The Canine Environment

Animals and the way we are with them can teach us much about ourselves and the way we interact with others

Given that only 7% of communication is verbal what happens with the rest? How is our presence intruding on to others? Human beings come with their own agenda, the dog doesn’t. Dogs are highly attuned to human emotions and challenge us to stay congruent with our feelings when relating with them. In return, they offer us non-judgemental, honest feedback and teach us to be more aware of the connections between our mind, body, and emotions. Working with a dog promotes experiential learning and they become a mirror for our behaviour.

The Pawz4Thought method relies on an elegant and minimalist approach based on ten behaviours that add up to a rather powerful and simple idea; when we access, process and use our own personal thoughts without “interference”, doing so supports sustainable, positive, performance.

The ten key behaviours are: Less is More, Attention, Listening, Pausing, Not-Knowing, Feedback, Feelings, Flexibility, Clean Questions, Space.

This important process helps people to turn their interactions with their teams, department, coaching clients or business colleagues into productive environments where people can go beyond their usual ways of thinking to resolve problems or issues in their own way with clarity, creativity, courage, and ownership.

The Pawz4Thought suite of programmes, developed through observation and research by Angela Watson since 2007, teach the application of these key behaviours to coaches, managers, leaders and their teams.


A philosophy of “less is more” is at the core of effective learning.

We all have our own personal life experience, our own worldview, opinions and judgements that have ultimately created the way we view the world today. To have a sense of or to even try to understand anyone else’s life experience is to see it through the lens of our own perspective and to make judgements based on our own experiences. Intruding our assumptions, opinions, or experiences would be overlaying our stuff on to others. Since the best person to understand and resolve our experience is ourselves, the most valuable thing we can offer each other is the framework in which to think for ourselves –  hence the philosophy of  “less is more”.


Attention is an act of respect

Pawz4Thought is an person centred methodology which intrinsically values the unique contribution of each person. By putting your attention on another person you will open up space for them to generate their best thinking and work out for themselves what they need to do. And because the person has ownership of their problems and solutions they are more likely to take action in their own way.


The most important gift one human being can convey to another is the message ‘you are important and valued

Successful people are powerful listeners. When you listen and repeat back what the other person has said, using their own words, speakers feel really heard. This way of listening increases the likelihood of quality thinking to happen.


Stay present, stay still, and wait

Silence is an indicator that quality thinking is happening. Give people time to formulate their own ideas thoroughly without interrupting. When we are not interrupted the quality of our ideas and decisions are much more creative. When people know that they’re going to be listened to without interruption the quality of their thinking is much richer. Resist the urge to fill any silences. Silence leads to solutions.

Not -Knowing

To be in a ‘not-knowing’ state means to put aside our notions of what we might assume is happening and listen intently to others. The “naïve manager” knows he doesn’t have the time, energy, or expertise to do everyone else’s work. Get curious and ask questions instead. The result? Self-directed, self-sufficient teams focused on their specific role.


Our four legged companions engage with us on an empathic, compassionate, emotional level and heighten our awareness of how we relate to those around us. Learning stops when we are upset. If  when people show signs of feelings, we relax and allow sufficient emotional release, good learning will re-start.


Dogs live in the moment and respond to what’s happening in their environment. When we use what is happening in the moment we can embrace all situations as opportunities for learning and create learning environments where we can all be real. Be flexible in your communication.


In many discussions the focus is first and often only on what and why things are not working. Though there is learning from things that have not gone well, there is also learning from things that have worked well. The Pawz4Thought method generates a balanced ratio of appreciative and challenging feedback so that individuals and groups can think and learn at their best.

clean questions

Clean Questions are a way of helping people to explore what’s on their mind, without polluting their thinking with your own words, metaphors, or pre-conceived ideas. Clean Questions is at the very heart of generating independent thinking,new knowledge,and new connections. Do not be fooled by the simplicity of these powerful tools. Result? Minds primed for achieving creative insights.

This expertise is the focus of the Coaching With Clean Questions Course and is the operating methodology of our coaching approach.


The feminine qualities of leadership pay attention to aesthetics and creating environments where people feel included, cared for and safe.

Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. Very successful people see play as essential for creativity.Learning improves when you can have a good time, play,and relax in a physical space which says “you matter”. We have found consistently that people relax and think more creatively, and boldly when the learning space says ‘you are important and valued’.We use spaces in which the imagination is allowed to run free, in the presence of dogs which creates an alternative paradigm for learning.