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What Insurance Agents Can Learn From Dog Trainers

Arf! Woof! Grr! These aren’t the words that you expect to hear around your insurance office, so why would you be able to learn anything from dog trainers? When you’re trying to develop strong routines for your insurance agency, you can learn a lot from dog trainers. From the importance of consistency to the need to slow down, these routines will benefit your safety and accuracy.


Training Takes Work 

According to Inc, training a puppy is hard work and takes patience: “You get excited at first, but somehow they don’t quite meet the behavior you expect right away.” Make sure you’ve set up behavioral norms for office processes and interactions so you can articulate these to your employees. Make this an integral part of the onboarding process for new employees. Give your new employees structured expectations so he or she knows what to do, when to do it, and how to achieve that goal.


Develop Consistent Routines 

Dog training is all about developing consistent routines that allow you to succeed. The same goes for your office employees. We all train our brains to do the right actions, and as long as we follow those routines we can have some assurance of quality control. For example, when you’re trying to avoid an in-office data breach, you need to have routines for actions as mundane as shredding old client information and locking down your computer before you step out for lunch.


Learn How to Sit 

Sometimes you need to sit on something for a while. In other words, speed is not always helpful. For instance, when you’re developing a new website, it should not be launched immediately. First, it should be checked by someone who can assess the ease of navigation and determine the site’s vulnerability to hacking. It’s more important to ensure ease of use and the safety of your clients’ data than it is to push the new site live right away.


Be Firm But Positive 

Positive reinforcement is a key part of dog training. According to Service Dog Training, while society tends to focus on finding the negative and punishing it, when dog training “We learn to focus on and reward the behaviors we want.” Your data safety processes should be followed consistently. However, remembering to follow those routines can be challenging, especially if they are new. Celebrate the accomplishments of your employees and reward them for their consistency and their innovation.


Make it Safe to Fail 

If an employee makes a mistake, you need to know about it. The same goes for dogs: they will get confused or forget their cues for training. Instead of turning this into a shaming or negative experience, get together with your employee and determine how you can set up positive steps to ensure the same error will not happen again. You can learn a lot about how to engage with clients and how to be safe as an organization by making mistakes, and you need to know about those mistakes so you can find a positive remedy.

When you’re looking for a way to connect with others in the insurance field or you’re seeking out discounts on products related to your insurance agency, connect with American Agents Alliance.  Talk with us about our  E&O insurance and our many other membership benefits.

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