Several years ago, I attended a leadership conference with my husband. One of the speakers was Dr. Henry Cloud. He shared a story about some researchers who studied stress and it’s impact on monkeys.
A monkey was placed in a cage and bombarded with loud noises and blinking lights. As you can imagine, he was very stressed by this and the scientists measured the stress levels. Then, they placed another monkey in the cage with him. A buddy. Then they duplicated the sounds and flashing lights and you know what? The monkey’s stress level was greatly reduced. He said this illustrated the need for having a good relationship with co-workers because they help reduce the stress we encounter at work.
I thought this was brilliant! I love a good analogy! I told my dear friend Melanie Morris about this and ever since then, we often refer to each other as “Monkey”. It’s not unusual to start a phone call with “Ok Monkey…” and then we share something that has us anxious like a deadline or a bad painting day. And just like Dr. Cloud said, it helps us greatly to know we are there for each other. Often times the closing reply is “Thank you Monkey”. I’m so thankful for all my friends and many of them are monkeys, they just don’t know it.
So, as Dr. Cloud posed the question, who is your monkey?