RSS Feed
Dec 21

Six Rungs on the L.A.D.D.E.R. to Better Communication

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Tazzy, known as Taz, was part of our family for almost fourteen years. A miniature schnauzer, Taz was a big dog in a little dog body. Energetic, animated and friendly Taz enjoyed playing and enjoyed people.

Taz is the one with the big smile on the far right in the photo.

Some dogs are inside dogs, other dogs are outside dogs, Taz lived in our house. When he was a puppy he slept in his dog crate; a large metal cage with one-inch square mesh. Comfortably cushioned Taz’s crate was safe place for him to sleep, to find security and to stay out of trouble.

When Taz was old enough to have established his trustworthiness he could have the run of the first floor. He could walk anywhere, play anywhere, and sleep anywhere.

Taz had luxuries that none of the German Shepherds I grew up with had. Taz could sleep on the couch. He also might be invited to sleep on a bed. Taz was trusted because he proved himself trustworthy.

Since Taz was never trained to use the toilet, he needed to be brought outside as his need arose.

Taz would walk into the room we were in and look at us. If we were alert at all the look was pretty evident. If Taz was unsuccessful getting our attention, he would walk closer to try to get our attention. If we were folding laundry, watching TV or reading we still might miss his signals.

Taz would walk over to us and paw at our legs with a concerned expression. This usually was the final step needed to get us on our way. In the event that we did not move quick enough Taz would stand a couple feet between us and the closest door and bark.

Not the “look there is a stranger bark”, nor a “Hey, kids I want to play catch outside too.” No, this bark had a tone all to itself. A bark cut short with a hint of whine.

This was Taz’s last gasp at getting our attention, the next stage was far less appealing so almost always Taz’s efforts to get our attention were successful.

Taz didn’t speak English but he did his best to find mutually agreed upon communication. People can be the same way. We can all speak the same language, but the nuances of what is being communicated can be missed.


Several years ago I read about L.A.D.D.E.R. I don’t know where it originated, but I kept it in mind. Perhaps you would like to increase your communication skills. Maybe you’ve been trying to get someone’s attention, but it’s not working. Maybe, like Taz, someone is trying to get your attention, but you seem to be missing something to connect properly.
L.A.D.D.E.R. might bring you closer.

I admit, the results might not be as demonstrative as Taz’s frustration would yield, but the problem of miscommunication (bad pun alert!), the problem of miscommunication really stinks too.

Here are the Six Rungs on the L.A.D.D.E.R. to Better Communication:

L – Look at the person speaking to you.

A – Ask questions.

D – Don’t interrupt.

D – Don’t change the subject.

E – Empathize. Engage your feeling-sensors.

R – Respond verbally and non-verbally.

Give it a try. You might be surprised that it helps timid people feel heard, and talkative people feel engaged.

Use L.A.D.D.E.R. and you will also find that your job interviews will be more engaging, and more memorable.

Bring on the comments

  1. […] Taz, our dog, usually ran into his “dog run” to take care of “his business.” In his last months, despite his best intentions he didn’t always make it. That’s inconvenient, but it’s not a problem when it’s outside, someone notices what’s going on and she or he responds promptly. […]

Leave a Comment