It turns out that the differences between dogs and cats are almost as great as the differences between “dog people” and “cat people”. Not only do they relate to people in different ways and have different preferences in how they spend their free time, one of the two groups was shown to be markedly smarter than the other. So who is smarter? Is it the dog people or the cat people?
Before I reveal the answer and upset about 40% of you, let’s look at it from a different angle. Who would be a better business leader? Is it the bubbly, enthusiastic, and active dog person who is always quick with a smile and a handshake? Or is it the contemplative, reclusive cat owner who spends most of the day in their office with the door closed and their head buried in books?
Since relationships are such an important part of business, you might immediately assume that the tail wagging dog owners would be the obvious choice. I’ll go ahead and tell you right now that you are wrong. Dog lovers are great people, but their enthusiasm and friendliness might be detrimental. They tend to act without thinking and they are also sometimes too determined to make everyone happy. When it comes time to act like a leader and make some tough decisions or have a difficult talk with an unproductive member of the team, dog lovers might tuck their tails and run.
The feline fanatic, on the other hand, is slower to act and is more likely to approach tasks with a carefully laid plan in their paws. They don’t speak unless they mean it so their compliments (and complaints) are more genuine. If a cat lover says “good job” they mean it, they are not just fulfilling a social obligation. If they sit you down to discuss how you can improve your performance, you know they have put some careful thought into it.
Of course there are dog lovers who make great leaders and there are certainly cat people who can’t manage their way out of the litter box. But overall the qualities that drive a person to enjoy dogs or cats are also indicative of the qualities they will bring to your organization.
As I said above, relationships drive business. Cat people tend to have fewer but more meaningful relationships and may be better at resolving conflict due to the fact that they are more sensitive to the needs of both parties and can maintain an air of detachment. This allows them to diffuse the situation in a manner that is fair to both parties.
Remember that everyone is different though. Only a monkey would hire people based on a single criterion such as favorite animal.
So which group was found to be more intelligent in recent studies? If you were paying attention to the article you have probably already figured it out. If you weren’t able to figure it out by now, maybe you need some fresh air. Go walk your dog and try again later.