames is “Greedy Bastard,” because if you’re holding any food, he’ll practically take your arm off to get at it.)
He’ll do just about anything for a treat. (Except, weirdly, boop my nose with his nose. Crazy cat.🙄)
Highly food-motivated = highly trainable!
Vinnie, on the other hand, doesn’t really care for most treats. I was afraid he wouldn’t be trainable at all. (And he’s our troublemaker, too!)
Thankfully, I quickly realized that although Vinnie doesn’t care about most treats, he is NUTSO for catnip!
Now we only buy catnip-flavored cat treats, and Vinnie snaps to attention whenever treats are near.
Highly catnip-motivated = highly trainable!
As you can see, training cats requires a bit of creative problem-solving, and a bit of effort, but it’s worth it in the long run.
What Training Cats Has to Do With Engaging Virtual Meetings
Most people approach the idea of engaging (read: “non-boring”) virtual meetings / trainings / events the way they approach training cats: they assume it can’t be done, so they don’t put the effort into it.
They don’t bother learning about what’s possible.
They don’t look at how things could be different, and what that might mean.
Whether you’re trying to get out the door safely, get a good night’s sleep, or get some work done, a trained cat can mean:
💥 Greater productivity
💥 Less stress
💥 Deeper connections
💥 More fun
Hmmm.. These are remarkably similar outcomes for a company that invests in making their virtual meetings / trainings / events more engaging.
When attendees aren’t bored, they don’t tune out or multi-task, so productivity increases.
You minimize the anxiety and stress of dreading all those miserable meetings.
Well-designed meetings / trainings / events foster connections (which leads to more effective teams and greater productivity).
And of course, they’re a lot more fun!
Yes, it’s a creative challenge. But for any innovative, people-first organization, investing resources to make sure virtual meetings / trainings / events are engaging is well worth it.
If you’d like to experience some brain-friendly exercises that activate learning while building connection, come to my next Non-Boring Virtual Meetings Learning Lab.
Interested to learn more? Message me to chat about how I can use my signature system to help your employees infuse connection, joy and delight into virtual meetings, trainings and events at your workplace.
And be sure to subscribe to my newsletter by filling out the form below.