If you own a dog or just love animals, then you’re probably familiar with the name Cesar Milan, aka “The Dog Whisperer.” As host of the popular TV show, The Dog Whisperer on Nat Geo WILD, Cesar helps frustrated dog owners understand and tame their unpredictable and sometimes dangerous pets. But what fascinates viewers is not just his ability rehabilitate ferocious canines, but how he is able to communicate and understand dogs through subtle, non-verbal communication. In an instant he can snap a growling, snarling pit-bull into a calm submissive state with a subtle look and the touch of his hand. It’s simply mind-boggling to observe.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article for The New Yorker about Cesar and his unique ability to tame the untamable. Gladwell attributed Cesar’s success to one simple word, presence.
“If you are going to teach a classroom full of headstrong ten-year-olds, or run a company, or command an army, or walk into a trailer home in Mission Hills where a beagle named Sugar is terrorizing its owners, you have to have presence or you’re lost,” said Gladwell.
With no formal training, Cesar developed his presence and learned how to communicate with dogs like no one else could. “He watched and studied dogs until he felt that he could finally put himself inside the mind of a dog,” said Gladwell.
Essentially, this is exactly what we do in qualitative research, except we put ourselves in the mind of the consumer. Through keen observation and that indefinable thing called presence, we are able to relate with consumers and pick up on those subtle, non-verbal cues that help us become better listeners. And while we may not be able to understand the inner-workings of your nervous/aggressive pet, we can help you uncover key consumer insights with relevant business implications.
Cesar believes that all dogs, no matter how aggressive, can be rehabilitated through intense training, observation and understanding. But if the owners are not willing to re-train themselves and become conscious of their own movements, all efforts are wasted. Just like qualitative research, we will provide the answers and insights you need to move in the right direction, but it’s up to you to put those valuable insights into action.
~ Marilyn Weiss
President & Founding Partner