When training a puppy, it’s really exciting to watch them learn a new skill. When that pup learns a new trick, all that repetition and hard work is paying off. What a celebration when they start to show signs that they’re potty trained. You’re so happy and proud! And you know that you’re on the right path. That they’re finally getting it. So dog owners then naturally relax the rules and stop paying as much attention. That’s when trouble starts. The pup is learning, but hasn’t learned it fully. With puppies, it’s important to keep them leashed until learned.

And so it is with air personalities. Coaching talent is an art more than a science. Yet there are many principles that can help programmers  manage through problems and challenges.

The leash is a great training tool. It allows a trainer to play a supportive role. By allowing more or less rope, the dog can express themselves. They earn freedom to explore their personality as they behave the way the trainer wants.

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The leash is so much more effective than managing with a stick. Beating the dog when they step out of line may stop bad behavior, but it never promotes positive, good behavior. The dog becomes afraid and withdrawn rather than happy and obedient.

Finding the right balance is key. Allowing too much leash is a recipe for disaster, especially when the puppy is young and not ready for it. But keep it too tight, and their personality could be repressed.

Like training a dog, program directors should establish a relationship with personalities to get their attention to help them learn, grow and evolve. This is good for the programmer, and it’s good for talent.

Leashed Until Learned: Going Off-Leash